Tag Archives: kjetil nordhus

“Existentia” by Trail Of Tears

Artist: Trail Of Tears
Title: “Existentia”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 1/26/2007
Genre: Dark Gothic Metal
Rating: 4/5

This follow up to Trail Of Tears monster piece “Free Fall Into Fear” would utilize some of the same principles that worked well for that recording but this time around a little more emphasis would be placed on the Dark Gothic Metal aspect. While possessing three sets of vocals on previous recordings the dueling male voices would be more upfront this time around and the result is a thunderous and brooding piece that gets things going right away with the opener “Deceptive Mirrors”. It’s here we find the growls of Ronny Thorsen backed by the deep and dramatic voice of Green Carnation’s Kjetil Nordhus over a driving musical score that even adds some symphonic chorals for good measure. The light and dark aspect of the male vocalists works well for TOT and it’s all complimented by the beautiful voice of Emmanuelle Zoldan. “Existentia” would be my second experience with the band and compared to “FFIF” I can definitely say that this release might be a little more accessible to the listeners of other Gothic Metal bands like Tristania and perhaps even Therion. I enjoy what the Darker side of Goth Metal brings to the table as it takes the conventional stuff and makes it all the more dramatic and thereby making the music a little more exciting and unpredictable. The numerous vocal tradeoffs here make the listener feel as though they are experiencing a scripted stage performance at times.
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Green Carnation @ Knitting Factory (2/27/2006)


Artist: Green Carnation
Venue: Knitting Factory (New York, NY)
Opener: Beyond The Embrace
Date: 2/27/2006
Label: The End Records

For those who are as new to the music of Green Carnation as I am you will be surprised to find that the band itself is celebrating a 15 year existence. Constantly displaying an interesting combination of music the band has changed their style on every album released merely because it is what they feel must be done. The changes are not due to record companies restrictions or what “is hot” at the moment. My first exposure to the group would be with 2005’s “The Quiet Offspring” which was a collection of Hard Rock tracks with some progressive melodies mixed in for good measure. It was a solid recording that when you listened to it would make you wonder why more people were not aware of them. Their latest effort entitled “The Acoustic Verses” is indeed that, a well-thought out and moody release with many Pink Floyd undertones. The overall catchy nature to this band and this release as well had me wondering why it has taken so long for them to come to the USA and play. Tonight that would no longer be an issue and the setting for this evening would be the Knitting Factory “Tap Room” in NYC. The club is more known for jazz and blues bands but of late has given sway to some great Metal performers. Tap Room is a smaller section of the club and provided fans an intimate setting to enjoy the music, a perfect setting for the level of music one expects on the acoustic release. Sadly, when I spoke to leader T’Chort and singer Kjetil I was asked what songs would I play if I were in the band for it seemed that the acoustic guitars were still in the UPS office back in Oslo. “What can Brown do for you?”; ruin your tour apparently. As a result the band would play different music than that which was planned and it seemed as though their heavier music fan base was more in attendance so perhaps for NYC that this would work best.
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“Acoustic Verses” by Green Carnation

Artist: Green Carnation
Title: “Acoustic Verses”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 1/26/2006
Genre: Progressive Rock/Acoustic
Rating: 8.5/10

Fans that have followed Green Carnation over the 15 years of their existence can attest that the band while very interesting is something that is very difficult to describe to the uneducated listener. The band showcases their level of talent by consistently changing their musical styles which makes every album something fresh and unexpected to the listener. They change not because of industry standards or orders but because the mood strikes them and while this might drive a publicist crazy or a new fan, the people that follow them embrace each turn. Their last recording “The Quiet Offspring” was a mixture of Hard Rock and Progressive Melodies while the one before that was a one song album encompassing epic. The latest release entitled “The Acoustic Verses” shows an entirely different side of this fascinating band by using acoustic guitars, keyboards, drums and bass. There are also wonderful string arrangements all tied together by the great and passionate singing of Kjetil. The result is an excellent sounding record that brings to mind a very strong Pink Floyd vibe but there is a sense of darker angst and sadness in some of the lyrical content. The new compositions are deep in their mood and feeling and I felt that moments on the recording were very hypnotic. It continues to show just how talented this band is and while my first album might have been “The Quiet Offspring” I was very easily able to enjoy this one. T’Chort (guitar), Tommy (drums), Kenneth (piano), Bjorn (guitar), Stein (bass), Michael (guitar) and Kjetil (vocals) have done a stand up job on this recording and are to be commended for the levels of creativity demonstrated.
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“The Quiet Offspring” by Green Carnation

Artist: Green Carnation
Title: “The Quiet Offspring”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 3/22/2005
Genre: Hard Rock/Progressive
Rating: 7/10

Green Carnation is an interesting band who when you begin to play their music will bring to mind a number of different Metal and Rock influences from across the gamut. Research into the band found me discovering that they seems to change their sound with each record and while that might not seem to be a smart thing it certainly allows for them to direct music at all levels of fans. It’s been written that a heavy amount of Progressive and Death has been done by Green Carnation yet on this album you will find none of this. Instead there is a level of Atmosphere in its Gothic Hard Rock and Roll with a couple of moments of speedy Metal riffs. Crafted well, this fourth album from the group might be their most effective since it has a larger scale of appeal in its overall style. “The Quiet Offspring” itself is a nice track with some interesting Purple-esque keyboard work that one does not always find in Metal bands. The use of this across the board might have led to the labeling of this as on the Gothic side. “Pile Of Doubt” races by like your classic 80’s Metal rocker while “When I Was You” comes off as something you might expect of Pink Floyd or The Gathering (it’s also the albums longest song at 7 minutes). Like I said, this was one diverse album with almost every track and this made listening to it something fun and interesting at the same time. The rocking is done early on and pretty much ends with track 9. We are then treated to moody and slower tracks as the album closes out. The piano work on “Childs Play Pt. 2” is excellent and just has such a quiet power to it. The end of this release will be a good lead in to their next album which is to be an all acoustic release. Readers who are finding this intriguing might be interested in knowing that the previous album “Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness” was one long 60 minutes song that was all Progressive and Progressive Metal.
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