Green Carnation is a project with its roots in Norweigian black/doom metal, but on Light of Day, Day of Darkness it sounds much more like a prog-metal group than anything else. Any prog-metal album which has the gall to consist of only one song is probably going to get compared to Fates Warning's A Pleasant Shade of Gray, so let's get that out of the way first. These two groups are quite dissimilar in sound and approach, but the important point is this: while A Pleasant Shade of Gray made pretensions towards being one hour-long song, it failed, coming off more like twelve separate songs tied together by a loose thematic framework. On the other hand, Light of Day... actually succeeds pretty well in seeming like a unified composition; different sections flow together nicely and logically, and some themes are shared throughout.
The basic idea here is doom and gloom: this is a very somber album, lyrically and musically, similar in mood to, say, the softer side of Opeth. The music alternates, again much like Opeth, between soft passages characterized by lots of acoustic guitar and keys and heavier, more conventionally "metal" electric guitar-led parts. Almost all vocals are clean, with very little death-style growling to be found. There are a couple of interesting sections that differ substantially from the rest: for instance, halfway through there's a fairly lengthy section that consists almost entirely of wordless female vocals accompanied only by saxophone; and near the end there's a faux-ethnic passage complete with sitar and very Eastern melodies.
For the most part, though, think mid-tempo, melodic, gloomy prog-metal, and you've got the right idea. I'm suitably impressed with how well the composition hangs together; while the basic formula of alternating soft and loud sections is adhered to fairly closely, the melodies and orchestration are generally interesting enough to keep things from getting dull. And I have no nitpicks to make regarding the performances, even the English-language vocals, which are more than adequate. My only real complaint is superficial; I wish there were some track indexes. A 60-minute song is all well and good, but it's a pain in the ass when I want to hear, say, the section starting at minute 37. I'd say there are enough clear transitions between themes that the album could be fairly easily divided into 6-8 parts. Why not?
I find it curious that this album seems to be known pretty well in the black/doom/death metal scene, but not much at all in the prog-metal scene. To my ears, which admittedly are still fairly inexperienced when it comes to metal, Light of Day, Day of Darkness is prog-metal through and through; and categorizations aside, it's damn good prog-metal at that.
(C) Ground And Sky review
1. Light of Day, Day of Darkness (60:06)
Line-up / Musicians
- Christine Albert / choir and chorus
- Eugen 'd Albert / choir and chorus
- Kobro / drums
- Kristoffer Knoff Aamot / choir and chorus
- Karoline Knoff Aamot / choir and chorus
- Endre Kirkesola / bass
- Kjetil Nordhus / vocals and tenor (vocal)
The End (TE024)
Enjoy it listening via Spotify (wherever it's available).