Journey from past to present written by Mark Gromen
As with its namesake blossoms first appearance, peering from beneath the permafrost of Norways winter, each successive Green Carnation album is a welcome sight in the dreary sameness of todays metal scene.
Begun in 1990, it took the Kristiansand based death metallers a year before issuing the Hallucinations Of Despair demo. When guitarist Tchort (Terje Vik Schei) was offered a position within the ranks of the world renowned EMPEROR (as bassist, no less!), it seemed Green Carnation had suffered a premature death.
From 92 to 98, Tchort busied himself with various bands, all amongst the hierarchy of black metal. In addition to Emperor, he contributed to the likes of Satyricon, Einherjer and Carpathian Forest (a post hes retained, to the current day). Meanwhile, the others formed In The Woods, ultimately recording three full albums and a variety of shorter pieces. In 98, the guitarist re-discovered his love of Green Carnation and reunited with original members Chris Botteri (guitar) and his brother, Christopher Botteri (bass). With the help of several guest vocalists, they recorded the Journey To The End Of Night debut. A concept album, sub-divided into 20-minute sections, it was inspired by the loss of Tchorts daughter. "We decided to get together again," says the guitarist, "because we never really accomplished what wed (originally) set out to do. After about half a year rehearsing, we recorded our first album, but the rest of the guys decided they wanted to continue making music individually, so I had to find a completely new line-up for the second record. In 2000, a decade after their inception, Green Carnations first record was finally issued, by the German label, Prophecy Productions.
While the album met with rave reviews throughout Europe, Green Carnation suffered the aforementioned line-up changes, as the Botteris departed. Original drummer Anders Kobro (a veteran of the In The Woods days, as well as playing alongside Tchort in the more brutal Carpathian Forest) returned, joining Tchort and newly recruited singer, Kjetil Nordus, whom later also joins fellow Norwegians, Trail Of Tears.
The new, six piece format, set about recording one of the most ambitious (and critically praised) projects of all time, Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness, this time inspired by the birth of Tchorts son. The hour-long platter is comprised solely of the title track. "You didnt see that one on Kaaza," laughs its creator. A massive undertaking, recorded on 150 tracks, employs thirty musicians (including a childrens choir), and more than 600 distinct samples, many reviewers were at a loss to pin down precisely what they heard, but there was no denying the brilliance within the sounds, declaring Green Carnation amongst the most innovative acts in metals history.
Surprisingly strong sales (given the unique nature of a one-song album), coupled with all the great reviews: twice being selected Album Of The Month, including within the vaunted pages of Metal Hammer (Germany), helped garner a 2002 slot on the prestigious Wacken Open Air festival, where Green Carnation re-created Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness, in its entirety, in front of 8000 fans. Not bad the first show outside your hometown!
Just a few months later, buoyed by the successful live introduction, work began on a follow-up. Pre-production for Blessing In Disguise was held in October 02. During its creation, longstanding bassist Stein Roger Sordal played an integral role, helping flesh out the lush sound. The actual recording took place from Jan-Feb. 2003, after Green Carnation had signed with French label, Season Of Mist.
Released on June 16th of the same year, the Norwegians returned to the top of the global metal charts, awarded Album Of The Month honors six times, internationally recognized giants Terrorizer, Metal Hammer, and Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, amongst them. The band even made a (long overdue) return to the live stage, showcasing Blessing In Disguise at a trio of summer festivals in their homeland: Quartz, Hole in the Sky and Elements of Metal, again receiving superlative reviews.
That fall, the band played throughout Europe, headlining, just their first time on tour! Michael S Krumins replaced Bjørn Harstad on guitar for the tour and successive live appearances. The demand for gigs created turmoil for some of the members and prior to heading to Poland, for the recording of a live DVD, Bernt A Moen (keyboards) left the band due to a busy personal schedule. While Øystein Tønnessen participated in the Alive And Well... In Krakow DVD, Kenneth Silden (formerly of Turbonegro) has since been tapped as permanent.
Following the recording of The Quiet Offspring, from Aug - Sept. of 2004, original drummer Anders Kobro was replaced by Tommy Jackson, due to musical differences. The Quiet Offspring is scheduled to be released in February 2005 release through Season of Mist (world) and The End records (North America). The band is very anxious to see/hear the reactions, as they believe this is their most diverse, yet hardest album to date.
Vocalist Kjetil Nordhus says: "We have recorded 11 tracks in Sound Suite Studios with producer Terje Refsnes and we are very happy with the results and sound. Its heavier than anything we have done before and the production sounds awesome. Also once again we had the pleasure to work with the great artist Niklas Sundin, who provided us with the artwork."
Photos by Tor Erik Schrøder
|Michael S Krumins||guitar|
|Stein Roger Sordal||bass|
Releases Season of Mist