Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home

Green Carnation

Acoustic Verses

Review by Gary Hill

Prog fans might not have heard of these guys. It seems that they are a spin off project of a thrash band, and often times move more into the prog metal vein. This disc, though, an all-acoustic (OK, so there are electronics in the form of keyboards and even theremin) effort lives purely in the world of prog rock. It might be a breath of fresh air to those prog heads who find that much modern progressive rock has too much metal for their tastes. This is a beautiful and lush collection of the genre that has classic rock, folk, jazz and classical leanings. While it's a bit short on lightning fast changes and weird time signatures, there is plenty here for progressive rock fans to enjoy.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Sweet Leaf
Starting with a stripped down acoustic mode, this feels like a pop rock song at first, but then shifts more towards the rock ballad texture. The early vocals feel a lot like Geoff Tate. This is extremely powerful and evocative and keeps growing as it moves forward. The growth in the track is very organic and natural and while this is rather dark, it is also very pretty. At times I'm reminded a bit of Led Zeppelin. The instrumental section late in the track is very progressive rock oriented and as the vocals re-enter in this new format the cut becomes even more potent.
The Burden Is Mine...Alone
If the last one was pretty, this one is a work of sheer beauty. It's melancholy in texture, but so wonderful. It seems more like folk rock in many ways, but even has some elements of classical music and more prog leanings. This one is fairly short and doesn't move far from its origins, but as strong as it starts, who cares?
Slow moving, this one has an almost Pink Floyd like texture at times. In general it's another pretty acoustic rock cut that works quite well. The vocals here are some of the most emotional and powerful ones on the disc and truly carry the track. Weird keyboard textures enter, and the song is reborn as a harder rocking, but still acoustic jam. As they are in the process of ramping this up there is some theremin over the top, and I have to say I'm always a sucker for that weird instrument. This one feels in its later lush (but kind of creepy) segments like a cross between Pink Floyd and maybe Blackfield. The theremin comes over again later in cool fashion.
This has a more classic rock ballad type of texture, but the violin lends a nice air to the track. There is even a bit of a Celtic edge to this. This is another that grows very organically, but it later drops back to a very stripped down approach that is quite cool. The layers of instruments over the top on this one are purely wonderful.
A fifteen and a half minute epic, this one is divided into three parts.
My Greater Cause - Part I
It starts with a very pretty and powerful dramatic progression that is full of emotion. It grows slowly and with a plan, varying elements of sound coming over the top of the music to add to the drama and help to create the emotional landscape. It gets very pretty and lush at points along the road. The violin textures coming over the top are a very nice addition. If I'm right about where this changes segments, it's hard to tell, there is a peak in the musical cycles then it drops back to a mellower version again. This builds to a more rocking (but still mellow) jam. Then an effects tinged section gives way to near silence that takes us into the next segment.
Home Coming - Part II
This one comes out slowly, languidly into another pretty acoustic guitar based progression. This one feels more playful and gentle than the one that came before. Waves of stranger textures seem to bring a bit of a Pink Floyd like sound over which sound bites in the form of a news cast come over the top. The noisy sounds crescendo, then this instrumental segment ends with just the newscaster's voice.
House Of Cards - Part III
This segment comes in more gently even than the other two and carries forward in this manner for a time, with only minor building. Then this bursts later into an incredibly powerful and lush progressive rock sound with layers of keys creating the majesty. They drop it way back down, and this feels more emotional on this segment. This one is very potent and pretty. Eventually they ramp it back up before dropping it back again to just acoustic guitar. Then waves of keys come back over this soundscape and this instrumental section closes out the epic suite in nice fashion.
Childs Play Part 3
Mysterious sounding minor scales start this in a very tantalizing way, and they begin to build on these themes in short order. Pretty piano lines weave lines of melody over the top of this backdrop. Then it turns even more lush and powerful. This instrumental is full of beauty and majesty. It drops back down to the sedate for another piano solo segment that ends it.
High Tide Waves
They close the disc with the second longest number on show, a nearly 8 minute cut. This starts with a very sedate jazzy sort of progression that reminds me a bit of early King Crimson. This works through in a stripped down, sad but beautiful fashion. Then more instrumentation brings in a heightened power. The vocals here, and the music as well, turn in some of the heaviest rocking sounds of the disc. This thing really rocks out on this part, but the thing is the majority of that sound comes from the vocals as the music is still just acoustic based. They drop it back to a slightly more full arrangement of the music that came before. This time they pull it up into something that is more powerful due to layers of keyboards. This builds to a crescendo then drops back to a mellower instrumental segment that includes some killer acoustic soloing that borders on flamenco. This gradually builds back up the metallic hard rocking chorus. As this drops back down again I hear bits of David Bowie's "Space Oddity." Then a short, sparse segment of acoustic guitar alone ends the disc.
Return to the
Green Carnation Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./