14 July 2008

Album of the Week: Green Carnation - The Burden is Mine... Alone (2005)

I know I'm a bit late--it really should have been written yesterday, but forgive me, I've been distracted--so I'll keep it short this time around.

Green Carnation was a Progressive Metal outfit from Norway. It was composed primarily of members of the now-deceased In The Woods... and two of the more laid-back members of Carpathian Forest. Every one of Green Carnation's releases was a bit different from its predecessor, and The Burden is Mine... Alone, a four-track EP released in 2005, was no exception to this trend. All the "metallic" elements were stripped down to bare-bones acoustics, and The four tracks on the album all feature a discernably melancholic (though hardly despairing) atmosphere.

"The Burden is Mine... Alone" is the first track on the album. It is quite soft, but nonetheless pulls the listener in. "Sweet Leaf" is the second track, and though its faintly martial tempo has the effect of giving it a more upbeat feel than its predecessor, it maintains the melancholy of the album. "Transparent Me" is the third track, an emotional ballad of love lost. "Six Ribbons" closes out the album, and it is an appropriate choice. It is a faux-traditional folk song originally composed by Australian songwriter Jon English. Its folksy composition is simple, but nevertheless Green Carnation's rendition of the song is perhaps the most stirring song on the album.

The first two tracks on this album would reappear on Green Carnation's follow-up LP, Acoustic Verses, which, sadly, would prove to be the band's last effort, as the members went their separate ways in 2007.

Though short, The Burden is Mine... Alone is one the strongest offerings in the Green Carnation discography. It is a moving and satisfying listen.

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