Green Carnation The Quiet Offspring
- Released: February 21, 2005
- 1.The Quiet Offspring
- 2.Between the Gentle Small and the Standing Tall
- 3.Just When You Think It's Safe
- 4.A Place for Me
- 5.The Everlasting Moment
- 6.Purple Door, Pitch Black
- 7.Child's Play, Pt. 1
- 8.Dead But Dreaming
- 9.Pile of Doubt
- 10.When I Was You
- 11.Child's Play, Pt. 2
With their carefully considered fusion of hard rock bite and commercial appeal, gothic-tinged post-metal bands like Green Carnation, Anathema, and Lake of Tears are starting to look like the 2000s equivalent of '80s AOR groups like Journey, Styx, and Foreigner! Granted, there's no comparison in terms of geography (Europe vs. USA), or platinum awards earned (err, none vs. a whole lot), but consider that rock & roll's stature is significantly inferior in the 2000s than 20 years prior; and that both generations of bands evolved, by and large, from progressive metal/rock origins and...woooaaaah! Anyway, with or without such far-fetched conspiracy theories, suffice to say that Green Carnation fans have had to be very open minded as they watched the monolithic doom metal of their debut give way to their second's hour-long album suite (hello -- progressive!), followed by a sudden swerve toward conventionally sized, commercial metal songs with their third, A Blessing in Disguise, and then, finally, even more of the same for 2005's The Quiet Offspring. So for those fans who have stuck around (unlike most of the band's original membership) and new arrivals alike, suffice to say that the songs making up The Quiet Offspring follow a loosely conceptual premise based on childhood experiences, but otherwise stand utterly independently from each other. They also show quite inventive and mature songwriting instincts within their disciplined frames. Early highlights such as "Between the Gentle Small and the Standing Tall" and "A Place for Me," while somewhat predictable, are worth their weight in gold thanks to atmospheric passages mostly achieved by stark piano work. And tougher, riff-based offerings like the title track, "The Everlasting Moment," and "Dead But Dreaming" fare exceptionally well, too -- except when borrowing too obviously from the Mission UK (see "Just When You Think It's Safe"). Then again, no complaints about main man Tchort's clever reinvention of Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy" melody for his most aggressive number here, "Pile of Doubt." This juices up the album's distinctly mellower and more progressive second half, otherwise marked by a particularly evocative epic in "When I Was You," and the two-part "Child's Play," which, hardcore fans will notice, recycles one of Light of Day, Day of Darkness' most beautiful themes, and contains a few nods to Marillion, to boot. All told, these add up to a very strong set emphasizing songcraft above all else. Get past the preconceived expectations set by Green Carnation albums past (as well as those AOR comparisons!), and there's no use disputing The Quiet Offspring's quality. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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