I listen to a shit ton of music every month. As a distraction from rowdy co-workers and all the noise at my workplace, or in the background when chilling in the evening with a good glass of beer or whiskey. And as variety is the spice of life, each month I’ll try to check out a new band recommended to me by Last.fm and see if I like them or not based on their first record. This months recommendation:
Record: Journey To The End Of The Night
Genre: Progressive, Doom Metal
Recommended because off: In The Woods…, The Gathering and Anathema
Their first album was an ideal starting point to get to know this in 1990 formed group. It was late at night when I fired up Spotify and pressed play on Journey To The End Of The Night. A soft intro fills the room as a couple of guitars slowly shred away accompanied by a steady drumbeat and a female voice chanting angelic in the background. The tempo picks up and the excitement grows before abruptly ending and ushering in the next song on the record. A slow dark doomy song emerges. Perhaps a bit to slow as I feel my attention wandering. Somewhere in the middle of this more than 13 minute long song a male voice joins the soundscape. Bringing a welcome addition to keep In The Realm Of The Midnight Sun interesting. His singing isn’t that amazing but it is just enough to keep me going.
The tone of the albums darkens even more. Long winding sounds take me further into the night as the third song on the album slowly builds up. Guitars and drum join the bleakness more and more until we are at a relaxing headbanging pace when our male singer returns. My Dark Reflections Of Life And Death keeps going back and forth between the dreamy start and the distorted bleakness making for an awesome ride. Midway into this 18 minute song it all comes to a stop for a few seconds. But after another buildup, although much shorter, the pace quickens even more bringing the song home. leaving me behind with wanting more.
My urge immediately gets fulfilled with the fourth track. Under Eternal Stars builds on the foundations from the previous songs and again adds more depth. Halfway into the song the combination of male and female singing and the high pace drumming and bass guitar tickle my Gothic nerve and it reminds me of some old school Gothic Metal I used to listen to when I was still in high school. As with the previous songs, halfway in the band slows down again to build up again towards the end. With to my joy, the faster Gothic Metal style. Definitely the highlight of the record so far.
The ride continues with the title track and apparently first part of a 4 song epic. The pace comes down a notch and again a slower doom track fills the room. The mood harks back to the second song on the record but this one does get my neck muscles moving along with the excellent distorted riffs. The ambient Echoes Of Despair, Pt. II with its spacy soundscape, bridges the way into the End Of Journey, Pt III. All the buildup finally pays off with this hellish fast doom track bringing me back in this world again. But not before a short treat in the form of the last track. With Shattered, Pt. IV the record comes crashing to an end. And crashing in the good sense of the word as the band leaves the Doom sound behind and enters the realm of Gothic once more. It’s a shame the band didn’t explore the style in this song a little bit more during this record. as it kicks some serious ass.
Not always is a first encounter with a band this awesome. But Journey To The End Of The Night blew me away. From what I’ve read, Green Carnation gets “softer” with each record (correct me if I’m wrong). If they went through a style journey similar as The Gathering then I’m in for a treat. Slowly hearing a band evolving it’s form is a joy, because who wants to hear record after record with the same stuff. Yep, definitely going to continue this journey to the end of the night…