A Norwegian Band founded in 1990 by X-Botteri, Cristopher Botteri, Terje Vik Schei (a.k.a. Tchort) and Anders Kobro. While the name connotes a floral meaning, Tchort explains the name quite differently:
"We read somewhere that carnation could also mean flesh - like carnage - and, [if you] add that with a young teenager imagination, putting the word 'green' in front of it would end up with the meaning of 'rotten flesh', or something similar to that. Anyways, it sounded so strange and non-metal that we were pretty sure that no other band had chosen this name before us - and that was a problem back then, finding an unused band name. We knew 'carnation' was also the name of a flower, but we had never heard about a green kind, so that made us absolutely sure that no other band had this name - it was pretty safe to use, and even original, we thought. It was during an interview for the first album that we were asked about the name, and if we thought about the green carnation that Ernest Hemingway was carrying to a party. So obviously there are green carnations somewhere in the world, but up until this day, we have never heard of another band that has this name, so at least we achieved our goal - to have a unique band name."1
In 1991 they released a death metal demo titled Hallucinations of Despair. However, the band didn't last long: in 1992, Norwegian Black Metal band Emperor invited Tchort to join the band as the bassist. In addition to Tchort leaving, the vocalist at the time, Richart Olsen, also decided to leave the band. The remaining members of Green Carnation found a new vocalist and changed their style and name to Into the Woods...
After Emperor and Into the Woods...2 ended and the bands disbanded, the original founders (sans Kobro) of Green Carnation reformed the band in November 1998 with Alf Tore Rasmussen replacing Kobro on the drums. The recording of the debut album, Journey to the End of the Night, took place the following year at Jailhouse Studio located in Kristiansand, Norway. Tchort and X-Botteri composed music together and on their own for the band's debut album. They enjoyed the challenge of composing music together and had looked forward to it since the first founding of the band. For Tchort, the process of writing music for the debut album inspired and reawakend creativity long dormant within him since the death of his daughter, a subject that also became the theme for the album. Prophecy Prodctions, a German record company, released the 72 minute doom metal album in 2000, ten years after the original founding of the band. The album features guest vocalists Vibeke Stein of Tristania, Atle Dørum of Drawn, and Synne Soprana from the previously mentioned In the Woods...
In 2001, the Botteri brothers (X-Botteri and Christopher Botteri) left; however, founding member Anders Kobro returned, replacing Rasmussen on the drums. With Green Carnation ready to record a new album, this time attempting the feat of a single-track album titled Light of Day, Day of Darkness. The writer, Tchort, composed this album on a happier note because of the recent birth of his son. Light of Day, Day of Darkness clocks in at a mere 60 minutes, 12 minutes shorter than the previous album, Journey to the End of the Night. Green Carnation's official site3 states "150 recording tracks, more than 600 samples and more than 30 musicians, including a children’s choir and an opera choir, created a continuous song of 60 minutes..." The full song has only been performed once live at Wacken, but shorter versions have also been performed, more than once I presume.
Pre-production for the third album, A Blessing in Disguise, started in October 2002 at Brown Sound Studios with the recording taking place during the months of January and February of 2003. A more upbeat album than the previous two according to Kjetil on the forum4. It also appears the band renamed itself to ":green carnation." Whether just a stylistic change or something permanent, I don't know. As a final contribution to the band, X-Botteri inspired the piano intro for track number five, The Boy in the Attic, from an intro he wrote for the album intended for release after Light of Day, Day of Darkness.
After releasing A Blessing in Disguise in June of 2003, the band toured and headlined Europe for the first time. Due to the turmoil from the demand for live appearances, Michael Krumins replaced Bjørn Harstad for the tour and other live appearances. Also, Bernt A Moen left because of a busy personal schedule with Øystein Tønnessen replacing him for the live DVD they recorded in Poland, titled Alive and Well...In Krakow, with Kenneth Silden inked in as the current keyboardist.
Recording for their fourth album took place between August and September 2004. Kjetil says, "We have recorded 11 tracks in Sound Suite Studios with producer Terje Refsnes and we are very appy with the results and sound. It's heavier than anything we have done before and the production sounds awesome."3 Due to musical differences after the recording of their fourth album, The Quiet Offspring, Tommy Jackson replaced drummer Anders Kobro. Released worldwide (sans the USA) in late February 2005 with the USA release scheduled for late March 2005.
Current lineup (as of February 2005):
- Kjetil Nordhus - vocals
- Michael Krumins - guitars
- Tchort - guitars
- Kenneth Silden - keyboards
- Stein Rogers - bass and vocals
- Tommy Jackson - drums
- Bjørn Harstad - guitars
- Bernt A Moen - piano and keyboard
- X-Botteri - guitars
- Christopher Botteri - bass
- Alf T Rasmussen - drums
- Anders Kobro - drums
2. What an odd band name. Not only does it include a definite article and a preposition, but also ends with an ellipsis to boot.
4. Due to the length of the URL, I won't list it here. The official site has a link to it currently at the bottom of the main page. I've seen three of the band members; Tchort, Kjetil, and Kobro; post there. Nice to see a band participating with the fans.