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Simpler direction, but still good. - 80%

TheAlmightySmithy, August 1st, 2004

Following their huge epic Light of Day, Day of Darkness with another hit would be a difficult task for Green Carnation, and yet they still pulled it off. Though it isn't nearly as technical as LoDDoD (but then again, not too many things are), it's still a good follow-up.

It starts off good with Crushed to Dust, a song about a suicide. Although I'm not much for depressing lyrics, it is still very good. The beat is great and it's a song that can stay in your head for a while.
Lullaby in Winter is next, and it's slower-paced than the first one. It's ok, but not a very rememberable track at all in my opinion.
The next song is in my view the best song on the track, Writings on the Wall. The chorus is great and although the lyrics are once again about suicide, it still makes for a great song.

The first three are pretty much the tone for the rest of the album. What you hear then will be what you hear later, some good and some bad. Depressing lyrics, simplistic instrumental lines, but still done very well. Fans of Light of Day, Day of Darkness will find love in this album, whereas people who want stuff more like their first album (Journey to the end of the Night) might want to listen to it before deciding to purchase it. Although it isn't very technical, it's very rock solid and will leave you wanting more Green Carnation.

Best songs on the album: Crushed to Dust, Writings on the Wall, Myron & Cole

Travelling beyond the metal frontiers - 72%

holydiver, August 6th, 2003

Well, that’s is a nice surprise. If you are familiar with the previous release, “Light of Day, Day of Darkness”, it’d be difficult to detect obvious continuity with the new album. Their previous release, if it wasn’t for the extremity of 60 minutes in one-track plus the pressured epic overtones, could be described as a masterpiece. However, “A blessing in disguise” is like an expression of gratitude and respect towards the influences of the group. This is mostly a tribute to the German progressive rock scene of the ‘70s together with a sincere “hail” to all atmospheric metal bands of Norway. An ambitious mixing of styles, supported by sorrowful lyrics, flirting with all the dramatic elements that reminds us of the sounds of Anathema or Amorphis in many ways– for example “Lullaby for Winter” could easily be written by Anathema. Overall the result may not impress us with genuine ideas, yet is very intriguing. The keyboards – Hammond Organ, are bringing back rock memories while the compositions are constantly experimental towards more contemporary styles thanks to the vast musicianship of former-Emperor, Tchort, who seems to know how to preserve his reputation. His guitars are technical, full of energy and passion. In terms of production, I think the appropriate “emotion” is missing, yet it very perceptive. Nordus does a great job with vocals, without exaggerating. In terms of songwriting, “Into Deep” and “As Life Flows By” reflect the concept of well-balanced variety. The apparent gothic approach in “Writings on the Wall” dwells on Paradise Lost sound. “Rain” stands on the edge of melancholy but gets stronger thanks to an innovative finale.
Generally this album offers rich and sophisticated melodies, adjusted to the authentic progressive forms and becomes easily accessible by the average listener. If you expect to find a typical metal album here, don’t bother. But when the rock nostalgia prevails, this is a good choice.