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Green Lung – Black Harvest Award winner

Green Lung
Black Harvest
by Gary Hernandez at 09 October 2021, 9:33 PM

GREEN LUNG hit the scene in the way back of 2017. They call the sprawling metropolis of London, England their home, but their albums have a distinct woodland feel to them, dark woodlands that is. Musically, it’s Heavy Psych Metal; thematically, Folk Horror. To date they have one demo, one EP, and one full-length album under their belt. On October 22, 2021, they drop their second full length album, “Black Harvest,” on Svart Records.

In promo materials, vocalist Templar has said, “After reissuing ‘Woodland Rites’ we were beset by thee plague and the cancellation of our tour schedule. But these events gave us the chance to hide away like hermits in the middle of nowhere and create the definitive soundtrack to the folk horror film in our heads.” It is then related that the album was recorded at Giant Wafer Studios in rural mid-Wales. While the studio isn’t quite a cabin the woods, it is suitably remote and green and, I am certain, haunted as fuck. I mean, Wales.

The album comprises ten tracks across a full runtime of about 45 minutes. Side one, or the first five tracks, is definitely the heaviest portion of the album, with “Graveyard Sun” acting as the inflection point to the more nuanced second half. The second half kicks off with title-track “Black Harvest” which itself has a Gregorian chant intro and what I am guessing is a harpsichord outro.

“Come up to the hill for the harrowing, when the leaves begin to fall,” Templar beckons in the opening moments of track one, “The Harrowing.” It’s entrancing and foreboding all at one. The band has stated that it was “recorded on a whim after the band broke into the local church (the organ can be heard creaking in the background).” As the ground swallows the last strains of Templar’s voice, a swelling orchestration—reminiscent of BOSTON’s “Foreplay”—ensues. The two-minute intro transitions to the opening of “Old Gods Final” and so begins the “Black Harvest.”

Standout tracks are most of tracks. If you favor crushing riffs, then “Old Gods Final,” “Reapers Scythe,” “Leaders of the Blind,” and “You Bear the Mark” are likely to appeal. If you lean more to Doom, “Doomsayer” and “Upon the Altar” should satisfy. And if you prefer some Prog movements, then “Graveyard Sun” and “Born to a Dying World” might be your speed. So, a variety of styles but all posited in the full embrace of Psych.

Lyrically, the songs are anchored in dark woodlands but the subtext to the songs extends past the tree line and well into our modern lives. These are less about narrative and more about social commentary . . . but, as it turns out, the context of pending doom and dire reckonings from elder gods and vengeful denizens kind of fit our world today. I should also note the stained-glass treatment of the four horsemen of the apocalypse rendered by Richard Wells makes for the perfect cover art to this album.

It feels like the heyday for Folk Horror. The documentary “Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched” is expected to hit in December 2021 and there is a load of evil woodland movies streaming across all platforms. In the literature ranks we have the likes of Larid Barron, Gemma Files, and Adam Nevill creating a wicked fusion of Lovecraft meets Wheatley. And meanwhile, in the underground Metalverse, Metal Archivist is going to have to buy some new servers to host the gaining popularity of Psych, Folk, and Black metals which are divining a Venn diagram with an ominous fairy ring at the center. “Black Harvest” is like the soundtrack to this Folk Horror renaissance. A solid 11 out of 10, this one.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.    The Harrowing
2.    Old Gods
3.    Leaders of the Blind
4.    Reaper’s Scythe
5.    Graveyard Sun
6.    Black Harvest
7.    Upon the Altar
8.    You Bear the Mark
9.    Doomsayer
10.  Born to a Dying World
Lineup:
Joseph Ghast – Bass
Matt Wiseman – Drums
Scott Black – Guitars
Tom Templar – Vocals
John Wright – Organ
Record Label: Svart Records
     


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Edited 25 October 2021
 

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