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Green Lung - Woodland Rites Award winner

Green Lung
Woodland Rites
by Dave Nowels at 13 March 2019, 3:10 PM

They call themselves heavy Psych appropriately, but they could easily find themselves (and rightly should) in the collections of Stoner and Doom fans. GREEN LUNG hail from South London, and have been a band to watch for a bit now. With good reason. Their Psych blend contains elements of 70’s ROCK fuzziness, NWOBHM’s clean vocals and epic tales and Doom/Stoner droning riffs. Their new album is an instant classic, and it will undoubtedly have fans of the aforementioned genres singing it’s praises. “Woodland Rites” is GREEN LUNG’S third release, and their first full length. This one was just released in March by Germany’s Kosmic Artifactz. The album follows the previously released, first demo in June of 2017, and the promising EP, “Free the Witch” that dropped a year back in February of 2018.

The opening music is entitled, “Initiation” and begins with appropriate woodland sounds, accompanied  by acoustic guitar. Then, just like that, the peacefulness of this opening melody is sonically rendered asunder by a startling great toned solo guitar run. It’s a remarkably smart opening cut that really sets the feel for the remainder of the album. But it gets even better. The song then seamlessly segues into the title cut, “Woodland Rites”. The riff here is powerful stuff. Executed perfectly, it remains a constant nearly throughout the track, somehow building the intensity each time it returns following the choruses. Tom Templar’s vocals do carry an OZZY/SABBATH feel at times, especially here, but never is it overpowering. Nor, does it ever seem insincere. Templar’s vocals are the perfect fit for the tale we have here. Overall, this is a captivating opening duo of songs. Play these two tracks for a group of metal fans, and I guarantee someone will notice and want to know more about what they’re hearing.

Next up is the absolute heaviness that is “Let The Devil In”. This track is heavy as doom itself, yet it’s beautifully melodic as well, with some perfect harmony background vocals. Throughout the song, bassist Andrew Cave strikes emphasis low notes that hit you like a mule kick to the chest. “The Ritual Tree” slows things down for a moment and really showcases the importance of John Wright’s organ playing as it leads the intro to the song. Not content to just be a riff king, Scott Black’s guitar runs and tone are memorable throughout and his solo here is on epic status.“Templar Dawn” just might be the heaviest song overall so far. Along with Cave’s bass, Matt Wiseman’s drums strike like thunder and lightning. Loud, distinct and effective. Here, as well as on the following “Call of the Coven” one really feels the NWOBHM essence that undoubtedly inspires portions of the band. Lyrically, the songs are engaging, creating a visual tale in one’s mind that the emotion of the music also feeds. These two songs are also paired brilliantly, bringing the lyrical and musical tale to its inevitable pinnacle.

Feeling like a change has occurred, “May Queen” rises up from the remains like a morning mist heavy in regret. Calling forth the rain to wash away the stains, Black’s guitar comes in bluesy with sorrow while the bass seeks its own pathways of expression. The song builds midway into an almost “Comfortable Numb” way with an epic solo. Before the bass begins to lead us away again, and redirect us back to the imagery being created by the vocals and organ. After repeated listens, “May Queen” became my favorite track. A bit of feedback leads into another power laden riff and becomes “Into the Wild”.  The song is one of reflection, hard won wisdom. Yet it also signals decision, one made for peace of mind and seclusion. The song achieves a crucial objective. As it ends the album, it makes you immediately want to hear more of the band’s music.

The album flows with a purpose. The first portion of the album could be interpreted as formal basic introduction to the band. The second half seems to be more an exploratory endeavour, showcasing the bands ability and willingness to delve deeper into a jam-like discovery of their music. Just like that, Green Lung have submitted another contender for metal album of the year. Folks, we’re only just in March. I thought 2018 was a high mark year for metal, but 2019 is shaping up possibly even stronger.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Initiation
2. Woodland Rites
3. Let The Devil In
4. Ritual Tree
5. Templar Dawn
6. Call of the Coven
7. May Queen
8. Into the Wild
Tom Templar – Vocals
Scott Black – Guitar
Andrew Cave – Bass
Matt Wiseman – Drums
John Wright - Organ
Record Label: Kozmik Artifactz


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Edited 30 November 2022

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