Black Harvest by Green Lung
29 Oct 2021
If you ever wanted a record to be introduced by a stadium rocking Gregorian monk then off the bat you're going to be in a comfortable place with Green Lung's new release Black Harvest. The cover art even features stained glass windows depicting death and his friends with ram, bird and bull skulls for heads. So I think we all know where this is going.
British metallers Green Lung are pulling their influences from late 70s early metal and ramping up the occult flavours to eleven. Opening track The Harrowing drowns out the monks chant with the most theatrical riffing lead and crashing cymbals. The energy builds, the guitars continue to amplify and everything crescendos smoothly into the next track where we really start to get a feel for the story Green Lung are trying to tell. Old Gods tells us that the England of 2021 is still the pagan land of forest spirits it ever was. This is the land that Green Lung are living in. Frontman Tom Templar does a great job of painting the picture with his poetic lyrics but I fear that he would benefit from a faster delivery. Tracks like this where he is drawing out the lines open up weaknesses in his strength that don't need to be a problem with a punchier performance. Reaper's Scythe provides a much heavier backdrop to bounce Templar's voice off and it works great. The delivery is snappier, the guitars are over the top and the momentary musical breaks throughout are absolute gold. It made sense to make this the second single off the album.
There are no shortage of radio friendly hits on this record and Green Lung have put this together with the singles in mind. Upon The Altar is another stand out track with a vocal arrangement reminiscent of The Prince Of Darkness himself. Guitarist Scott Black sounds like an orchestra of guitars and manages to create such depth. His riffs are the canvas for Templar to paint on and provide the skeleton for every track. The album closes out with Born To A Dying World where three minutes in Black is let off his leash. This beautifully mapped out solo is, in my opinion, one of the high points of Scott Blacks contribution to this record and is an exhilarating place to find ourselves after a modest forty minutes of pagan world building and a lesson in early progressive metal.
There's a lot to like about Black Harvest and Green Lung as a whole. So long as they are not taking themselves too seriously they are scratching an itch that may not have been scratched sufficiently for a number of decades. The drums could be less overpowering at times and the vocals are occasionally misjudged but on the whole the instrumentation is impressive and it's great fun to listen to. The theme comes through very clearly but is light and easy to handle. I suspect Green Lung have a bright future ahead of them - they belong in stadiums. Take a listen to Black Harvest and let me know your thoughts.