GREEN LUNG – THIS HEATHEN LAND – ALBUM REVIEW

Green Lung, a London based 5 piece doom band have quickly cultivated a passionate underground following over the last 6 years. With previous strong full length releases such as ‘Woodland Rites’ and ‘Black Harvest’ they’ve developed a cult following (in every sense of the word) and have retuned with their much awaited third album ‘This Heathen Land’.

From its opening low-fi spoken intro, setting up the occult themes we’ve come to expect of them, Green Lungs ‘This Heathen Land’ opens strong with the track ‘The Forest Church’. The counterplay between the crushing doomy guitars and the vintage Hammond organ feels like a throw back to the primordial days of metal . The track alternates between atmosphere, doom ladened swagger, a memorable chorus and keyboard runs that are almost reminiscent of Deep Purples John Lord. The album feels straight out of the 70’s, yet in no way ever feels derivative.

It continues seamlessly into ‘Mountain Throne’ – which was the first single released from this album – which contains all of the sonic elements which people have come to love and have allowed Green Lung to cultivate an ardent fanbase. Lyrically making reference to notable exploits from the history of English witchcraft such as Pendle Hill. The solos on this album seem expressive and fresh – largely owing to the blues / proto- metal influences that are so prominent in Green Lungs sound – which leads to some of the more memorable guitar solos I have heard in recent years.

‘One for Sorrow’ is a more subdued and slower track (yet no less heavy) which is carried by vocalist Tom Templars mournful and emotive voice. The interplay and soundscaping that results from the guitars and keyboards really stands out towards the end of the song and leads to it being one of the stand out tracks from this album for me.

The most unique track on the album has to be ‘Song of the Stones’ which borrows heavily from the English folk tradition and has a pastoral and almost tribal feel to it. Lyrically being about somebody witnessing some form of pagan ritual taking place within a stone circle. The lyrics for the album more generally are a strength, between being well researched regarding the practises of Neo-pagan practises and beliefs and imaginative descriptions of mythological scenes such as The Wild Hunt in tracks like ‘Hunters in the Sky’.

I have not reviewed every track on this album for the sake of brevity but I will say that there is not a single weak song on this album and the track listing of the album is great, it just flows. The entire 42 minute length goes by in a flash. The album closer ‘ Oceans of Time’ , taking influence from the 1992 film ‘Bram Stokers Dracula’ is a romantic and powerful album closer, almost sounding at times like a track from the band Ghost … fading out into a folky instrumental section that wouldn’t be out of place in the film ‘The Wicker Man’.

My final thoughts are that this is their best release to date and I have been conscious to not attempt to overhype this album in my review but unlike a lot of advanced listens we receive to review , I have kept returning to this album and I have no doubt that it will leave their fanbase smiling and wanting more. If you have enjoyed their previous two releases or are a fan of 70’s influenced Doom , this album is a must listen.

‘This Heathen Land’ will release on the 3rd of November on Nuclear Blast Records.

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