THIS WEEK I’M LISTENING TO...GREEN LUNG This Heathen Land (Nuclear Blast)
Around this time last year Green Lung were on the road, opening for Clutch and winning over a lot of new fans – me included. With an EP ‘Free The Witch’ and two albums ‘Woodland Rites’ and Black Harvest’ already under their belts, the band came to the attention of Nuclear Blast and the result is ‘This Heathen Land’, a passionate and inventive body of work which, if there is any justice in the world, should grace many an album-of-the-year Top Ten. Wonderfully textured and beautifully atmospheric, ‘This Heathen Land’ unashamedly channels the sound of the classic albums of the Seventies and is gloriously retro in a contemporary fashion, underpinned by the sound of John Wright’s organ and Scott Black’s cascading guitar solos.
Even if you hadn’t guessed from the names of the band’s previous releases, the subtitle ‘A Journey Into Occult Albion’ tells you exactly where these Londoners are coming from. Mythology and lost worlds collide in a lyrical melting pot which seeks to highlight a bygone age and ranges from Dracula (‘Oceans Of Time’), the Pendle witch trials (‘Mountain Throne’) to ‘Hunters In The Sky’’s right to roam on Dartmoor (a place I can see from my window). ‘Maxine (Witch Queen)’ – nothing to do with the Dedringer song which came out long before these guys were born – is an infectious slice of commercial metal with a hint of Type O Negative about it (it’s the damnably catchy organ riff which dominates the song) while ‘The Ancient Ways’ out-Sabbaths Sabbath in its riffs.
It’s a stunningly evocative album, cleverly executed and boasting some exquisite imagery, and in just forty or so minutes the band create a wide range of moods from the ethereal to the hard-edged. Some songs swirl like incense in the breeze, while others wrestle your attention to the ground. With great songwriting all round, Green Lung are innovative, imaginative and exciting: what’s not to like?
‘One For Sorrow’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gduozaFJBoM
‘Hunters In The Sky’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=889_jiC1V9U
‘Maxine (Witch Queen)’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15cbXHjC9oM
© John Tucker November 2023