London-based doom metal outfit Green Lung is becoming quite a significant band in recent years. With their debut EP Free The Witch and their globally recognized self-released album Woodland Rites, Green Lung was catapulted to the top of many best-of lists and into the forefront of the UK occult doom scene. With their heavy Black Sabbath influences and nods to the early days of organ-heavy hard rock, Green Lung has struck the right chord with fans. And just like with Woodland Rites, Black Harvest will earn its spots on the best-of lists.
Formed in 2017, Green Lung has built quite the foundation beginning with their Green Man Rising demo in 2017. Black Harvest takes that foundation and everything that worked so well on Woodland Rites, and amplifies it into something bigger and more epic. With producer Wayne Adams' touch, organist John Wright being placed in the forefront to give the album a deeper and darker vibe, and the riffs of Scott Black adding to the layers of flourish, Black Harvest is perfectly balanced.
Black Harvest opens with "The Harrowing", which borders on spoken word and conjures up visions of spells cast in some haunted English forest. The track pulls out an old blues vibe that could be the soundtrack to Robert Johnson's infamous Faustian deal. Then there's "Old Gods," which is a much more familiar track for fans of Green Lung's earlier work. It opens with undeniably huge riffs, but it's the background vocals make everything sound massive. What follows is a barrage of singles, each one of them full of passion, magic, and undiluted rock fury. "Leaders of the Blind" also opens with a big riff, but Wright's keyboard work is the standout of this track. It also helps that Tom Templar's unique, but definitely Ozzy-esque, vocal stylings let loose on the current state of the world and wraps it all up nicely.
On "Reaper's Scythe," Templar has a commanding presence complimented by the flourish of keys from Wright. "Reaper's Scythe" is a riff-heavy banger with equal parts swagger and swing. One of many highlights of the album, "Graveyard Sun," shifts gears into a doom ballad if there ever was one. Opening with melancholy acoustic guitar from Black and launching into the soaring chorus, it's hard not to feel emotional. The title track "Black Harvest" seems to call back to "The Harrowing" in its opening before conjuring a full-on, 70s instrumental jam.
While the keyboards and Templar's vocals are definitely highlighted throughout the album, Black's riffs really shine in "You Bear The Mark." "Doomsayer" is an apt title for the next track, the heaviest on the album. Drummer Matt Wiseman unleashes a barrage of beats and completely abuses his cymbals. Often forgotten, the rhythm section could easily have been overshadowed on this album by the vocals, keys are guitar work, but the bass and drums are not to be forgotten in a single track.
"Born To A Dying World" is an epic finish to close out Black Harvest, and one that affirms every single song off the record is indeed a masterpiece. Black Harvest is a grandiose, 70s revival that would make our metal ancestors proud. With hints of funk and swagger, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath roots, Black Harvest is a deeply layered album that may very well be a modern classic. Not simply a rehash of Woodland Rites, Green Lung has continued to grow and evolve its sound into something truly spectacular.