Green Lung, Black Harvest (Svart records 2021)

London heavy psych band Green Lung rolls out their second long-player, Black Harvest.

Green Lung is a relatively new band, having come together in 2017. They released a demo that year, then the Free The Witch EP the next. Woodland Rites (2019) was their first full-length album. The Metal Archives lists band members as Joseph Ghast (bass), Matt Wiseman (drums), Scott Black (guitar), Tom Templar (vocals), and John Wright (organ).

The album is filled with massively heavy riffs living in the same pasture with folk metal sensibilities and a magical reality that takes deep tokes on the regular. The music is generally heavier than what you hear in bands that get categorized in folk metal, and it is often more up-tempo than you hear in music labeled heavy psych. The lead breaks tend to be more metal than stoner bands, too. So what is this? It is Green Lung. Lend them your ear.

Black Harvest has ten tracks offering up an enticing variety of sounds and experiences. Four singles were released in advance of full drop, each showcasing different aspects of the band’s expressions. “Leaders of the Blind” has a ripping lead break that sank it’s teeth deep in my mind while “Upon The Altar” is more mystical in tone and still very heavy. Indeed, this song is perhaps the most complete representation of the band in the set.

The final two songs are showstoppers. “Doomsayer” delivers a dark message and then “Born To A Dying World” is oddly reassuring in its initial gentle delivery of bad news. Lyrical vocals and soulful guitar movements in the early part of the song are punched by heavy riffs then overrun by dramatic elements before the final consolation. Here endeth the album. Recommended.

You can get Black Harvest now on CD, digital, and vinyl through Bandcamp, the merch store link below, or Svart Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://greenlung.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/greenlungband

Merch store, https://www.hellomerch.com/collections/green-lung

Svart Records, https://svartrecords.com/product/greenlung-black-harvestalbum/

Green Lung, Black Harvest (Svart records 2021)

Cradle Of Filth, Existence Is Futile (Nuclear Blast 2021)

The new album from Cradle of Filth, Existence Is Futile, is one of the most savage an unsettling they have released in recent memory.

For thirty years Cradle of Filth has been ravaging the heavy music scene. The band’s discography is massive, with twelve previous studio albums, many live records, compilations, EPs, and early demos. Diehard fans know them all and those same fans will surely welcome this latest addition to the canon. The lineup has changed over the long career of Cradle of Filth, naturally, and musicians on Existence Is Futile are Dani Filth (vocals), Richard Shaw (guitar), Ashok (guitar), Daniel Firth (bass), Martin Skaroupka (drums), and Anabelle (vocals, keys, lyre, and orchestration).

The new album is almost schizophrenic in its richness, with absolutely mad extreme parts somehow perfectly coexisting with catchy moments and theatrical flourishes. The impact is overwhelming and entirely satisfying.

There are fourteen tracks (counting the bonus tracks) on the album, including three transition pieces. The opener is a big, eerie, dramatic orchestration designed to raise your hackles for the first big song, “Existential Terror.” When this music enters your ears it creates a picture in your brain vividly depicting both the atmosphere and the direct narrative. The lyrics tell us, “Time to embrace the inevitable / we’re all going to fucking die.” With this at the start of the album you have to expect that this is going to be a wild ride.

The next two songs were released as singles, “Necromantic Fantasies” and “Crawling King Chaos.” Great choices as advance teasers as they are in turns savage, dramatic, theatrical, and catchy – now and then sounding like a tortured Danny Elfman locked in a dungeon on acid. Later on, Doug Bradley (the actor who plays Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies) makes an appearance on two songs to reprise his earlier role on Midian, “Suffer Our Dominion” and “Sisters of the Mist.” His unmistakable voice is a pure narrative delight.

My favorite track is “Black Smoke Curling from the Lips of War” because, to my ears, it has everything. There are gruff vocals and lyrical ones, soft orchestrations and brutal percussion, and all along exceptional guitar riffs and amazing lead work. I point to this song, but all the others fall into the same category of excellence. This is an album you’ll listen to time and again. Highly recommended.

Existence Is Futile is out now through Nuclear Blast in a great variety of incarnations. The label link below is a good place to browse.

Links.

Cradle of Filth website, www.cradleoffilth.com

Facebook, www.facebook.com/cradleoffilth

Nuclear Blast, https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/cd/cd/cradle-of-filth-existence-is-futile.html

Cradle Of Filth, Existence Is Futile (Nuclear Blast 2021)

Pray U Prey, The Omega Kill (Selfmadegod Records 2021)

The Omega Kill is the sophomore album from British hardcore Death Metal band Pray U Prey.

Pray U Prey formed in 2014, producing an EP almost immediately and their debut long-player, Figure The 8, three years later. You could hang a lot of labels on their music – hardcore, punk, crust, grindcore, death metal – but what you need to know is it’s loud, fast, and outrageous. The band is Shrew (vocals), Simon G (guitar), Colin (drums), and Shrub (bass).

There are twelve songs on the new album, every one of them a hammer to the head. “Earth Roulette Wheel” opens with a sweet capture from an old movie about the generosity of man and the plenty of nature that is quickly trampled under the relentless battering of the band’s instruments and the craggy growling of Shrew. “Hidden in Plain Sight” is next and it skips the intro, choosing instead to drop 65 seconds calamitous thrubbing onto your personal space. There is no time to take a breath before “Life Without Reflection” – my favorite from the set – pushes your face in the dirt.

With the shortest pieces, it is a straight-through clacking sprint to the end. When the song goes on a little longer, there is a pace change and shift in riff structure, usually. On songs with slower movements like “Active Suppression” and “Living Library,” the music focuses on doomy ideas in between the flailing and thrashing. So there is a lot of different ideas bandied about on the album. Through it all, aggression and persistent presentations of adrenaline are the mainstays. This one definitely inflames. Recommended.

The Omega Kill is available on Friday, August 6th through Selfmadegod Records. You can snap it up on CD or digital at Bandcamp.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://selfmadegod.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/PrayUPrey

Selfmadegod Records, https://selfmadegod.com/

Pray U Prey, The Omega Kill (Selfmadegod Records 2021)

Wode, Burn In Many Mirrors (20 Buck Spin 2021)

The third album from England’s Wode is a sinister voyage through eldritch knowledge and understanding revived for the twenty-first century.

Wode has been around for a decade, releasing their first full-length album in 2016 and its well-received follow-up, Servants of the Countercosmos, the next year. The music is Black Metal thematically, with a significant nod toward paganism. The musical style has a lot in common with old school metal, with discernable harmonies and progressive riffs contained in a song structure that can support stadium performance.

The new album has six tracks, all of the them solidly plotted and expertly delivered. The vocals are realized largely in a clear, brusk tone, and the noticeable but sparing use of keys and synths complement the straight-forward musicality.

It all starts with “Lunar Madness,” which sounds like an army marching into battle at the beginning. Episodes of chaos punctuate the narrative and the rolling rhythm. “Fire In The Hills” is ominous and filled with dread while “Sulphuric Glow” is more straight-up sinister and pushes the Black Metal buttons hard. “Vanish Beneath” is the track I remember most for its insistent pace especially and for the recurring rambling motif.

The anchor to the album is the nine minute suite, “Streams of Rapture.” It plays like a dark and mysterious mini-musical with a dramatic theatrical lead-in that is broken completely apart by hammering, relentless metal less than two minutes in. The performers are given space to flex here and the result is the perfect finale to the set.

Burn In Many Mirrors is out now. Check out its many parallel instances of tape, download, vinyl, and CD, not to mention merch, at the 20 Buck Spin label link below. Recommended.

Band photo by Phillip James Torriero.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://wode.bandcamp.com/music

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Wodecult/

Label, https://www.20buckspin.com/

Wode, Burn In Many Mirrors (20 Buck Spin 2021)