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Tuesday 5 December 2023

A View From The Back Of The Room: Green Lung (Live Review By Joe Guatieri)

Green Lung & Boss Keloid, Thekla, Bristol 24.11.23

On a wet and windy Sunday night, the boat was about to be rocked as Green Lung and Boss Keloid played Thekla.

Arriving late meant missing some of the full Boss Keloid (7) experience, but they’ve left enough of an impression to explore further. Combining stoner rock with progressive metal, the band smoothly transitioned between riffs and passages in sync. In particular, the drummer Ste Arands really stood out as his playing felt so impactful and precise, making every moment matter.

Then it was time for the headliner of the gig, Green Lung (8). A band that I had seen the year previous when they played on the bill with icons Clutch at the O2 Academy and now the tables have turned as everyone in the crowd was there for Green Lung. On the back of their excellent new album This Heathen Land it was right in the middle of their triumphant headline tour. 

They mix classic heavy metal, doom metal, psychedelic rock, plus more, making for an anthemic experience, lyrics drawn from English folklore and a frenetic performance made for a stage of any size. Such contrasting styles of sludgy riffs and high-octane solos of Scott Black seem nonsensical in theory but mind-blowing in execution. 

Adding an organ brought an extra flavour, sometimes taking a welcomed lead to continue the balanced set, both from a perfomance perspective and also a setlist drawn from their three albums and one EP, the swirling psychadelic whilr of John Wright 

Commanding the set was lead singer Tom Templar’s operatic vocals, putting a bow on well-built crescendos. It’s unfortunate then that the quiet moments in between get lost amongst the crowd, (so often a problem with live shows), hindering the complete journey of slower tracks compared to the louder pieces, but when they're on they're on Joseph Guest (bass) and Matt Wiseman (drums) hammering home the occult anthems and blatant Sabbath worship. 

Altogether, Green Lung and Boss Keloid put on a hell of a night, showcasing what the UK has to offer for the metal genre. Bigger stages beckon, start saving your pennies!

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