Live: Green Lung / Inhuman Nature

Norwich Arts Centre December 1, 2023

by Niki Jones

Inhuman Nature take no prisoners. They are full-force crossover thrash from their heads down to their white hi-tops.

Even their album artwork looks like it was drawn by an angry teenager from 1984. Featuring ex-members of Hang The Bastard (a band not known for their power ballads), they make Metallica sound like Belle & Sebastian.

Taking no prisoners: Inhuman Nature (Picture: Niki Jones)
Taking no prisoners: Inhuman Nature (Picture: Niki Jones)

Arriving in a sea of feedback and squealed harmonics, they plough straight into the opening song and don’t let up for a pummelling half-hour of jet-paced riffs, ear-piercing guitar solos and throat-ravaging vocals.

Frontman Christopher Barling prowls the stage like a bouncer from the roughest rock bar in town while bassist Daragh Markham headbangs so hard it’s a surprise his mohawk doesn’t detach from his skull.

There's no let-up from tonight's openers (Picture: Niki Jones)
There’s no let-up from tonight’s openers (Picture: Niki Jones)

They are, perhaps, a slightly odd choice of opener for a band such as Green Lung but nevertheless they leave an indelible mark (bruise?) on us this evening.

The first time this reviewer saw Green Lung, they were playing a tiny pub in Deptford, south London. They were decent. Decent enough for a T-shirt purchase but nothing above the general crop of stoner/doom bands who were around at the time.

That they are confident enough to play only three songs from the breakthrough debut Woodland Rites highlights what a huge raft of great material they are sitting on.

Tom Templar has fantastic stage presence (Picture: Niki Jones)
Tom Templar has fantastic stage presence (Picture: Niki Jones)

The band who play tonight are legit rock stars. They form an incredibly tight unit, with a huge – nay, arena-ready sound – and an incredible back catalogue to fall back on.

They smash into an opening salvo of new tracks The Forest Church and the irresistible Maxine (Witch Queen) from their brand new album This Heathen Land, and they immediately have everyone in the palm of their moss-covered hands within minutes.

Green Lung are arena-ready (Picture: Niki Jones)
Green Lung are arena-ready (Picture: Niki Jones)

Frontman Tom Templar commands the crowd like a metal Dave Gahan. He is eminently watchable with presence and a voice to match. This is rarely more evident than on new album highlight One For Sorrow, which sounds as monstrous as it is beautiful.

Bassist Joseph Ghast assists with some fantastic backing vocals, even taking lead (and giant drum) for their “only song without metal riffs”, which is the lilting medieval folk number Songs Of The Stones.

It makes for a wonderful change of pace even if, sadly, a lot of people use this point to head to the toilet. Philistines. When the lead guitar and John Carpenter-esque keys come in at the end, it is a haunting mix of old and the (sorta) new.

Green Lung are an outfit on the up (Picture: Niki Jones)
Green Lung are an outfit on the up (Picture: Niki Jones)

They finish the main set with a huge rendition of Black Harvest favourite Old Gods into the epic new album closer Oceans of Time before returning for a triumphant one-two of Let The Devil In and Graveyard Sun.

That little band in Deptford are a distant memory, and surely a support slot with Ghost is the only logical next step for these guys.

All hail the new-old gods!

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