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I just can't praise Norwegian black metallers Red Harvest enough for what they accomplish with their releases. There are only a few bands (Thorns) who actually are able to create a modern brand of black metal without losing the cold feeling. I already wrote about this is my review of "New World Rage Music" here, but the new album "Sick Transit Gloria Mundi" (Thus Passes The Glory Of The World), again on Nocturnal Art, the combo has refined their product. Apocalyptic Cyber metal at its best!
I said "refined" but actually Red Harvest continues on the same foot they did with their earlier releases. The improvement can be found in the production (by Neil Kernon again), variation and song writing. The songs have more power, depth, diversity and quality than before. Take the opening track (after the intro) "AEP (Advanced Evolutionary Progression)" for example, an aggressive black metal hit song that you simply want to play over and over again. And of course it is impossible to stand still while listening to this track, despite the fact that it's truly breathtaking. The filthy guitars, astounding drums and Jimmy's sick voice will keep this fast track in your head for days... The speedy and violent tracks such as the before mentioned "AEP", "Humanoia" and "WeltSchmerz" are brilliantly alternated with more slow, epic tracks such as "Godtech" and "Beyond The End". The use of keyboards here causes shivers down my spine. This album produces a kind of feeling that is so cold, futuristic, paranoid, industrialized. Almost inhuman.
Talking about inhumanity, Red Harvest has done an outstanding version of G.G.F.H.'s "Dead Men Don't Rape" on this release, without losing the unique touch the original track had. Multiple layers of sound, some only audible when played with headphones on, keep this interesting for more than a dozen listens, and that counts for all tracks. The samples such as used in "WeltSchmerz" are very well chosen and placed, and only add more to the chilling atmosphere.
Red Harvest has definitely improved, but there's nothing new to find here if you're familiar with their previous outputs. Nevertheless "Sick Transit Gloria Mundi" is a depressing masterpiece that can't be missed for the regular aggressive metal fan.
Originally posted at www.musiquemachine.com
What an album. What a sound.
Those of you unfamiliar to the Red Harvest sound, should go out and buy Cold Dark Matter, but also you will no doubt be unfamiliar with the distinct brand of "apocalyptic cybermetal" that Red Harvest create.
'Create' being the operative word here, as Red Harvest don't just play music... they create dark forboding atmospheres and a sound that near enough induces the brain to feel like it is floating on an invisible layer of sludge, almost tempting you to jump from a height and see what happens.
Some have described Red Harvest's riffs as "Godflesh collapsed on Darkthrone", which whilst going someway to describing the sheer power of the guitars on this album and for this band, much credit must also be given to the synths and electronics created by LRZ - who incidentally also produced the album - as well as the precision drumming of Eric Wroldsen. Elements all of which go into making the liquid euphoria that is the experience of listening to a Red Harvest album.
Opener 'UGX' isn't really anything other than a synth loop intro, leading the way into one of the standout tracks on the album, 'AEP', which is also the track that has been used most to advertise 'Sick Transit...'.
AEP manages to blend not just outright mid-to-fast paced thrashing in an almost war-like fashion, but also adds in a few lucid intervals of melody as well. Just as the final chords of AEP blast their way out of the speakers, it's then the turn of Godtech to try and act almost like an antidote to the pure speed and frenzy of the previous track, by going at a much slower pace and creating a very much worthwhile almost transcendental piece of music.
I could try and go through the rest of each of the tracks on this album, but quite frankly I could not do them justice, and you're best off buying this album because i can assure you, you won't regret it.