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Depressing masterpiece - 91%

MusiqueMashine, June 24th, 2011

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.

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