Red Harvest

The Red Line Archives

Written by: EW on 19/04/2008 22:19:24

Let me start with a disclaimer. In my processing of listening to, enjoying and most lately reviewing albums, I do not discriminate against albums for being too \'extreme\' in any way, whether said album is so depressingly slow it has virtually stopped moving (Asunder); it is so fast and brutal you want to sue the band for destroying your neck (Belphegor); or so downright sick and depraved it should be illegal (Cryptopsy). So in reviewing an industrial album by the Norwegians Red Harvest, which at first seemed like a load of mechanical computerized noise lacking in musical subtleties, I refused to condemn it for being too extreme and unmusical as surely that would be against the point of being extreme – abiding by no boundaries.

This \'album\' is in fact a collection of tracks culled from numerous RH recording sessions down the years which have yet been released. The RH machine here consists primarily of the Industrial Metal sampling, looping and beats, lacking some of the Zyklon-like Industrial Death Metal edge found on 2007\'s \"A Greater Darkness\". Better comparisons for this record include Nine Inch Nails\' cold-hearted mechanics and latter-period Ulver\'s penchant for synthesized drumbeats and total abandonment of all rules, resulting in at times a more depraved and abject cousin of techno-lords Aphex Twin. Some of the electronic loops of \"Technocrete\" and \"Move or Be Moved\" can be compared to that of Aphex Twin\'s work but the prevailing atmosphere here is far darker and more ominous (two excellent conditions to unnerve anyone during a night-time listening session). The sampled beats and electronics dominate here over standard metal drumming and structures, as the hoarse, digitalized vocals add to the nihilism of the music, before rough-sounding Black Metal riffing, hardly everyone\'s cup of tea at the best of times and bearing the strongest resemblance to RH\'s Extreme Metal past, ensure that the listener isn\'t left wondering when the hell something will break out of the looping beats and give them something to cling to.

\"The Red Line Archives\" is not a pretty listen – closing track \"The Central Sun – Part 1\" brings a very contemplative and sombre conclusion to what is a cold and dark album of Industrial-heavy Metal, but it is a grower (my first listening resulted in an initial rating of around 1!). Of course, mechanics and atmosphere can and do add up to an extreme listen and a diverse musical palette. The fact remains however that this album will only most likely appeal to hardened Red Harvest and Industrial fans as the languid atmosphere and lack of riffs make it unapproachable to most and simply doesn\'t provide many hooks to the casual listener to grab hold of.


Download: Move or Be Moved, The Central Sun - Part 1
For the fans of: Ulver, Nine Inch Nails, Zyklon
Listen: MySpace

Release date 12.05.2008
Indie Recordings
Provided by Target ApS

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