Red Harvest - A Greater Darkness
Season Of Mist
Industrial Metal
10 songs (51:10)
Release year: 2007
Red Harvest, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Industrial Metal undoubtedly had its heyday with the glory years of Fear Factory, Samael and even with Meshuggah’s earlier works in the mid-nineties. Although in recent years some have tried to emulate the near-perfect technicality of those bands (well, Meshuggah at any rate) and in Black Metal especially Industrial elements have been used to great effect, it has hardly become the future of Metal as many predicted at the time. The three previously mentioned continue along their chosen paths, putting out albums of wildly differing quality to wildly differing levels of acclaim, but any newer bands that try and follow in their footsteps generally fall by the wayside, vanishing into obscurity after a solitary album. There are exceptions, of course: both Aussie Grinders The Berzerker and Swedish anti-Christians The Project Hate MCMXCIX take the genre in interesting and diverse ways. Another band, mixing technical Thrash with an Industrial slant that manages levels of brutality accomplished by few, is Norway’s Red Harvest, a true scene veteran having been in existence since 1989.

Although seeming to get most press for the diagnosis of frontman Ofu Khan as a Volatile Paranoiac (making the band’s self-description of ‘Apocalyptic Industrial Paranoid Metal’ particularly fitting) Red Harvest’s following has been quietly growing as acclaimed album after acclaimed album of truly face-melting sonic fury is released. 2004’s Internal Punishment Programs was less well received for its slight easing up, presenting an overall less densely layered sound, and so A Greater Darkness, unbelievably the band’s eighth full-length release, is here to settle the score.

Marking a return to the aural violence of probably the band’s best album so far, 2002’s Sick Transit Gloria Mundi, it’s also immediately obvious that the Norwegians are engaging in some heavy experimentation. The repetitive riffing and background mechanical whirring of Hole In Me has an astonishingly epic punch, as well as featuring the closest yet that Ofu Khan has gotten to singing, his misery-laden voice giving the words ‘There’s a hole in the world, there’s a hole in me’ their crushing power.

On that track especially and throughout the album there’s a clear progressive drive, an obvious touchstone being the progressive riffing of Alchemist, but Cult Of Luna’s style of build-and-release also features, used sparingly but effectively to increase the tension and barely-restrained terror to breaking point. The ice-cold atmosphere the band is famed for is at its most intense on tracks such as I Sweat W.O.M.D, mixing excellently with the more usual tech-Thrash of Mouth Of Madness and explosive opener Antidote to create a cohesive, interesting album of great songs. Tracks such as Beyond The Limits Of Physical Xperience and Warthemes highlight the electronics, with the latter’s militaristic build-up to a glorious finale pushing at the boundaries of the band’s sound like nothing attempted before, and promising even greater heights in the future. It also serves as the perfect introduction to ten-minute monster Distorted Eyes, which draws the album to a close on another epic note.

It’s always a pleasure to see a band avoiding stagnation and continuing to experiment without losing the plot entirely. A Greater Darkness is by no means a repetition of the mistakes that Fear Factory made with 2005’s Transgression; the experimentation has been absorbed so integrally into Red Harvest’s sound that it fits perfectly into the band’s discography, ensuring fans of the band so far will love this album as much if not more.

Killing Songs :
Antidote, Hole In Me, Mouth Of Madness, I Sweat W.O.M.D, Warthemes, Distorted Eyes
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Red Harvest that we have reviewed:
Red Harvest - Sick Transit Gloria Mundi reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
Red Harvest - Cold Dark Matter reviewed by Danny and quoted 75 / 100
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