Red Harvest - Sick Transit Gloria Mundi
Nocturnal Art Productions
Industrial Metal
12 songs (49:44)
Release year: 2002
Red Harvest, Nocturnal Art Productions
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Describing Red Harvest’s crushing Industrial misery without using phrases like ‘unbelievably fucking good’ is pretty damned hard, but that’s the first thing that comes to mind once you’ve gotten over the initial shock of their cathartic sound. Like Industrial pioneers and clear influence Godflesh, Red Harvest operate as much in the open wastes as they do in the factory floor, the ominous pulsating of intro U.G.X. soon turns to beats and blasts as A.E.P. (Advanced Evolutionary Progression) kicks the doors in and sets the drones to killer mode. It’s a terrific opener, perfectly mixing electronic and Blackened atmospherics as the riffs come thick and fast with Jimmy “Ofu Khan” Ivan Bergsten’s dry shout an excellent vocal element. Following track Godtech slows the pace down and Khan’s talent becoming apparent, his voice the human element trapped in an epic machine as an orchestral backing gradually takes lead over the Industrial stomp.

The album continues to surprise all the way through, Humanoia switching between Metal riffing and weird ambience – it’s worth taking a moment to look through the Norwegian band’s line-up, as it’s a stellar one. All are well-known members of the scene, keyboardist LRZ is having been a session member of Darkthrone, bassist Thomas Brandt also being in Khold, whilst aforementioned frontman Ofu Khan has been officially diagnosed as a volatile paranoiac, making the band’s themes of apocalyptic fear and paranoia at the rise of technology a genuine drive rather than the usual excuse of having watched the Terminator films too many times. It certainly gives the likes of Dead an extra bit of creepy intensity as Khan’s tortured vocals echo across the complex backing electronics and Turbonatas’ wavering guitar lines – turning to headbanging Thrash riffs on the spacey Cybernaut.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, the bleepy noises are at a high on this album, but they’re consistently well-used, Beyond The End’s opening whirrs soon switching to subtle backing as the amazingly song seamlessly switches from pounding dancability to a terrifying Jesu-gone-evil stomp. The band are as at home with the slow, militaristic march of Desolation as they are with the raging cover of G.G.F.H.’s Dead Men Don’t Rape and the speedy Blackened vortex of WeltSchmertz, and the overall effect is that of a band playing to all their strengths, creating an album that should be required listening for anyone that still gives Static-X serious playlist time. It may be colder and less organic than 2007’s excellent A Greater Darkness, but Sick Transit Gloria Mundi is a killing machine through and through, melding the base human emotions of anger and worry into a compelling portrait of a dark future.

Killing Songs :
AEP, Godtech, Humanoia, Cybernaut, Beyond The End, WeltSchmertz
Goat quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Red Harvest that we have reviewed:
Red Harvest - A Greater Darkness reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Red Harvest - Cold Dark Matter reviewed by Danny and quoted 75 / 100
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