One can justifiably claim that RED HARVEST haven't exactly been no-names for a long time now and may be called some of the greats in Industrial Metal. The new masterpiece delivers another impressive confirmation of this and it really is astonishing that this band isn't much more popular.
After a short and highly foreboding intro, the Norwegians unleash a true firestorm. "Anatomy Of The Unknown" blasts out of the speakers with such a precision that the listener is left gasping for breath. Supercooled synth sounds waft ominously on top of ridiculously crunchy guitars and the dark, solemn vocals. The brutally powerful drums dig into the solar plexus without warning and outright knock the air out of you. "Fall Of Fate" is similar and although the listener is assaulted by excessive heaviness, RED HARVEST never ignore the melodic aspect. They definitely leave the borders of metal behind with "Abstract Morality Junction" and brandish the Industrial hammer above the heads of the sworn-in fan community. However, on "Mekanizm" already the brute sound of Metal dominates again, including punishing double bass attacks and infernal screaming. Especially on this track, the influences from Death and Thrash Metal are very apparent and again underline the versatility of RED HARVEST's labors.
On "Symbol Of Decay", speed is reduced quite a bit, but the song packs a nasty punch particularly thanks to the sneaking grooves and has an almost hypnotizing effect. A grand execution and simply indispensable for the intended diversity on "Internal Punishment Programs". The following "Teknocrate" completely lives up to its name, for the bulky drums are equal to a machine and the futuristic electronic gadgetry creates an inhuman atmosphere. Nevertheless, this song is merciless and metal through and through. "Synthesize My DNA" continues in this fashion and if you ever wanted to know what GODFLESH, FEAR FACTORY, MYSTICUM and early PITCHSHIFTER would sound like all at once, you've got the opportunity to listen to the approximate result of this blend here.
It does require paying close attention to take in this variety of sounds, but once you've made it, you'll be rewarded with new surprises and details every time you listen to this disc. Another highlight on "Internal Punishment Programs" is "Wormz", for here, too, the instruments take a ridiculous amount of punishment and everything is utterly dismantled; only a small pile of debris will bear witness to the fact that RED HARVEST have just paid you a visit. "4-4-1-8" is a short, noisy instrumental, which serves as a fitting intro for the closing title track. On the last song on the album, they don't hesitate to play all their aces and unambiguously write the book on what really brutal Industrial Metal has to sound like in 2004 A.D. There really isn't anything else to say or write about it, for this disc truly speaks for itself, and if anyone attempts to doubt it, giving it a quick listen will teach 'em. Any questions? (Online November 29, 2004)