RED HARVEST - The Red Line Archives

Red Harvest - The Red Line Archives

11 songs
46:42 minutes
***** *


Red Harvest are not only of Norway’s longest serving metal bands, but this more than twenty years ago founded powerhouse is possibly one of the most important and influential industrial metal bands ever. I must admit that I am only vaguely familiar with their early works, and then somehow lost sight of them after their first few albums.

The Red Line Archives is not a regular new album, but also not a typical compilation. The band discovered that they had assembled over their last albums a handful of tracks that were so dark that they deserved to be featured together on CD, and instead of just assembling them in chronological order, Red Harvest took care to remix them in a way to make this release sound like an homogenous work. Mission accomplished!

Weirdly enough, all but two tracks are from their first three post-millennium albums Cold Dark Matter (2000), Sick Transit Gloria Mundi (2002) and Internal Punishment Programs (2004) which were all released on Nocturnal Art. Their last studio album A Greater Darkness (2007) is not featured with any tracks, making you wonder if their back then label Season Of Mist didn’t let them. There are also two songs from 1996 which don’t seem to have come from any regular release.

The Red Line Archives sounds claustrophobic in scope, with a band that delivers some of the coldest industrial metal ever. Some songs are so stripped down that they have more the feeling of a sound collage, but that doesn’t really disturb in the context of what was intended. As such, you can listen to The Red Line Archives as to a regular album, stripping it of its compilation character, which is a good thing. Not so positive are the running time which is a little on the short side, considering that the band didn’t need to come up with new material, and the fact that this is eventually sold for the price of a normal CD further decreases the pleasure. Fans of Red Harvest might be interested to hear these songs in a new context, but those new to the band better start with some of their regular releases first.

Back to Reviews