Red Harvest

A Greater Darkness

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Usually when black metal blends with electronic music, the results are in the continuum between the micro-genres called darkwave and goth metal: think Sisters of Mercy meets Black Sabbath. On A Greater Darkness, long-running Norwegian black metal act Red Harvest create something that's musically related to both styles, but doesn't qualify as either. A Greater Darkness is an undeniably heavy album, filled with doomy, foreboding atmosphere even on comparatively melodic tunes like "Beyond the Limits of Physical Experience." At the same time, this is not mere cookie-cutter death metal, because even when the drums are doing the familiar double-time gallop, the rest of the band tends to favor slow, heavy riffs that wouldn't sound out of place on an American stoner rock album. And throughout the album, industrial-style sampled noises and sequenced keyboards hint at the gothy disco-metal hybrid of prime Nine Inch Nails while never quite tipping over into that style. All this leads to the epic ten-minute throb of "Distorted Eyes," which builds slowly, bit by bit, into a full-on maelstrom of noise in a fashion oddly reminiscent of post-rock experimentalists like Godspeed You Black Emperor!. The commingling of varied musical styles on A Greater Darkness provides intriguing new textures to an increasingly well-worn musical style.

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