Within the realms of industrial black metal – a niche genre within a niche genre to begin with – it’s hard not to feel that Red Harvest are somewhat overlooked. Part of this is down to their eclectic nature – with influences including avant-garde thrash early on, and Neurosis later in their career – but perhaps their most accessible record is Internal Punishment Programs. The 2004 album was less intense than the blistering Sick Transit Gloria Mundi, but in some ways that works to the advantage of Internal Punishment Programs, with subtle hints of melody woven in with the industrial stomp.
Internal Punishment Programs is also as apt an album name as you could ever wish for. Red Harvest’s music was that of self-loathing and inward violence, tearing at your flesh in a futile search for release, and that sense of hurt if present in every aspect of Internal Punishment Programs. It may be as obsessed with robotics and transhumanism as you would expect from any industrial influenced album, but there’s something very human in its desperation and delivery – as if begging for the cold embrace of the machine, to strip away all these failed emotions with nothing but cold logic.