Heathen Harvest’s genesis came in 2002. Malahki Thorn was an avid follower of the post-industrial movement, and having moved to Hyampom in California, wanted to share his influences through the scene with the Radical Faeries community. He started writing via the column of The Heathen Harvest Music Review, which appeared in the Radical Faeries Digest print magazine.
After 18 months Heathen Harvest gained an online presence under the Radical Faeries Digest website, but soon enough it had grown to such stature that it needed its own online space. In these first years of independence from RFD, Heathen Harvest was sparsely helped out by ‘guest contributors’, from the likes of Markus Wolff (also in Waldteufel, whom later opted to have his material removed so that it could be published in a book), Lee Powell (of Judas Kiss Magazine), Troy Southgate (H.E.R.R. / Seelenlicht), Karsten Hamre (Dense Vision Shrine), and Malahki Thorn’s long-time partner Joshua Peters. It was Thorn’s love of Post-industrial music and Peter’s love of metal that eventually led to the combination of genres found at Heathen Harvest today, though a definitive presence from metal didn’t take place until later. Thorn ran Heathen Harvest singlehandedly until June 2006 when he recruited a fresh batch of journalists.
In December 2006 the site design was overhauled and more new writers were brought in to cover the ever-increasing amount of promos. The first two full-time journalists onboard were Nick Quarm (T300) and Sage L. Weatherford (then known as Lord Lycan). Quarm helped cover what Thorn had already brought to the table in neofolk and neoclassical while Weatherford set about trying to bring a metal presence to Heathen Harvest (a decision he later felt was a mistake, trying to rectify this by primarily covering metal genres related to post-industrial music).
Once Heathen Harvest was established further, Alan Milne (who specialized in noise and power electronics), and ChAwech (Almar Veenstra) whose forte was neoclassical and classically-tinged folk, were welcomed aboard. Patrick O’sullivan, who focused primarily on minimal electronics and drone ambient, and ZG (Elena) who preferred Rhythmic Noise and Rhythmic Industrial, would join the group shortly thereafter. Thorn and these six journalists would make up the core of Heathen Harvest for much of its existence in this period.
More journalists were eventually welcomed into the fold including Kenji Siratori (who was quickly dismissed for his inability to write outside of his cyberpunk jargon) and SilverHand (or PureFeralHatred of Lupine Fall). Eventually, with the exception of Sage L. Weatherford, Patrick O’sullivan, and ZG, all of this original group of journalists left or were dismissed. A handful of new writers sporadically entered Heathen Harvest, but over the four year period since the 2006 overhaul, those running the webzine behind the scenes began to burn out due to the amount of money and time it was taking to process the immense amount of material that was pouring in from all over the world.
Closure of HH 1.0
The struggles to keep up eventually reached a climax at issue 84 when Thorn announced that Heathen Harvest, following in the footsteps of Judas Kiss Magazine, Gothtronic, Funprox, and Aural Pressure, would reach its conclusion. Thorn would go on to say in his closing statement that “I feel satisfied that the Heathen Harvest volunteer staff have given enough throughout our seven years and now its time to bow out and allow someone new and fresh to pick up the banner and lead the charge.” In June 2010, for all intents and purposes, it appeared that Heathen Harvest had completed its journey.
In the early months of 2011, three former journalists in Sam Grant, Patrick O’sullivan, and Sage L. Weatherford began to consider the revival of the Heathen Harvest website. The decision was made to allow the original website to remain an archive and begin again at a new location. Led by Sam Grant’s efforts to build a new website in a journal format, Heathen Harvest was reborn. While a message was sent to all journalists that were involved with the first incarnation of Heathen Harvest, only a few chose to return, including ZG who returned in strictly a journalistic role. ChAwech is currently missing in action.
Heathen Harvest’s second major incarnation came into being on 4th July 2011, learning from the past by chiefly reviewing digitial promos and concentrating only on the most stimulating music received. The new site has been respectfully named The Heathen Harvest Periodical to distinguish it from the old website, which still remains archived at www.heathenharvest.com. We continue to cover all material from the darker musical underground and to serve the needs and works of musicians, artists, authors and journalists alike all across the post-industrial spectrum.