Hailing from Chicago Illinois, Harm's Way are a Hardcore five-piece outfit who have been at it for twelve years, recently putting out this release, their forth full length record. I can't decide if its the music of Posthuman, or my apatite for excessively aggressive music dwindling that's minimized my enjoyment. Harm's Way are just a step behind the cutting edge and thirty three minutes of this dense, meaty pummeling anger echos too many shades of other bands for something unique to emerge.
Coming from Hardcore and Metalcore roots, one can hear a pursuit of aggressive aesthetics overtaking the core of their sound as the continual barrage of fiery riffs assaults on a tonal level before the music itself, in other words mediocre riffs propped up by intense textures. Mammoth crunchy guitar distortions and punchy drum strikes hammer away in unison through a production that compresses as much sound into tiny spaces as it can, giving the music a claustrophobic, suffocating power when its guitars chug away at full pelt. It doesn't go to the extremes that a band like Nails do but one can hear the creaks and groans of extreme distortion ready to burst at the seems.
In a guitar dominated record, their Hardcore riffs often feel extenuated with a touch of Grindcore's ferociousness. The syncopation of Nu Metal riffs from days gone by delineates its influence and the bounce of Groove Metal jumps into more persuasive breakdown riffs. A couple of songs exhort Industrial Metal tonalities, pounding beats with mechanical, industrious drives from the drummer. The song Temptation feels like a direct response to Code Orange who have been experimenting with mixing atmosphere guitar dissonance leading into sonic beat downs, the song is akin to some of theirs and despite being decent feels like a carbon copy.
The album plays through with a very consistent intensity, which is much the same of their one dimensional singer. In the first half its more in sync with my words so far and as the last few songs roll around it feels as if their roots come across stronger. The Gift however sounds very inspired by Godflesh. All in all there is not a lot that stands out here for anything other than being too similar to sounds I'm exhausting my apatite for. Its a fair record with little to criticize but without that spark of excitement for something new and fresh it quickly becomes dull.