Deathwish have been dealing out some real crackers even this early into 2015. With Blacklisted’s fantastic return to form on ‘When People Grow People Go’ and the extremely lovely Touché Amoré/Self Defense Family split just dropping, the label run by Converge’s Jacob Bannon is already en route to be delivering some of the best hardcore and punk releases of the year. Next on the list is the new effort from Chicago’s Harm’s Way who with the follow up to 2013’s ‘Blinded’, are looking to continue their campaign of dealing out some of the most sought after throwback hardcore in the scene.
Throughout their career, Harm’s Way has always had a knack for creating a thickly daunting atmosphere. Building up from nu-metal undertones and darkly tuned guitars into an all out assault on the ear drums with opener ‘Infestation’, the pummeling intentions behind ‘Rust’ are already set in stone. ‘Law Of The Land’ and ‘Cremation’ follow in quick succession with maliciously blackened textures lying below bulky riffs and the sharpened bark of vocalist James Pligge to generate a thoroughly claustrophobic and gripping environment.
Things roll on at a similarly battering pace with ‘Cancerous Ways’ dealing out healthy spoonful’s of slithering ambience and dark smashing riffs while ‘Amongst The Rust’ flows with classically metal howls and jugular splitting breakdowns. The real beauty behind Harm’s Way is in their need to not overthink their music. The billowing heaviness that pretty much defines them is not complicated enough to detract and not simple enough to bore. Though it may begin to get a little similar as the album spins on, their intentions were never to redefine the hardcore scene but to incite the most chaos. By the time the haunting female vocals of ‘Turn To Stone’ and unrelenting beat of ‘Ease My Mind’ see things out, the band’s job is done and a lie down in a darkened room wouldn’t go a miss to bring you back into soothing reality.
With ‘Rust’, Harm’s Way have really started to really master their own self made art of ground shattering heaviness mixed with an uncomforting and devouring mood and have delivered an album that will see them ignite many a bruising pit in the very near future. Rust by name and most certainly by nature eh?
‘Rust’ by Harm’s Way is out now on Deathwish Inc.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)