Screeching metal and tribal like drums are the noises that mark opener ‘Infestation’, sounds that we hear Harm’s Way experimenting with a lot on their latest effort: Rust. The Chicago-based band have never sounded so “not-hardcore” since their inception in 2006 and apart from a couple of beatdown parts (like the amazing ending of ‘Cancerous Ways’) this is a completely different band than on their debut Reality Approaches. Even the vocals seem to have changed a bit, with singer James Pligge sounding somewhat like a very angry Max Cavalera in his Sepultura days.
Rust is the second Harm’s Way release for Deathwish Inc. after the excellent 2013 EP Blinded, which already marked a transition into different territory for the band. They have never sounded so angry, slow and heavy, or created such a cohesive work: most songs are connected by soundscapes which makes this album a pleasant, half-hour listen. Although the band has stated industrial metal masters Godflesh were a big influence on this record, there even seems to be some nu-metal mixed in here, together with sounds that remind of metal titans like Machine Head, Fear Factory and Celtic Frost.
Personal highlights include the overwhelming closing track ‘Easy My Mind’ and the previously released ‘Among The Rust’. The latter features great guest vocals by Colin Young of Twitching Tongues fame and an opening riff that is very reminiscent of Slipknot’s classic ‘Liberate’. Emily Jancetic soothing vocals on ‘Turn To Stone’ (one of the best tracks of the album) are a nice touch to the overall very angry tone on the album.
I can only wonder what future releases will sound like, but it looks like this band keeps growing and growing. Musically and lyrically this release is a big leap forward, and Harm’s Way is not getting rusty at all. Rust is released today (March 10th). Buy that shit (Deathwish Inc. did a great job on the artwork too!), put up your best bedroom mosh and go support Harm’s Way whenever they are playing in your neighborhood. Stream the record in full below:
Track list – Rust:
- Law Of The Land
- Cancerous Ways
- Amongst The Rust
- Docile Bodies
- Turn To Stone
- Ease My Mind
Written by Niels Koster