Harm’s Way – Isolation


Artist

Album

Isolation

Label

Closed Casket Activities

Year

2011

Genre

For Fans Of

Foundation - Xibalba - Bottomfeeder

Summary

Heavy as fuck.

Rating

81 / 100

Chicago’s Harm’s Way are one of the bands leading the charge of those providing no bullshit, heavy as anything hardcore. From their dark, distorted riffs to their vehemently anti-religious lyrics, the band brings new meaning to the phrase “devil’s music”. Picking up right where the “No Gods, No Masters” EP left off, the band’s new full-length “Isolation” is their most devastatingly heavy offering yet.

From the initial thumping, dissonant rhythms of “Scrambled” to the cinematic and apolocalyptic climax of “Pretender”, “Isolation” is an album which will have your neck hairs well-and-truly upright throughout. Those who’ve heard “No Gods, No Masters” will of course be familiar with Harm’s Way’s fondness of samples, which are used more in moderation on “Isolation”. A sample leading into “Timing” is an excellent choice, welcoming the listener to “the worst nightmare of all – reality”.

With only a modest eight tracks, Harm’s Way haven’t included any filler. Frontman Judge Hammers’ voice remains as terrifying as his appearance (honestly, look up a picture), while the riffs prove more heavily downtuned and crusty than ever. The title track “Isolation” showcases Harm’s Way‘s roots well from fast, hardcore breaks to metal hooks worthy of Meshuggah, not to mention its absolutely pulverising breakdown. The 90’s metal influence is particularly evident on “Breeding Grounds” with echoed vocals and demonic pinched harmonics, while the opening riff of “Becoming” just drips pure evil. “Slither” does just that, as its abrasive, metallic riffs weave around each other before descending into a brooding interlude which transitions into the final track. Harm’s Way save the best for last, the closer “Pretender” boasting some of the heaviest riffs on the entire record.

Foundation
’s “When The Smoke Clears” was one of the heaviest hardcore releases I’d heard in a while. “Isolation” has just blown it out of the water.

Conclusion

“Isolation” is a tightly crafted work of metallic hardcore. Words cannot describe how heavy this release is, you’ll just have to hear for yourself. For head bangers and pit destroyers alike, this one’s for you.

Tracklisting

1. Scramble
2. Timing
3. Isolation
4. Breeding Grounds
5. Becoming
6. New Beginings
7. Slither
8. Pretender

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