New Music

The maturing soundscapes of HARM’S WAY: a dive into “Common Suffering”

3 mins read

In a musical landscape teeming with cacophonous clamor, where every band seems to be in an arms race to out-brutalize one another, Harm’s Way has often stood a shade apart. Their ethos, ingrained in unyielding ferocity, seems at first glance to align them with a genre that celebrates raw aggression. Yet, as they unveil their forthcoming album, Common Suffering, set for a September 29 release via Metal Blade Records, it becomes apparent that they have undertaken a more nuanced approach.

A case in point is their latest single, “Undertow,” featuring Kristina Esfandiari of King Woman. The track peels back the layers of existential contemplation around life and death, with the band themselves offering a philosophical statement: “While self-preservation is inherently human, finding peace in death and dying brings us that much closer to humility and our shared humanity.”

This thematic ambition finds a fitting visual companion in a video directed by Finn O’Connell, but the real star here is the sonic evolution on display.

Harm's Way

Harm’s Way, by no stretch newbies to the scene, have nearly two decades under their belt. For a band that has been as fluid as they have, metamorphosing through sonic realms—from the hardcore punk roots to the metallic sinews they flaunt today—their latest offering is surprisingly cohesive.

Common Suffering seems to be a gestalt of their journey, incorporating fierce breakdowns, riffs that could shave the enamel off your teeth, and a newfound attention to dynamics that adds depth to their musical repertoire.

HARMS WAY Common Suffering

One of the most striking elements of Common Suffering is its willingness to embrace contrasts. The album, perhaps reflective of the times we live in—a world grappling with a constant barrage of chaos, misanthropy, and paranoia—uses its tracklist as a roadmap through the labyrinth of the human condition.

From the assaulting riffs of “Silent Wolf” to the hypnotic, dissonant vibes of “Heaven’s Call,” the record is a sonic meditation on turmoil, both internal and external.

The production value is another factor that can’t be ignored. Recorded at Studio 4 in Pennsylvania with producer Will Yip, known for his work with acts like Turnstile and Code Orange, the album sees each member of the band honing their skills in a specialized domain.

Vocalist James Pligge, who had a hand in shaping riffs in the past, has focused his energies on vocalization, allowing the other musicians to stretch their wings and fly into uncharted territory. The result is an effort that sounds neither forced nor contrived, but a natural extension of a band clearly invested in its own maturation.

Harms Way

It would be lazy to reduce Harm’s Way to mere components of aggression or a mimetic act in the vast ocean of hardcore and metal bands. This latest album, Common Suffering, is evidence of a band that has been steadily defining—and redefining—themselves over the years, not just for the sake of evolution but for a truer representation of their layered identities.

It’s no longer just about the mosh pits or the shredded vocal cords, though those elements are present and accounted for; it’s about using their craft to navigate the complexities of life, one discordant chord at a time.

HARMS WAY Common Suffering

The band will be hitting the road this Fall for a North American tour, with support from Fleshwater, Ingrown, and Jivebomb. These live events will likely serve as the real litmus tests for the album’s reception, in an environment where the symbiotic energy between the band and its fans comes to the fore.

Common Suffering is set to drop on September 29 across all digital streaming platforms, and will also be available in vinyl and CD formats. For fans old and new, this album serves not as a punctuation mark but as an ellipsis in the ever-evolving narrative of Harm’s Way—a story that seems far from its final chapter.

Harms Way Live Dates:

Sep 22: Mississauga, ON – Hold Your Ground Fest
Oct 18: Milwaukee, WI – X-Ray Arcade (SOLD OUT)
Oct 19: St. Louis, MO – Blueberry Hill
Oct 20: Louisville, KY – Portal
Oct 21: Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
Oct 22: Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
Oct 24: Pittsburgh, PA – Preserving Underground
Oct 25: Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
Oct 27: Brooklyn, NY – Monarch
Oct 28: Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
Oct 29: Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
Oct 30: Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
Oct 31: Richmond, VA – Canal Club
Nov 01: Atlanta, GA – Masquerade – Hell
Nov 03: Dallas, TX – Studio at The Factory
Nov 04: Austin, TX – Mohawk
Nov 05: Houston, TX – Warehouse Live Studio
Nov 07: Phoenix, AZ – The Nile
Nov 08: Las Vegas, NV – Eagle Aerie Hall
Nov 09: Los Angeles, CA – 1720
Nov 10: San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick
Nov 11: Berkeley, CA – 924 Gilman Street (SOLD OUT)
Nov 12: Sacramento, CA – Goldfield Trading Post
Nov 14: Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
Nov 15: Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
Nov 16: Kansas City, MO – RecordBar

All Dates w/ Fleshwater, Ingrown, Jivebomb

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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