Harms Way – Rust

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a0621374156_10Harms Way has been a band for a while now and over time the band’s sound has evolved significantly. When the band first started, they took a lot of their sonic influence from power violence and as time passed, they progressed to a more “traditional” hardcore sound. Earlier this year, the group released what I feel may have been a step backwards in the progression of their sound.

In 2013, the band released Blinded which was the most devastatingly heavy material they had released (which remains true to this day) and was one of my favorite records released that year. Not only did the record pack a punch, the record had form making it easy to listen to for long periods of time.

Rust lacks that form, and incidentally, the record is not as heavy as Harms Way has been in the past. Mix both of these aspects together, and you have a situation in where it seems as if their sound is taking a big step backwards. Then when you fold a new found Nu Metal influence that is heavily present in many of the songs, the quality of Rust is even further diminished.

The first track on the record “Infestation” is the perfect example of this. This song begins the album with a weird, metallic sound, reminiscent of something that might come from a machine and kicks into the most Nu Metal riff I’ve ever heard in a hardcore song. It sounds as if it could have been a riff used by Korn.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Nu Metal, or even drawing some sort of influence from the genre. However, I feel it is an ever increasing occurrence in hardcore, and personally I prefer to have the two kept separate. With that in mind, it is important to keep in mind that Rust does have plenty of high points as well.

While I’ve already mentioned “Infestation” and what I didn’t like about it, ironically it has my favorite riff on the entire record as well and that is the annihilating heavy breakdown that closes out the song.

Furthermore, the song “Law of the Land”, is by far the best on this record. Because it was the first song Harms Way released, it gave a sneak peek into what the entire record might sound like. While it ended up being a misleading glimpse of the record, “Law of the Land” is a gem that sounds like it belongs with the likes of Blinded.

While I may not have been too keen on Rust, I’m not surprised by all the attention this record has received. I set my expectations for the record to be a follow up to Blinded and when Rust progressed the band in a direction I didn’t expect it made the record fall short of my expectations. People who listen to this record without any sort of expectation might have a much more favorable opinion of the record.

Rating: 3/5 H’s



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