Harms Way - Reality Apporaches (Cover Artwork)

Harms Way

Reality Apporaches (2009)

Organized Crime

Harms Way has grown a bit since their debut 7", Imprisoned. That release featured short bursts of energy with the occasional metal-inspired riff thrown in. Most of the songs clocked in at under a minute. Their self-titled 7", however, contained a primer of what to expect in the near future. The Chicago-area band's debut full-length features hardcore mixed with metal, evoking comparisons to the likes of Crowbar and Infest. With songs entitled "Watch Them Hang" and "Human Hunter," coupled with their vocalist's affinity to wearing an executioner's mask on-stage, Harms Way gives the listener quite a few expectations. Fortunately, the album follows through on what it promises.

The intro is exactly what one would expect an intro to a hardcore album to be: It's as formulaic as most other intros, but the track that follows, "Code of the Huns," starts off with a haunting riff that grabs you and pulls you into the album. This is the perfect song to set the tone of the rest of the album. The next two tracks are re-recordings of the songs on the self-titled 7", except without the sound clips. These songs do offer up more impressive guitar work than the previous songs, which lets you know they aren't just going to play the same riff over and over and as fast as they can.

The album slows down with a calm instrumental, then continues on to the album's most aggressive track, "Warriors Will Reign." As that song fades out, the album continues to offer fast aggression over palpitating drums. The album slows down with its longest track, "Goat Will Rise." The song has a sprawling 3:10 intro into the main riff and verse. The vocalist bellows for about 40 seconds until the song abruptly ends. It definitely offers up a nice change of pace among the more stock routine songs. The song segues into the most metalcore song on the album, "Final Damnation," which offers a perfect entry into the title track. "Reality Approaches" is probably the best and most energetic song Harms Way have released. It serves as a fitting end to the album, bringing it to a dynamic close.

Harms Way can be a little too mundane with their formula but they are always relentless and never uninspired. Their vocalist could use a little work, as he barely seems loud or unrelenting enough to match the music that backs him. If this release is anything, it's at least promising. I'm definitely looking forward to future and greater things from this band.