Despite Harm’s Way‘s reputation for unrelenting ferocity, Common Suffering surprises at several turns with quieter moments of intricate songwriting that emphasizes light and shade. It’s their understanding of how to effectively orchestrate these dynamics that makes their latest feel infinitely more merciless. This is Harm’s Way at their best – the ambitious sound of a band traversing new ideas and succeeding with their strongest and most fully-realized effort to date. For their improbable new single “Undertow,” the band united with Kristina Esfandiari (King Woman) whose haunting vocals add a whole new dimension. It comes with an arresting video directed by Finn O’Connell and features both Harm’s Way and Esfandiari.
Of the single, the band reveals, “‘Undertow’ looks at the cycle of life and death, and one’s process of coming to a space of acceptance with the latter. While we can argue that self-preservation is inherently human, finding peace in death and dying brings us that much closer to humility and our shared humanity.” Watch the video below.
For nearly two decades, Harm’s Way has evolved from whispered underground favorites to favorite sons with an arsenal of songs that helped shape heavy music’s trajectory – creating a roadmap for legions interested in “reinventing” themselves. Harm’s Way has never stayed complacent and constantly morphed shape- absorbing and reapplying influences in new and creative ways to create some of the most well-executed songs in hardcore punk and metal.
And yet, considering the changeling that they and their previous efforts are, Common Suffering is easily the most musically diverse undertaking in their catalog. The album beams with incredibly memorable riffs, breakdowns, and impeccable songwriting. The title is a clear nod to the collective experiences of the past three years of chaos, misanthropy, paranoia, disorder, confusion and anxiety, with the band exploring themes ranging from personal struggles with mental health, relationships, political upheaval, corruption, and political power.
This time around, Harm’s Way shifted to recording at Studio 4 in Pennsylvania with producer Will Yip (Turnstile, Code Orange). Going into the recording, the goal was to improve some of the band’s processes, examine vocal cadences and experiment during production to gain the best idea from each track. The first change dealt with refocusing members on their specific wheelhouses. While vocalist James Pligge had previously assisted with riffs, on this effort, his main objective was to ensure the perfect vocal attack- leaning into Yip for advice and letting the remainder of the band take the wheel with their respective parts. The result is each player pushing to the far reaches and creating material that has previously never been colonized by any band, or hardcore writ large, before.
As masterful and impressive as Common Suffering is, the precision-guided cluster bombs that make up the album are just ten more reasons for Harm’s Way fans to queue up to see one of the best and most vicious live shows on the planet. There, amongst the wide smiles, flailing arms and bodies pinballing off of the edges of the pit, is where the world will see just how singular and uncommon the new effort is. This Fall the band hit the road for a month-long North American tour which routes them through the Midwest, Texas, both coasts and more. Fleshwater, Ingrown and Jivebomb are set as support. See below for a full list of dates. Purchase tickets here.
Common Suffering sees its release September 29 across all digital streaming platforms, vinyl and CD formats via Metal Blade Records. See below for variant options and to pre-order.
Variants include: Digipak CD, Grey / Black Marbled Vinyl (US Exclusive), Clear Smoke Vinyl (US Exclusive), Fog Marbled Vinyl (US Exclusive), White / Black Marbled Vinyl (EU Exclusive – Ltd. 500 copies), Silver Vinyl (EU Exclusive – Ltd. 500 copies), Crystal Clear w/ Black Dust Vinyl (EU Exclusive – Ltd. 300 copies), “Black Hole” w/ Red & White Splatter Vinyl (EU Exclusive – Ltd. 300 copies).
Harms Way Live Dates:
Tickets On Sale Here
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