Harm's Way

The Metal Examiner: Harm’s Way’s Isolation

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Harm's Way: IsolationHarm’s Way: Isolation (Closed Casket Activities, 7/5/11)

Harm’s Way: “New Beginnings”

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Though ostensibly affiliated with the hardcore scene, Harm’s Way has moved into the primitive, mid-paced territory of death-metal bands like Bolt Thrower and Asphyx. Originally formed in 2005 as a power-violence band in the vein of Crossed Out and Infest, Harm’s Way has become slower and more metallic with each of its releases. Isolation, its second full-length recording, is a definitive statement for the band, cementing its vision of the possibilities in heavy music.

Hardcore and metal have fed off of each other for decades. In the early and mid-1980s, Metallica, Celtic Frost, and other pioneering bands cited not only the new wave of British heavy metal as an influence, but also hardcore bands like Discharge. Since then, there has been a two-way street between the metal and hardcore communities, with New York-based hardcore bands like the Cro-Mags and Madball clearly borrowing ideas on heaviness from death-metal bands, and a band like Obituary claiming Merauder as an influence.


The Metal Examiner: Blaspherian’s Infernal Warriors of Death

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Blaspherian - Infernal Warriors of DeathBlaspherian: Infernal Warriors of Death (Deathgasm Records, 3/8/11)

Blaspherian: “Infernal Warriors of Death”

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The cover art of Infernal Warriors of Death bears a striking resemblance to Dawn of Possession, so it’s no surprise that Blaspherian‘s debut full-length shares quite a bit with early Immolation. Although formed in 2004, Blaspherian is far from prolific, having only released a demo, an EP, and a few splits previous to this recording. Its 2007 EP was a respectable old-school death-metal release, but it was not enough of a unique statement to set it apart from the classic bands of the early ’90s and late ’80s.

However, with Infernal Warriors of Death, Blaspherian has claimed its spot in Texas’ long history of extreme metal. This is crowded territory, as the state has offered up one of the genre’s initial classics in Necrovore‘s Divus de Mortuus demo, underrated technical thrash bands in Rigor Mortis and Dead Horse, and two of the most compelling United States black-metal bands in Absu and Averse Sefira.

New Lows

The Metal Examiner: New Lows’ Harvest of the Carcass

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

New Lows: Harvest of the Carcass

New Lows: Harvest of the Carcass (Deathwish Inc., 1/18/11)

New Lows: “Anguish”

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In the early 2000s, members of New Lows were cutting their teeth in Think I Care, playing in Sheer Terror’s tradition of Celtic Frost-worshiping hardcore punk. After the demise of Think I Care, New Lows appeared with an ugly, punishing demo and a similarly aggressive seven-inch record.

The band recorded an LP with CC from Mind Eraser that was initially shelved due to inner turmoil and a near breakup. However, New Lows resumed activities as a band, and Harvest of the Carcass, its proper debut, now sees the light of day, taking the Boston metalcore tradition into a raw and primitive place.

New Lows plays in a style that recalls the crushingly heavy and simplistic late-1980s punk/death-metal hybrid of bands like Asphyx and Bolt Thrower. Bands affiliated with the hardcore scene, like Ringworm and Merauder, have been blending these sounds since the early 1990s. Recently, several hardcore bands have risen to prominence with sounds that are much more death metal than they are Bad Brains. This new crop of bands includes New Lows as well as Nails, Harms Way, and Mammoth Grinder.