Fawn Limbs
Harm Remissions


3.0
good

Review

by Mitchell D. W. CONTRIBUTOR (46 Reviews)
August 4th, 2019 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A hefty, albeit underachieving slice of sweep-infested grind.

Seldom is there a moment of solace within Harm Remissions. From the very first chord, Fawn Limbs establish an imposing wall of sound propelled forward by a veritable tornado of squealing guitars, its path of destruction dictated by the will of the furious percussion kit. It is the experience of this massive being of cacophonous nature that becomes the key selling point of the short-lived grindcore delirium, its brevity accentuating the sudden, unpredictable nature of each included track. The bulk of “Hubris Terrain Expansion” involves a polyrhythmic, math-infused assault buttressed by a flurry of guitar and bass sweeps with commanding shouts dominating the forefront. As the cymbal crashes increase in their sonic magnitude, the ultimate result is a nearly incomprehensible force of pure, unrestrained noise. Throughout fellow songs, a fast-paced tempo reigns supreme, though time signatures are consistently subject to manipulation, cycling rapidly between aggressive forward marches or vicious breakdowns. Consider the electronic elements that intermittingly appear during “Wisdom Teething” and the subsequent series of technical picking motions that escort them away. Underneath a mixing job that imbues a healthy dosage of static dissonance, a haunting ambiance begins to take root; listening to Harm Remissions morphs into a descent into madness. Only on rare occasions does melody—a light at the end of the tunnel—emerge from hiding, only to be ripped apart promptly afterwards by ravenous instrumentals.

The difficulty of the record in question comes not from its ability to craft a harrowing atmosphere, but rather the contrastingly linear manner through which it is delivered and the undeniable absence of return value. There is no doubting the explosive power of opening number “Odium Pitch”—the distorted, crunching guitar production meshes with the bottomless technicality and heaviness of the drumming, simultaneously leaving enough room to breathe for bass maneuverability—yet, by the time “Random Optics” rolls around near the record’s midpoint, it becomes apparent that Fawn Limbs basically showed their entire hand from the beginning and have nothing new to offer. What once was unpredictable becomes oddly predictable due to how the band limits their arsenal to repetitive groove shifts that might as well be interchangeable between tracks. No memorable riffs are presented to latch onto; such passages are slightly hinted at, as in the sustained note that underscores the first half of “Ore Lung,” but going for that occurrence as a chief example is akin to grasping at straws. Obviously, riffs are not a requirement, yet their lack of attendance further highlights the restricted range of the string instruments, their contributions limited to chugging and technical death metal sweeps, causing tunes to blend into each other very easily. While the percussion performs admirably and acts as an undeniable highlight of the release, it cannot hold down the album all by itself, and the comparatively muted bass presence—it’s provided that high, tech-death tuning that feels out of place in a heaviness-centric grind effort—damages the overall output of the group.

It is due to these shortcomings that any desire of recurrent visits is diminished. Singular entries do not possess a unique identity—technical sweeps, seconds of bass-led solitude, lightning-speed drums, and a bunch of breakdowns can describe essentially each creation. Should Fawn Limbs introduce something novel into their songs, they are liable to trample over it before it develops; “The Rigid Mute” features a rare instance of restrained, gentle strumming that is crushed merely eight seconds later. Similar motifs are discovered inside “Trap Hanger,” but the ambient factors are overshadowed by subpar grind chugging. Triple the problem for the following “No Good Men,” whose comparatively lengthy duration of nearly four minutes is mostly spent embarking upon a post-metal-esque instrumental—until a random grind portion interrupts the proceedings two minutes later, alternating the path of the tune completely and causing it to lose its potentially intriguing characteristic. However, that devastating wall of sound remains a beast to bee reckoned with, transforming the 25-minute record into one that must be ingested fully in one sitting to assuredly soak up the head-pounding brutality. Those searching for a hellish journey that is straightforward and unassuming in its approach can readily consume Harm Remissions and enjoy its darkened depths. Others will be able to call the collective on its earlier card bluff; for all their positives, Fawn Limbs inevitably have not diverged from the crowd, and the crowd has long since offered more compelling products.



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2019


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Alright, another write-up. I enjoyed this quite a bit, but every time I got to "Random Optics" I would very quickly start to lose my engagement. It's good for what it does, but what it does has been done better. It's an easy release to like, but I'm unsure if it can be appreciated beyond that.



Stream on bandcamp: https://fawnlimbs.bandcamp.com/album/harm-remissions



Album is also available on Spotify.



Comments, criticism, debates, congressional meetings, theories over what the next hot genre fusion in reggae music will be all welcome.

Digging: The Offering - Home

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2019


9907 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First track is chaotic fire.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2019


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh yeah, no denying that. Just don't think that momentum is carried onward.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2019


9907 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album loses a lot of its power by the 4-5th track. Review is pretty spot on, good one Mitch,

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 5th 2019


8396 Comments


Glad to see a review for this, albeit in such short notice.

With only 1-2 tracks approaching the three-minute duration mark, I think the album merely goes for a violent release of energy, rather than diverse arrangements, and imo these guys do well in that respect.

What the review is really pointing out is the difficulty of producing cerebral grind-tinged hardcore within track durations that barely exceed the one-minute mark. If it were more grind than -core, it would be a different, perhaps better album, given the same sound work, because speed and sound abrasiveness conceal the lack in diversity, but as I said earlier, the album delivers what it was meant to.

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Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2019


9907 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Are you not getting the same fatigued feel to this stretched out (that's probably not the right way of putting it) grind on grind?

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2019


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh sure, I have a feeling the band's intent was fulfilled to their heart's extent. But even so, I equally believe that this kind of experience has already been done, and done better.

DungeonBoy
August 5th 2019


6399 Comments


Good review dude, the production on this is something else. That guitar tone is nuts, and those drums sound super natural for such a weirdly mechanical style. No way I could listen to a whole album of this, but yeah it's pretty intense for a few tracks

Digging: Guild Of Lore - Storm Haven

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2019


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thank you!



My one complaint with the production is the bass; that tone just sounds so contradictory to the rest of the album's sound and it sticks out like a sour thumb at times.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 5th 2019


8396 Comments


Too much tracks on one album is a general problem these days.

More is less, less is more.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2019


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's like trying to avoid putting your eggs in one basket but then giving out all your eggs to every child across the world for Easter

Wayfarer1991
August 6th 2019


46 Comments


Liking this a lot on first listen.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 6th 2019


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I initially considered a higher rating for this but it wore thin on me. Same spot every time I could feel myself slowly losing interest as it went on; not a good sign for an album not even half an hour long.

Rowhaus
August 7th 2019


2547 Comments


looks cool

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2019


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It very well may be

Demon of the Fall
August 9th 2019


11921 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not sure why I listened to this, but honestly it hit the spot first time around. Let’s see if I experience those progressively diminished returns that you mentioned. I guess it may be a bad sign that the first half was certainly more enjoyable.

Digging: Esoctrilihum - The Telluric Ashes of the O? Vrth Immemorial Gods

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 9th 2019


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, that second half slump hits like a truck here unfortunately.



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