Review Summary: No frills? No problem.
Do you like your riffs loud? Listen to this album. Do you like your music without frills? Listen to this album? Do you like your breakdowns absolutely filthy
? Listen to this album. Do you like things like melody, mood, or dynamics? You won’t find much of them here, but honestly you will probably still have a good time listening to this album.
, the fifth offering from Harm’s Way is about as straightforward as a ruler. Riffs are and breakdowns churned out with machine-like efficiency that hits harder than a crowbar. There is only one volume—loud. There is only one emotion—angry. There are
two speeds, slow and fast, with fast being the winner for the most part. Sounds simple? Yeah it is, but honestly sometimes that’s all you want or need—and for what Harm’s Way are trying to do, they nail it.
The melody and ambience laced through the album, while minimal, add variety and a sludgy feel that offsets the intensity. Tracks like “Undertow,” “Wanderer,” and “Terrorizer” introduce elements that uplift Harm’s Way from being a one-trick-pony. “Wanderer” specifically is an example of the band stretching beyond their normal bounds, with clean vocals and a deep ambience that is engaging and interesting. That being said, the album becomes a bit of a two-trick-pony. Is that a bad thing? Not really, it’s just not an album I’ll be listening to repeatedly.
Regardless, Common Suffering
is a very solid offering that, while it’s a bit fickle, is very fun while it lasts.