No one worked harder this year than Harms Way in support of their prolific pinnacle record. Not only did the band’s fifth full length rip so convincingly at first listen, but after realizing the album’s endless replay value and efficiency, going through the record got smoother as you ran through it. Such an aggressive release was suddenly seen to be so accepted and ready to be digested by the people at large. Harms Way wrote the right collections of tracks and it was evident people were turning their ears, listening, with the infectious potential and finally getting hooked. 

The band appealed as a crossover, merging the line between aggressive hardcore and beatdown, with alternative punk and rock audiences, casting a wider net than the band ever had before. The album was packaged proper with the year’s most memorable cover, and showcased a step up in the band’s production and overall presentation. What followed in support were tours alongside the year’s hottest up and coming hardcore hopefuls Vein, a stint on the final Warped Tour, then a blip with Sanction out in Europe, back to direct support stints alongside scene legends Terror in the U.S., and finally calling off the year with Cannibal Corpse and Hate Eternal on a month long run across the states.

All this in part of a ride that saw the band lose it all in the mist of all this momentum, as they were suddenly wiped clean of all their belongings when their trailer got stolen with no leads on the first days of the Total Retaliation tour. The band emerged in new confidence however, and regrouped after the scene had the group back on their feet in less than twenty-four hours after an incredibly successful GoFundMe campaign that saw the act raise an amount in excess of $25,000. It’s been an inspiring year for a promising act worthy of admiration. Here’s to an even bigger 2019 and beyond - this year’s AOTY is absolutely well deserved.

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