If you’re looking for vividly depicted darkness that grips you and casts you into an unfamiliar blackened realm – perhaps like The Upside Down from Stranger Things, with deadly monsters lurking around every corner – Harmed is the band for you. It’s not even a given that you yourself are not one of the monsters on their new release. This feeling is bolstered by the point on the album when a line from vocalist Levente Spicze repeats over and over, with a slightly different dynamic each time: “I know I’m not myself!”
The band is dark and escapes being just another dark “edgy” metalcore band through how starkly vivid their songs are. The jagged pounding melodies form the skeleton of a whole landscape that is vividly painted by the lyrics. The band might not be the most accessible but their new release, From Day One, totally feels like something that is worth sitting down with and pouring over.
There’s rage on the album, but it’s not blind rage. It’s more of an engaging, actionable rage at legitimate and serious impediments to the way that things “should” be. Depending on what exact home we are brought up in, we are taught that intense, fervent prayer “makes things happen,” but for every time that it precedes something positive and healthy taking place for a supplicant, untold numbers of people are left out in the cold.
Experiences out in that “cold” are what From Day One feels like it’s birthed from. The musicians of Harmed seemingly have been through hell, whether in their minds or their bodies, or both, but they decided to make music about it. That music is firmly planted in the “hell on earth” that marks the existence of humanity, but it’s not as though it’s just reveling in it. It’s not as though any one person can necessarily make the entirety of humanity’s “hell” go away, so the music is more an enjoyably colorful representation of the real world than it is just mindless revelry in darkness. It’s almost, in some strange way, inspiring.