REVIEW: FAWN LIMBS – “Harm Remissions”

Fawn Limbs - Harm Remissions Artwork

After a string of well-received EP and single releases, the prolific, transatlantic grinders Fawn Limbs return with a full-length’s worth of cerebral devastation, Harm Remissions.

Since August of 2018, the duo (now trio with the inclusion of Artificial Brain bassist Samuel Smith) of guitarist/vocalist/noisemaker Eeli Helin (Mireplaner, etc) and drummer Lee Fisher (ex-Commit Suicide, etc) have been pumping out releases at a rate as alarming as the violent nature of their music. With equal emphasis on groove, dissonance, ferocity, and unorthodoxy, Fawn Limbs nail a sweet spot that similar “techgrind” artists completely miss. Their rapid-fire compositions perfectly align with the concept of “controlled chaos” by being unhinged, meticulously-crafted, and memorable simultaneously. Additionally, their relentless productivity, and their willingness to experiment (see the Thrum EP and “Love Will Strangle You Forever” single for example), aid in making them an extreme music act to keep watching.

Now, nearly a year after their inception, Fawn Limbs deliver their battering, mentally eviscerating full-length debut, Harm Remissions. Featuring 13 tracks and a short and sweet 26-minute runtime, Harm Remissions wastes no time lunging for listeners’ throats, shredding them into bloodied bits, and lapping up what remains. From start to finish, Fawn Limbs subject listeners to endless barrages of off-kilter rhythms, disfigured grooves, and spastic noise riffs that leave little breathing room, as if listeners wanted any.

Opening track “Odium Pitch” sets the stage for what’s to come and immediately bombards listeners with frantically sliding, dissonant riffs that feel like razor blades being drug across the brain. Chugging breakdowns, and suspended, angular melodies eventually accompany this chaotic opening riff before arriving at a doomed climax of throbbing bass lines and melting sludge. From here, Harms Remissions takes off, and the insanity increases tenfold with each passing track.

“Ore Lung” comes crashing in with discombobulating, rhythmically-jarring grooves that groan and gallop across its thunderous, two-minute assault. “Wisdom Teething” is notable for its mix of galloping grotesqueness, cyborg buzzing, industrial atmospherics, and almost hardcore-esque beatdowns. The quadruple threat of “Random Optics,” “The Rigid Mute,” “Gravitated,” and “Harm Remissions” deliver hyperspeed, back-to-back beatings of spiraling madness and nauseating tempo shifts. “Trap Hanger” and “No Good Men” are also worth noting for their weaving of dark ambiance and doomed ethereal passages into the band’s mathematical chaos.

Harm Remissions is essentially an amalgamation of everything Fawn Limbs have worked on up to this point. It is a technically proficient grindcore opus full of frenetic fury, brooding tones, disgusting guitar sounds, and mind-altering noise. Fans of all things fast and discordant would be ill-advised to skip this monster of a release.

Rating: 8/10
Release Date: August 2, 2019
Label: Roman Numeral Records/Wolves & Vibrancy Records/The Sludgelord Records
Favorite Tracks: “Odium Pitch,” “Threats Entrench and Renew,” “Wisdom Teething,” “Random Optics,” “No Good Men,” and “Peeled and Swathed in Vibrant Bark.”
For Fans Of: Ion Dissonance, Crowpath, Nightmarer, Baring Teeth, and Maruta

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