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Harm’s Way | ‘Posthuman’

These days, we read an awful lot about how we shouldn’t stigmatise mental health and that it remains taboo in modern society.

While I’m of the belief that the dehumanising lifestyle of the modern world plays a much bigger part than mental health advocates would like to mention, it is important to talk about such things.

To help people move forward with their life while also realising the futility of it all.

Harm’s Way frontman James Pligge is hard to miss. So much of the band’s look focuses on his massive tatooed torso.

His explanation? He “… struggled with a lot of social anxiety…It was very easy for me to take those frustrations out on the sports field, however that transitioned later when I was in high school to lifting weights… I just had a sense that I didn’t like people…I didn’t want to be around anyone, didn’t want to go to parties.”

And this, naturally, feeds into ‘Posthuman.’


From Chicago, Harms Way are a hardcore band.

Active in some shape or form since 2005, they’ve mutated from being a powerviolence band toward more standard, streamlined metallic hardcore. ‘Posthuman’ is their first record for Metal Blade, and boy, does it deliver.

‘Human Carrying Capacity’ gets things going by employing a very, very meaty guitar tone and a hammering midtempo that beats the listener into submission. The production (by Will Putney) is mighty. It feels like the band are playing right in front of you.

‘Last Man’ is two minutes of flat out hostility.

The vaguely drum and bass segments put me in mind of the last Code Orange record (no bad thing at all), but the sheer aggression on show in this track virtually pins the listener to the wall, while the sample/spoken word bit at the end is somewhat sinister sounding.

No question about it. ‘Sink’ is proper knuckle dragging material. But it sounds so good.

Proper pit music, while ‘Temptation’ emphasises the rhythm section, allowing for some dissonant notes and some soft (almost spoken) vocals for the majority of the song.

Both are necessary traits for this style of hardcore, and only the best make you forgive the obviousness of the tactic. These are up there with the best, in terms of songwriting and execution.

With Chicago’s rich heritage in industrial / electronic music (from Ministry to Kanye West) it’s unsurprising that Harm’s Way aren’t adverse to throwing in some off kilter electronic moments here and there.

While not as prevalent as they were on 2015’s ‘Rust’, and maybe not quite as well integrated, they do the job of giving the album a texture that many of this ilk simply lack.

It’s not going to change the world, but it will soundtrack you throwing people out of your way as you run to catch the train to work.

3 / 5 – Christopher Owens ::: 14/02/18

  1. great guitar sound..

  2. Fintan Stack Says:

    Tough man metal. Revolting.

  3. I love this. When they are going full tilt it’s an onslaught. They are really good at taking the foot of the pedal too and giving a bit of space .
    100% most on here will think it’s shit. Good for them.

  4. Straight from the horses arse Says:

    more utter shite. what’s going on with the reviews these days?

  5. “Hardcore” apparently means “90s Roadrunner Metal” nowadays I guess then.

  6. @ straight from the horses arse, people review stuff on here that they are into.

  7. Some personal notes:

    I had never heard of this band prior to this review.
    Based on the review and embedded song I am interested in hearing more from the band.
    Based on the repeated listen’s of the embedded song I have ordered the record.

    Thank you. Keep up the good work

  8. massiveTractor Says:

    “…from Ministry to Kanye West…”. So it’s goodnight from me and and it’s goodnight from him.

  9. The reviews on this site have always been suspect. More to the point, who the fuck buys music anymore on the basis of a review?

  10. justincredible Says:

    Good tune that. I like…..

  11. If you like that you should check out the earlier eps. Really good stuff. They are a bit like Martyr AD.

  12. Dónal McBrien Says:

    How exactly have the reviews “always been suspect” Ed?

  13. Yeah liking this. Definitely in the vein of Code Orange.

    Also laughing at the fools complaining about reviews… yet again. How about some people just like to be introduced to a new band or album that someone else took the time to listen to and do a write up on. It’s like anything else, if you don’t like it, move on and stop wasting your time gurning about it. Or better yet, why don’t you do a review and send it in?

  14. brianwilliams82 Says:

    Seems to me that people are more interested in picking holes in whatever Owens writes than in the (sometimes great!) albums that he reviews. Witness the recent Red Death review; killer stuff yet one fucking person bothered to comment on it.
    Is nobody interested in the actual music anymore or what is it?

  15. Slugging for Jesus Says:

    They’re not even doing that. All I’ve seen are variations on the phrase “this is shite WTF’s wrong with this site.”

  16. But what would Robb Flynn think?

  17. Well Nixer likes Harms Way.
    Nixer liked this album when he heard it.

    First review that’s actually caught my eye in a long time (when you have to weed through all of the other non-importance).

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