Album Review: Harms Way – Posthuman

Harms Way - PosthumanRelease Date: 9th February 2018

Label: Metal Blade Records

Harms Way’s latest offering, Posthuman, is their 4th studio album, being released by Metal Blade Records. Originating from Chicago in 2006, they have found acclaim in the hardcore arena, Posthuman sounds as mature as a should be given the band’s time on the block.

James Pligge, Harms Way’s front man, looks exactly the way he should. No doubt if Celebrity Death Match still existed, he would have made an appearance ripping the arms off Marilyn Manson and Busta Rhymes. Brutality is something Harms Way are good at, and it kicks off with ‘Human Carrying Capacity’. The opening riff, and ensuing double bass drum work, sounds like you could be in a war zone, pounding away at your ear drums like artillery fire and bullets ricocheting off the ride cymbal bell.

This album is not always sentimental about sticking to it’s hardcore roots. Metal, industrial electronica, and groovy riffs are spattered throughout, and the continuity of brutality holds it all together in the most part. It’s undoubtedly an accomplished demonstration of song writing and instrumentation.

It is refreshing to have a band in which the vocals let the music breath. This isn’t a Hatebreed onslaught of vocal viciousness, the music does the talking, the vocals weave in and out with dynamic intensity. There are moments of respite, with tracks like ‘Temptation’ and ‘The Gift’, slowing things down and demonstrating a level of diversity not common with within the genre. The latter being a seriously industrial and minimalist composition. But you are soon slammed back into reality with songs like ‘Become a Machine’, with furious verses, and a breakdown that brings the ceiling down (Although I’m never a fan of the fade out at the end).

‘Dissect Me’, later in the album, brings a more nu metal sound with guitars venturing out of the detuned bottom strings, delivering something reminiscent of a 00’s ‘Deftones’ ‘Shove it’. Again, this sonic diversity but recognisable sound gives the album a seasoned feel, hinting at the bands ability to engage it’s audience with more than just one tool.

Overall, Posthuman delivers exactly what you want from a hardcore album. There are no doubt more influences from industrial to electronica that punctuate throughout, giving each song it’s own persona without detracting from the albums sound as a whole. Pantera esque grooves that get you stomping round the room, mammoth vocals and versatile but ferocious drumming. It’s a sonic journey, it’s a aural barrage, it’s heavy and it’s good.

Rating: 8.5/10

Recommended Track: Human Carrying Capacity

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