Harms Way – “Posthuman” (Metal Blade Records)
Blistering hardcore the Chicago way! Originally formed as a side project by members of the Few And The Proud, with this 4th release Harms Way are now well on their way as a band in their own right. While not being renowned as a hardcore label, “Posthuman” sits perfectly in the Metal Blade roster given just how heavy and aggressive it is. From James Pligge’s hoarse vocals to the shit heavy riffs chundering out’ve the smouldering guitars of Bo Lueders and Nick Nick Gauthier completed by the hard stamping beats of Chris Mills and Casey Soyk’s bass, it’s pretty clear that Harms Way haven’t come as a lightweight ‘diversity’ addition, but rather a muscly street stomping brute equal in ferocity and heaviness to their metallic counterparts. That said, being the pedigree label that it is, there’s more than a fair measure of subtle hooks, more overt melodies and superb arrangements throughout the 10 tracks here. Equally, while in the main hardcore bands don’t hold back the throttle, Harms Way are in no hurry in their slow to mid pace tempo, as long as its heavy and aggressive all the way. Not forgetting their hardcore roots, “Posthuman” is aptly titled, reflecting material with a sense of not feeling like a part of the world anymore, be it politically, socially, ethically, or emotionally. Whether its on the made for the moshpit ‘Become A Machine’ with its pummeling drums and chundering riffs providing the raging momentum while slower pieces interspersed with wailing guitars and most of all a catchy chorus add to its quality, or the more dirty metallised ‘Call My Name’ with its Slayerish riffs, precision double bass beats, subtle industrial noises and roaring vocals, Harms Way are sure to appeal to the metallers all around. If there’s any residue of disbelief, then ‘Unreality’ with its massive Sepultura like grooves shifting back and forth will definitely tantalize with its pulsating energy, no to mention impress with its flashy melodies and subtle sound bytes. “Posthuman” is no laid back affair, and indeed reflects the longest Harms Way have ever taken to record an album, although its safe to say they haven’t disappeared up their own asses in creating this rocket of a release.