REVIEW: "Posthuman" By Harms Way
Metallic Hardcore/Released Feb 9, 2018
While Harms Way has endured many a steroid joke due to the imposing presence of front man James Pligge, it sounds more like their music is what's been taking performance enhancers. The band's latest release, Posthuman, is head and shoulders above the rest of their discography. While Rust, Isolation, and Reality Approaches are mostly run of the mill hardcore records, Posthuman almost sounds like a totally different band.
The musical steroids are likely being supplied by producer Will Putney who has proven to have a golden touch with hardcore bands. He's already brought out some of the best work form bands like Body Count, The Acacia Strain, and Thy Art Is Murder. Not to mention helping put Knocked Loose on the map and his own band Fit For An Autopsy's excellent work. Posthuman's sound is massive with a powerful guitar tone and the industrial elements are more fleshed out than ever before.
Previous albums for the band have been mostly straightforward hardcore in their musical compositions but this time around the band incorporates more groove metal elements into their sound. Album opener "Human Carrying Capacity" is a strong example of this with a gripping riff that gets your attention from the start. Album favorite "Call My Name" also follows in this vein with a lurking rhythm that has a bounce to it. All while maintaining the primal fury Harms Way is known for.
Also Interesting is the band's experiments with atmosphere and electronics. "The Gift" contains some distinctly machine-like industrial percussion and still has some abrasive elements with Pligge mixing spoken word and his usual screamed vocals. "Temptation" is another favorite with its tribal drum work and hauntingly eerie vibe. These tracks provide a welcome departure from the testosterone fueled rage of the rest of the album and gives the record a healthy dose of diversity.
Posthuman should be considered the beginning of Harms Way 2.0. The jump in songwriting and production quality has finally given the band a unique edge that sets them apart from the rest of the metallic hardcore pack. And has them poised to be a leader of the 1st wave metalcore revival with the likes of Code Orange and Knocked Loose. The album pushes the genre forward while keeping two feet firmly planted in their roots. And will be fuel for many a pit in the coming years.