Harm's Way
Posthuman

I was first exposed to Harm’s Way many years ago when I saw them open for Hate Eternal (if I recall right).  I remember being blown away by their energy and their killer beatdown hardcore style, and the nasty vocal style of their oft-shirtless lead man (who looks like he could be a professional powerlifter).  After that I looked up their album Isolation, which to me is a hardcore masterpiece.  From there I was hooked, and their next full length Rust was every bit as good.  So fast forward to last fall, and seeing that they were working on a new album (that was going to be out with them now joining the legendary Metal Blade Records no less), I couldn’t have been more stoked.

My first thought after hearing the album for the first time was that vocalist James Pligge was missing that raw edge to his voice that really gave Harm’s Way its sound.  Well it turns out that first impression was wrong, and this album very much stands alongside the other two in what is an overall fantastic hardcore discography.

It opens with luckily no bullshit pointless intro, jumping right into the pit frenzy with the chugtastic “Human Carrying Capacity” that is vintage Harm’s Way.  The next track “Last Man” sees them mix it up a bit with an almost industrial metal intro before dropping the hammer about 30 seconds in.  The 4th track “Temptation” opens with a slower-paced intro and an echoey vocal style, with the hardcore elements dropping in and out to great effect throughout the song.  At these and various points throughout the album you get these stylistic and tempo changes that keep things fresh and point towards a strong emphasis on songwriting.  They can bulldoze your house any time they want, but sometimes it’s nice to just roll up on the lawn and chat for a bit instead.  “Unreality” comes through with a punk d-beat vibe, while “The Gift” drifts back into industrial territory before laying waste to whatever is left of your ear canals with closer (and longest track) “Dead Space”.  Just try not to flip your kitchen table after hearing the shouts of “Save Us NOW!” with an awesome djenty-ish backing riff.  It just doesn’t get much better than this for the genre (save for one of my other hardcore favorites Left Behind).

Overall this album shows a band maturing, and demonstrating they haven’t lost what got them to where they are, but that that formula can be mixed up a bit to great effect.  The production is thick and organic, and the guitar tone is nice and beefy with solid drumming and a good bass line.  If you’re a fan of the genre, it’s an absolute must listen, and if you like this look up their other 2 LPs I mentioned as well as the phenomenal EP Blinded.  Top notch stuff indeed. 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
February 28th, 2018

Comments

  1. Commented by: Ben

    Man, I tried to like this. I really did. I’d read that it would be the perfect soundtrack to a hardcore bench pressing session, along the lines of last year’s Dyscarnate, but it just didn’t click with me. I kept wanting it to sound like Dead to Fall’s Villainy and Virtue from ’04 for some reason…..not that I’ve listened to that in like 10 years. Maybe I’ll give this a few more dedicated spins, though. I haven’t been as patient with music as I used to be.


  2. Commented by: Gibblets

    It’s pretty bad,not even close to the level of nasty


  3. Commented by: Kevin E.

    It goes without saying this is a very polarizing genre/style, so if you’re not a fan now this is honestly not likely to change your opinion.


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