Hardcore is in a healthy state in 2018, and the competition at the top of the scene is having a thrilling trickle down effect. Nails, Full of Hell and many others have made large strides in recent years, pushing the scene further into newer and more interesting avenues. However, the shadow of Code Orange looms large over the entirety of heavy music at the moment. The step up they made on Forever has thrust hardcore firmly into the public eye, shown no more clearly than at the recent Grammys.
On the back of this, it seems like the perfect time for Harm’s Way to make the same step. Trading in thunderous, sledgehammer riffs since their inception, they have added in influences from outside on every album they have made, arriving now on Posthuman with a meld of hardcore, industrial and death metal. As can probably be gleaned from the genres listed, subtlety is not really the name of the game here. From first single ‘Human Carrying Capacity’, not much seemed to have changed, except beefed-up production from Will Putney and a much higher standard of riffing; elastic grooves and large dose of Sepultura make for a straight up hardcore rager. (side note: make sure to listen to this album on the best headphones you can find, normal ones simply can’t handle the low end!)
However, on Posthuman, Harm’s Way begin to explore more interesting and expansive territories than ever before throughout the album, and they’re not shy about it either. ‘Temptation’ begins with spacious textures and almost, almost, reaching clean vocals, but by the end has returned to the pummelling riffs that are the band’s stock-in-trade.
‘Dead Space’ throws in some Gojira-esque breakdowns and furious vocals, whilst ‘Call My Name’ has the chunkiest groove in the whole album, a real feat given the pure ferocity from start to finish displayed here.
Posthuman is their first effort on Metal Blade, having released previous album Rust through Jacob Bannon’s Deathwish label, and if this is an attempt by Harm’s Way of recreating the success found by Code Orange last year, they’re certainly on their best form. This is an album with absolutely no compromise; of lean athletic fury and power. Without a doubt their crowning moment thus far, and sure to send their stock amongst hardcore fans skyrocketing.