Harm's Way - Posthuman album review

Chicago’s hardcore hellions add to their firepower

Cover art for Harm's Way - Posthuman album

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Some albums make you want to dance. Some make you want to cry. Some make you want to falcon punch the nearest person through a wall. Swaggering and gobbing its way back into our collective conscious, Deathwish alumni Harm’s Way have delivered the best hardcore album of the year so far. It’s an overcrowded market, and ever since Code Orange were crowned kings of the scene last year, it felt like everything else was going to be a waste of time. But never underestimate the impact of unadulterated aggression.

Posthuman is a reflection and a reaction to the grotesque situation humankind has found itself in, and Harm’s Way are mad as hell. As you’d expect, resilience and fighting any form of authority and power is paramount to the Chicago natives’ battlecry, and with Hatebreed-esque chest-beating and a glass-gargling roar backing it up, the message cannot be ignored. The relentless chugging and stabbing guitars are as much a part of the call to arms as they are the weapon itself, needling away at your senses until you surrender to the barrage of hate and venom hurtling in your direction. You can practically hear the spittle flying from James Pligge’s mouth.

But it’s not all about heaviness. On Posthuman, Harm’s Way are evolving beyond the usual beatdown fare, experimenting with an industrial palette and brooding electronics. At times they’re slow and build to an almighty groove and stomp like on the invigorating Call My Name; at times it’s there to create gnarled menace like interlude The Gift. But nothing is shoehorned in, it all has a place in this rich tapestry of violence. It’s haunting and liberating, expansive and suffocating, and it’s a dominant display of power and intent from one of modern hardcore’s best.