Harm's Way are a Chicago-based hardcore act that have been gaining a ton of traction in recent years. From releasing four albums and several EPs under various record labels, to performing in countless live shows since the band's inception about a decade ago, these Illinois titans are making a name for themselves in both the core and powerviolence communities. But now, the hardcore heavyweights unveil their latest (and perhaps, greatest) fourth full-length release. Will it live up to the hype and praise of their previous album Rust? Read on to find out.
Posthuman is named for all of the assertively human and "beyond human" qualities that the album possesses. The themes center around the potential for an individual to become stronger and more advanced than the rest: "more human than human", so to speak. The instrumentals exhibit some of the most downright heavy riffs the band may have put out so far...and it's pretty cool. Tough guy vocals round things out to make it an all-inclusive package. The release sports a total of ten tracks making up a 34-minute hardcore experience packed with all the works and made available via Metal Blade Records.
Posthuman doesn't screw around, starting off with a bang. The chugging riffs accompanied by other core nuances make the first minute of the opening track a solid first impression. As the assertiveness of the vocals takes over, it really paints a vivid portrait of what to expect moving forward. The interchanging guitar riffs scattered throughout this album are rock solid, with the variety making it even more worthwhile. The somewhat unorthodox introduction to "Last Man" caught me off-guard for a split second, but deep down I knew it was coming. The chromatics and chugs mixed in with the hectic drumming patterns and destructive vocals make the second song of this album a subtle, yet impactful journey.
The songs on Posthuman are of varying length, with most being around three minutes or so, which is a sensible choice when it comes to this type of music. From the third track on, Harm's Way strive to change up the song structure with added substance...which is great when it comes to offerings such as "Temptation" showcasing the band's more emotional and creative side, as well as "Call My Name", a song that shows off the edgy and aggressive traits that we've come to know and love about Harm's Way. Even the moshy breakdown/beatdown ending to "Unreality" leaves a lasting impression of wanting to hit something.
While I admittedly enjoyed this release quite a bit, there are a few things here and there that could do with some changing. I'm personally still on the fence about the production quality. While it often sounds stellar, the vocals and some of the instrumentals at times sounded cluttered or drowned out. Also, the filler track towards the end of the album titled "The Gift" seemed unneccessary.
Posthuman is an album that lives up to its name as well as the hype of its predecessor, Rust. Similarl to Rust, it showcases the band's maturity and innovation in their goal to become a heavy, aggressive, and standout hardcore band due to all of the qualities mentioned throughout this review. Do not let the seemingly innocent nature of the album's cover art deceive you...Posthuman succeeds at being fittingly aggressive and vulgar hardcore when you want it to be. It's a definite recommended listen to hardcore fans both young and old. Mosh on!
Fave Tracks: "Temptation", "Call My Name"
For Fans Of: Code Orange, Knocked Loose, Weekend Nachos, modern hardcore
Support your fave artists & musicians!
-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.