Harm's Way Credit: Nicholas Adams

The progression of Chicago’s Harm’s Way has been interesting to watch. The four-piece band started out in 2006 with the intent of playing short ’n’ fast powerviolence blasts. By their own admission, they weren’t too serious about the band in those early days—in a 2015 interview with Decibel drummer Chris Mills described performances where singer James Pligge “would put on a mask and sing silly lyrics about beating up frat boys or whatever”—but they soon progressed into a sturdy hardcore outfit. The last few years have seen the group shift their interests towards various forms of extreme metal, and incorporate moments of death metal, black metal, and pummeling Sepultura-style nu-metal into their punk framework. More recently, the members of Harm’s Way have been seen taking the stage in Godflesh T-shirts, and on their brand-new LP, Posthuman (their first for Metal Blade), they’ve finally fully realized their fascination with the industrial/postmetal pioneers. Posthuman finds Harm’s Way scarier and more intense than ever. Their crushing guitar tones, punishing drums, and animalistic vocals are frequently augmented by mechanical industrial flourishes, dissonant inhuman wails, and factory-floor rhythms. If the members of Harm’s Way set out to create the ideal soundtrack for anger, frustration, and misanthropy, they’ve certainly succeeded: Posthuman is one of the darkest, heaviest records you’ll hear this year.   v