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HARMS WAY

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Harms Way‘s metallic hardcore has won them fans on four continents; their reputation for delivering blistering sets cannot be overstated, and their timely lyrics about struggle, personal growth and self-awareness leave a lasting impression upon any listener. Having grown with each subsequent release, Posthuman, their fourth full-length – and Metal Blade Records debut – is a devastating addition to their catalog. We’ve always stayed true to who we are and allowed the songwriting process to take shape organically from record to record, and as the band has progressed, our sound has become more refined with metal and industrial influences,” states drummer Chris Mills, while guitarist Bo Lueders succinctly sums up what people can expect when they first spin the record: “To a Harms Way fan, I would describe ‘Posthuman‘ as a blend of ‘Isolation’ (2011) and ‘Rust’ (2015), but it’s sonically way more insane. To anyone else, I would simply say it’s full on heavy and full on aggression.”

 

It is perhaps surprising, given their vitality, that Harms Way was initially a side project for members of Chicago hardcore crew Few And The Proud. In 2007, a year after the unit’s inception, they dropped their first 7″, Imprisoned, and in 2008 they unleashed their self-titled 7″ – at that stage already showing dramatic signs of growth beyond the power violence sound characterizing their earliest material. It was at this juncture the members realized that they had something that had deeper potential – and meaning – than whatever they first envisaged, and as they began to draw in fans, everyone started to take things far more seriously. Having endured some substantial lineup changes over the years, Mills, Lueders and vocalist James Pligge have remained the beating heart and driving force in the band, and, while their following has grown with every release, Rust was a true turning point. “‘Rust’ is still a record that we are incredibly proud of, and in many ways it helped us to get to where we are today, since the response to that record was essentially what made us decide to make a full-time commitment to this band,” explains Mills. “It opened up many doors for us and allowed us to connect with people in ways we weren’t really expecting, and we toured that record relentlessly.” With bassist Casey Soyk and second guitarist Nick Gauthier coming into the band’s ranks prior to work commencing on Posthuman, the quintet were never going to merely recycle the record that had won the hearts of so many people, determined to keep pushing forward and only making the music they want to. That they realized their goal of crafting something even heavier and more aggressive is evident from the get go: opener “Human Carrying Capacity” a titanic force in its own right, thunderous anti-anthems “Sink”, “Become A Machine” and “Unreality” every bit as powerful. However, the band don’t rely on sheer, unwavering, brute force; industrial elements frequently imbuing the songs with haunting atmospheres, and contributions from their newest members bestowing “Temptation” and “The Gift” with a pronounced and affecting eeriness. “‘Temptation’ was a brainchild of Chris and Nick that really came together in the studio,” Lueders says. “While ‘The Gift’ was the work of Casey in collaboration with our producer Will Putney (The Acacia Strain/The Amity Affliction). We flew him out to the studio for a couple of days and they produced one of my favorite songs on the record. Both that song and ‘Temptation’ are just following the mantra of doing exactly whatever we want with our project.”

 

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