I wasn’t terribly familiar with Harm’s Way prior to getting the promo for Posthuman, but I was somewhat aware of the buzz their previous album Rust had garnered, so I decided to give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Posthuman is a burly-as-fuck collection of non-stop mosh riffs mixed with electronic elements that wouldn’t be out of place on a late-nineties Godflesh record. It’s an odd combination to be sure, but I’ll be damned if Harm’s Way doesn’t make it work.
It’s only February, which means most labels are just starting to trickle out what will eventually become an unstoppable avalanche of new releases. Not so for Nuclear War Now! Productions; the California-based label is in the process of unleashing a fifty megaton payload of heavy hitters that are poised to set the bar for underground black and death metal for the remainder of 2018. Read on for THKD’s breakdown of this quartet of poser-slaughtering platters…
Back in my high school days, I ran a Dungeons & Dragons campaign for a small group of friends (because being obsessed with heavy metal, pro wrestling and Star Wars just wasn’t quite nerdy enough). I wish I had known about legendary Austrian black metal duo Summoning back then, because they would’ve made one hell of a soundtrack for those late night RPG sessions. Listening to their latest album, With Doom We Come, takes me back to those days of planning out adventures for those intrepid make believe heroes, filled as they were with orcs, kobolds and of course the occasional dragon.
When Watain dropped the The Wild Hunt back in 2013, I initially praised the band for their willingness to take chances with their sound. But truth be told, I haven’t felt much of an urge to revisit the album since that time, opting instead to reach for their more immediate, visceral works, such as Casus Luciferi and Sworn to the Dark. In retrospect, The Wild Hunt was a good album and an interesting change of pace, but it lacked the sense of urgency and hunger that characterized the band’s finest work, ultimately making it the weakest entry in their storied catalog.
In October of 1988, Sonic Youth released Daydream Nation, an album littered with references to the speculative cyberpunk fiction of William Gibson. While I have never read Gibson’s work (though I have seen the god-awful film adaptation Johnny Mnemonic), it is my understanding that his writing predicted many of the technological and cultural developments we now take for granted, including the ubiquitous influence of computers and the Internet on our daily lives. Just as Gibson’s writings predicted these developments in technology, so too did Daydream Nation predict developments in rock music; if there is such a thing as “speculative music,” then surely Sonic Youth’s sprawling masterpiece (and really their early career as a whole) falls squarely into this category.
The early eighties was a rough time for Alice Cooper. After releasing a string of commercially unsuccessful albums that he to this day can’t recall making due to heavy substance abuse (Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa), the shock rockin’ son of a preacher opted to take a three year break from writing and recording music.
There was a time when I actually enjoyed being part of the online metal community. I don’t have a lot of metalhead friends in “real life,” so it was fun to finally be able to discuss the music I love with like minded people. For a long time it was a total blast.