Songs for Black Days: Harm's Way's James Pligge | Revolver

Songs for Black Days: Harm's Way's James Pligge

Hardcore singer shares 5 songs that have helped him through dark times
harms-way-live-photo-PRESS by-rick-beaulieu-web.jpg, Rick Beaulieu
photograph by Rick Beaulieu

Harm's Way vocalist James Pligge may seem like a superhuman force onstage with his industrialized hardcore band, but the truth is that the singer has very human frailties just like the rest of us, and has battled with depression and anxiety for much of his life. Physical exercise, specifically powerlifting, has helped him to cope, as has music. For our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, we asked Pligge to share a few songs he turns to in dark times. Below is what he offered up.

Crowbar - "Planets Collide"

Recently this song has been the one I listen to when I am feeling depressed. "Slave to to no one but your misery" pretty much sums it up.

Nine Inch Nails - "Something I Can Never Have"

It's very hard to accept when someone doesn't love or care for you anymore. Sometimes it may seem that the only way for the pain to go away is for that person to get back with you again. I've always related to this song and think it's one of the saddest songs on the planet.

Alice In Chains - "Nutshell" (Unplugged)

This unplugged set is easily the best of any that existed. When they open with "Nutshell," you can hear and feel the sadness in Layne Staley's voice. Although much of his pain came from addiction, I have always used this song to relate to any sad or depressing time in my life.

All Out War - "Condemned to Suffer"

I always said that if the world was about to end that this song would be the soundtrack. Any time I feel as if I had enough of the human race, this song just plays in my head. "Existence burns to dust, we all shall burn."

Life of Agony - "River Runs Red"

Although I've never actually considered suicide to be an option, there are many times in my life that I've had a lot of anxiety and depression. Sometimes you need to know that other people have the same type of pain as you do and just hearing that through a song or talking to someone makes things a lot better. This song is about as real as it gets and is certainly one of the heaviest dark songs that exists.

Every day in America, 121 people die by suicide. It only takes one to break the silence — take action in your community and sign Hope for the Day's mental health pledge.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to for a list of resources.