Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mother Of Mercy - IV: Symptoms Of Existence

A little while ago some people fused hardcore with metal, creating metalcore. Now there are varying degrees of the combination, they range from a little metal in your hardcore and a little hardcore in your metal to the two balancing equally. Coming at it from a metal perspective I've mostly listened to the stuff that's really metal with some hardcore thrown for flavouring. Which is why bands like Mother Of Mercy still tend to knock me upside the head. They play what would be some basic hardcore if it were not for the metal elements. That is not to say the metal elements are incredibly obvious but they are crucial to the sound

It's heavy and aggressive but not usually super fast. It's mid tempo without being boring as there are actual riffs. The guitars rip and destroy but always with a riff in hand, never just aimless heaviness. For the most part the riffs on IV: Symptons Of Existence are interesting and varied enough to actually be riffs. While there is still the insistence on rhythmic punishment hardcore brings to the table the riffs are strong and varied enough to not need to rely on simple aggression. I find myself comparing them to Touche Amore in terms of bands that are doing interesting new things with hardcore

This album seems like a good response to something I find myself saying about a lot of hardcore I heard lately. I find myself thinking "Great, you can play hardcore. Now what?" All the bands and songs sound the same. This album on the other hand takes the basic trappings of hardcore and ties them onto metal riffs that work better at mid tempo than a full on blast.

Aggression, speed and volume are all good and necessary but it is so much nicer when a band that has those bases covered can stretch out into some actual songs with interesting riffs that function as more than just anger releases. Thrashy hardcore tends to hit that sweet spot and this fits just right.