For Fans Of
Hardcore has always played by its own rules. Always has. Always will. In many ways this disregard for the status quo gives artists a sense of musical liberation. Throw away convention and standards if it gets in the way of intensity and aural engagement seems to be the unwritten mantra.
Pennsylvania’s Mother of Mercy have the intent, the angst and in many respects the swagger that hardcore requires. The issue here is whether these attributes translate into effective music. When thrown together in this case, we are left with ‘IV: Symptoms of Existence‘, the debut full-length under the Bridge 9 Records umbrella, which is assertive if nothing else.
This studio release favours a metallic hardcore sound without being referenced as metalcore. Join together 90’s basement hardcore and give it a subtle thrash makeover and we can understand this ten track offering a little better.
Beginning with ‘Forever Night, Forever Mourning‘, the intro builds like a crescendo before delivering a driving pulse and typical hardcore front. ‘Swinging the Chain‘ has an old school feel initially before finding its feet with another bitter approach. ‘Upper Hand‘ is solid while ‘Final Breath‘ ends the album like it started – fast and steady.
Technicality is not really a consideration here. In the nicest possible way, it is as straightforward as it comes. With the longest song clocking in at just under 3 and a half minutes, it is brief affair but by no means a forgettable one. ‘IV: Symptoms of Existence‘ has plenty of short term charm and to a certain extent adequate sense of longevity. If you’re a hardcore purist this is probably up your alley.
Straight to the point, honest and precise, ‘IV: Symptoms of Existence’ is a ten track crash and bash affair that focuses on intensity rather than complexity. A solid release within its genre. Nothing overly special but still enjoyable nevertheless.
1. Forever Night, Forever Mourning
2. Symptoms of Existence
3. Soul Burns Slow
4. World of Pain
5. Swinging the Chain
6. Live Through Darkness
9. Upper Hand
10. Final Breath