Mother of Mercy IV: Symptoms of Existence

Mother of Mercy's fourth release is a well-deserved debut on a larger label. IV: Symptoms of Existence is a solid concoction of melodic hardcore and heavy metal (think Terror meets Megadeth). Loaded with chugging riffs, Mother of Mercy's brand of hardcore is nothing new, but it's earned them their place in the genre. They have a darker idea of the sound they are projecting, citing influences such as Undertow and Obituary, yet surprise with an album containing more thrash and an almost D-beat-like quality. Their love for classic metal shines through on tracks such as "Live Through Darkness." IV: Symptoms of Existence falls just short due to lack of variation. A quick guitar solo in "Final Breath" is accompanied by a whole lot of repetitive riffs, and that goes for most of the songs. Vocalist Bob Wilson's high-pitched screams prevent the band from unleashing the darker metal they wish to project and instead, keep them aligned with thrash and hardcore. (Bridge Nine)