Published Mar 26, 2019Mourn are a project with skeletons in their closet. The five-piece feature members of Exalt and Uplift, using their experiences in those projects as an innovative lust for metallic hardcore. The group might be scattered throughout Southern Ontario, but Beneath the Beloved Axe is a cohesive offering; eight tracks of sludgy, doom-ridden metalcore.
The first single, "Meet My Fate," paints a picture of Mourn's fever-dream of destruction. Vocalist Randy McAllister paces between roaring turmoil and melodic spikes, while guitarists Sam Checchia and Chris Michaud set their target on Crowbar-esque riffage and punishing breakdowns.
In other moments of Beneath the Beloved Axe, Mourn meander into atmospheric territory à la early Mastodon material (the six-minute finale "Dysgenesis" and first full song "Desolation"). Although not as immediately gratifying and endearing as their punchier material, a metalcore band from Ontario injecting personality and challenging their expectations is commendable on its own.
The incorporation of groove and dissonant melodies during "Beloved Axe" shifts the group's vision towards energetic hardcore territory. This pattern follows throughout the body of the release, as "Burn" showcases bendy tempos that recall an astounding Hatebreed pit. The song also begs the question; who doesn't love a good Christopher Walken audio bite?
Jokes aside, the eight tracks have an unwavering, metallic consistency. Second single "Cross Off My Name" and "Self-Destruction State of Mind" intertwine sonically — by way of squealing mosh parts — and thematically. McAllister remarked to No Echo earlier this month that he wrote the lyrics to Beneath the Beloved Axe "at a pretty low point in my life." It is a thrilling experience to avoid Spotify's shuffle feature and take in the two tracks in sequence.
If you have yet to see Mourn on a local hardcore bill throughout Southern Ontario, the time is now to catch up with their well-oiled metalcore machine. (Walk A Mile)