Pale Ache
Mourning As A Metaphor


4.0
excellent

Review

by M. Worden STAFF
December 15th, 2022 | 9 replies


Release Date: 08/07/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A wonderful concoction of bleak technicality.

There’s precious little light to find within Mourning as a Metaphor. Grief invades each track and forges the bedrock of the record’s sonic output, with unbridled rage and zealous denial merging to portray an individual violently collapsing inward in the wake of loss. Staged under a production that accentuates the cacophonous musicianship, every note begins to create a veritable thunderstorm shaking the foundation of an empty home. Pale Ache pen a story here that expunges any dark emotion lurking underneath the surface; the loose narrative dips its toes into religious doubt, uncomfortably familiar fears, and eventual acceptance, then releases all that baggage in an explosion of frantic performances that scratch and claw against speakers. The Canadian group’s consistently confrontational style of metalcore is a perfect match for their overarching concept; they can deftly cycle through imposing breakdowns, fierce technical flourishes, and punishing grooves seamlessly while maintaining a sense of constant motion—even at its most reserved, there is a palpable emotional resonance filling the space that drifts off of the reverb of hazy chords or gently cascades from a distant melody. Around every bend, the Nova Scotia five-piece ensure that the suffocating atmosphere in play never loses its grip on the audience regardless of their chosen tactics. An expansive repertoire of influences allows the arrangements of the fleeting LP to provide excitement and surprises despite its short length, ranging from grind to modern-day beatdown antics, creating an artful balance between complementary genres. When merged together, Pale Ache’s various elements become a terrifying monster to encounter.

Once engaged with, Mourning as a Metaphor makes its sorrow a prison—there’s no escaping the ensuing thrill ride. Accompanying this despairing aura is an appropriately blackened aesthetic that adds a foreboding tinge to instrumentals. It’s an uncommon marriage—black metal’s heavily atmospheric, lo-fi tremolo soundscapes with metalcore’s relentless time signature abuse and serpentine-esque fretboard wizardry—but one that often reaps rewards. There is a heightened prominence on outbursts of virtuosic guitars in adherence to mathcore tradition, adding a sense of delirium to the overbearing emotional turmoil, but Pale Ache demonstrate commendable skill in their management of dynamic shifts. Across a given tune, the collective can subtly hide a melody underneath dissonant riffing, launch into a thunderous breakdown that liberally exploits a beefy bass, scatter about in technical flourishes, then gracefully revisit the prior melody. It’s not far removed from how Noise Trail Immersion can bridge gaps between furious musicianship and suddenly reserved sections that lean into a sinister ambiance, but whereas the Italians fully commit to their blackened edge, Pale Ache opt for a gaze-y approach that feeds off of the crackling static, and their flair for the technical leans towards the Minors and Betrayer-like realms of –core categories. There’s a beauty to that sort of bedlam, and how the Canadian band grounds it with poetic lyricism and powerful vocal payoffs makes it all the more memorable. The pain purveyed by Mourning is a captivating spectacle, and one capable of leaving a lasting impression after its echoing conclusion.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
December 15th 2022


18344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Smol album, smol review.



Worth a good hearty jam. Takes a bit from Portrayal of Guilt, Harlots etc etc



https://paleachehfx.bandcamp.com/album/mourning-as-a-metaphor



Let me know what y'all think!

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
December 15th 2022


18344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

-core family, assemble!

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2022


18344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same tbh, I am a bona fide toilet surfer

DadKungFu
Contributing Reviewer
December 16th 2022


2827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Marskid going hard with the reviews recently, hell yeah. Gonna check this on my commute.

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2022


18344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aye! Gotta finish the year strong.

Manatea
Contributing Reviewer
December 16th 2022


1053 Comments


I like i like!

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2022


18344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Heck yes, we like that you like!

DadKungFu
Contributing Reviewer
December 17th 2022


2827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very nice, bleak, groovy, relentless

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2022


18344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks lads, this is a powerful slice of core to finish the year on!



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