Lorna Shore – Pain Remains
More often than not these days, my listening preference leans towards the heavier but orchestral extremes. A band who fit that brief and who seem to have risen to relative fame just recently is Lorna Shore. The quintet from New Jersey now proudly presents their most brutal album to date, “Pain Remains.”
Hampered like everyone else by the pandemic, the band were keen to up their sonic prowess. This presented a creative challenge as their previous EP ‘And I Return to Nothingness’ was well received and highly regarded. They proved more than capable, and the results are impressive. Drummer Austin Archey summed things up “It feels like a rebirth of everything for us – the energy, the band, the morale.”
Opening track ‘Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer’ is ushered in with choral chants and orchestration composed by guitarist Andrew O’Connor. This pleasant introduction is soon annihilated in a full-on assault with rapid fire drums, angry riffs and angrier growls. After many twists and turns, there’s a blistering guitar solo before the two styles merge completing the set. It’s awesome stuff, the level of which not many bands I know of have achieved.
The beauty and brutality continue in ‘Into the Earth’ complete with growls, grunts and pig squeals from vocalist Will Ramos. His range of vocal skills is truly incredible. Not only have the band been busy writing this album but they’ve also managed to find time to make videos. Among these are ‘Into the Earth’, ‘Sun//Eater’ and ‘Cursed to Die’.
Lorna Shore – Into The Earth (Click Here If The Video Does Not Play)
Lorna Shore – Sun//eater (click here if the video does not play)
Lorna Shore – Cursed to Die (click here if the video does not play)
One could be forgiven for thinking that the tracks all sound similar to each other on the first listen. Although the arrangements are great structurally, perhaps in the pursuit of evolution, some diversity might be welcome. The next three tracks ‘Soulless existence’, ‘Apotheosis’ and ‘Wrath’ are subtly different from each other but still have the orchestral/extreme mixture. Every track descends in a chaotic melee, but this is an album that takes a few plays to bring out the finer differences. Having said that, those are the best kind of albums in my experience.
To round off this hour of excess, we are treated to a twenty-minute, three-part opus. Firstly ‘Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames’ builds slowly from an ethereal orchestrated intro to sporadic blast beats and complex riffs.
Lorna Shore – Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames (click here if the video does not play)
Guitarist Adam De Micco claims “The biggest challenge for me was me being my own adversary, Overcoming my own self-doubt and feelings of self-worth.” As far as I’m concerned he has definitely overcome those things. This is evident in not only the next part ‘Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear’ but the whole album.
Lorna Shore – Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear (click here if the video does not play)
The album finishes on the longest track of the album. ‘Pain Remains III: In a sea of Fire’ takes you through a little musical journey. “I always wanted to write a really sad death metal song, a deathcore love song,” says Will. “When I first heard the music, it had so much emotion – have you ever fallen in love in a dream and woken up and realised that none of it was real? It’s about chasing that emotion.” There’s another orchestral section to start and then plenty of changes across its 9 minutes. It’s a majestic and towering finale to this excellent album.
This may be aggressive and brutal, but it is also beautiful and a lifter of spirits. In these dark times everyone has their own way of coping. For me, music helps and sometimes that includes extreme music. The precision is jaw dropping and the arrangements are unpredictable and satisfying. The band seem to strive to better themselves constantly and it remains to be seen where they go next.
- Welcome Back,O’Sleeping Dreamer
- Into the Earth
- Cursed to Die
- Soulless Existence
- Pain Remain I: Dancing Like Flames
- Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear
- Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire