08 Oct 2022 - Daniel F.
Deathcore | Century Media | Release date: 14 Oct 2022
The last few years have seen Lorna Shore dragged through the wringer. As a band they have been a party to what could easily have been crippling change, plagued by accusation and ultimately a singer change that either threatened to suck them backwards like a riptide or provide an opportunity to be reborn and put a whole new stamp on what the band stands for. Fast forward to 2022 and they have just been out on tour with metalcore giants Parkway Drive, and are set to release their prolific new album Pain Remains.
Through tumultuous times sometimes the strongest survive, and that’s exactly what Lorna Shore have done. They are building themselves quite the legacy and although they have their critics, they are taking deathcore to all new heights. Pain Remains is the next step in this evolution; bigger, bolder and more in-your-face than anything that preceded it. It’s a smorgasbord of brutality and technical prowess. It’s powerful, labyrinthine and incredibly ambitious. Yet by far the most striking element is how intensely heavy it is.
Beyond its choral beginnings the opening track “Welcome Back, Oh Sleeping Dreamer” is impossibly crushing, aided by insatiably demonic shrieks which sear the skin like brimstone and a vortex of breakdowns pummel us into submission. This is heaviness of the highest order, and as we whistle through a barrage of symphonic metal we are constantly reminded just how intense this band’s sound can be. It is unique in its execution and quite frankly nobody else can do what this band can. There is sometimes the sense of “heavy for heavy’s sake,” but for the most part the album impresses with its potent and devastating approach.
Tracks like SunEater continue to mix symphonics with dizzying metal to concoct an emotive blend. It is hellish yet also carries a feeling of innate hope, as though even through such utter chaos there can still be the slightest shaft of light. Vocally Will Ramos continues to impress through “Soulless Existence” as he proves his worth in gold by way of ear splitting highs and some of the most evil sounding snarls you’ll hear all year. It’s inhuman noise that lends itself perfectly to Lorna Shore’s sulphur stained soundscape.
“Wrath” continues to set things alight in prolific fashion, but the most impressive part is yet to come. The three part titular track “Pain Remains” parts “I, II & III” closed the album, spanning a runtime on the higher side of twenty minutes and truly feels like a seminal moment for a band set to hit the stratosphere. Ok, there are the odd moments of self indulgence and probably even unnecessary extravagance, but that’s what makes Lorna Shore who they are. They get right in your face and start clawing and scratching, they are relentless and foreboding.
Even if Pain Remains doesn’t end up among your favourite albums of 2022, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most noticeable. Lorna Shore are here to stay, and their climb has only just begun.