Lorna Shore – …And I Return to Nothingness EP
Released: August 13, 2021
Will Ramos // Vocals
Adam De Micco // Guitar
Andrew O’Connor // Guitar
Austin Archey // Drums
Deathcore listeners, I demand your attention. Welcome to your EP of the year, and let’s face it – you knew it demanded that prestige before you even heard it. You just needed to hear Lorna Shore‘s ‘To The Hellfire’ to realise that shit’s getting real. So here’s the situation, we all know that Lorna Shore have grappled with their vocalist conundrum in the last year, but they’ve overcome it with flying colours by welcoming Will Ramos into the fold. Will needs no intro, as you’ve all heard the band’s new song and opener to their three-track EP …And I Return to Nothingness. Well, I’m here to give you a flavour of the other two thirds of the EP. Ready-set-go!
Although I gave an off-the-cuff response to ‘To The Hellfire’ upon its initial release, I feel like it deserves a second wrap for numerous reasons, 1) it’s probably been my most listened to song for 2021, and 2) mainstream music listeners have discovered deathcore, simply by virtue of discovering the breakdown online. As of the moment of writing this sentence, the track has received 2.8 million views. Let that one sink in. I don’t want to under-emphasise the incredible skill of the entire Lorna Shore band beyond Ramos’ outrageous vocals which are understandably front and centre. Across the entire EP, and particularly this opening song, Lorna Shore demonstrate their impeccable blackened deathcore pioneering attitude through operatic elements, and straight-up demonic death metal. The production of ‘To The Hellfire’ is astonishing and only deserves the best headphones to fully appreciate. Ramos’ range is like few other deathcore vocalists on the scene right now. His clarity does not break for a moment across not only this song but the entire EP.
I’m now dedicating an entire paragraph to this infamous breakdown. This breakdown led to my pop-punk colleague Tamara May actually enjoying deathcore, and to my editor Browny typing gibberish to me in response of his physiological reaction. Ok so, five-minutes into ‘To The Hellfire’ and the speed-metal ceases like a flash and then lyrics “swallowed by the womb of death” consume your soul. Ramos finds his most inner demons to spit out the most ferocious squeals and spews you’ve ever heard. The drums will leave you breathing heavily and the guitars may give you heart palpitations. What a fucking ride. I have honestly never heard a breakdown like this ever before, not to mention the dramatic build-up preceding it. Anyway, you’ve heard the song, so whilst this description is something to relate to, let’s take a look at the rest of the EP.
‘Of the Abyss’ is another six-minute track that packs more than a punch in. Honestly, it feels like Ramos was just warming up as he takes the lead from the cinematic band behind him. Technical symphonic blackened deathcore might be my new favourite sub-genre. Drummer Austin Archey sets a new standard for drumming. The guy literally doesn’t stop throughout this song, and each beat has more power than you could ever believe. The drums are felt above guitars and bass as they litter a machine-gun rhythm across the track. Mid-way Lorna Shore deliver another spectacular breakdown which has Ramos bellowing with precision and vocal perfection. Once again, the production is super-crisp and makes this feel like not only a wonderful comeback for the band, but potentially one of their best releases to date.
Finally, I bring you, the title track ‘…And I Return to Nothingness’. The band continue with the epic vehicle of destruction, but change tact slightly, in a way that’s reminiscent of their previous work. It encapsulates the historical death metal elements of their back catalogue, and contains with more of a steady rhythm to the vocals, allowing the guitars to shine. The technical detail and speed to the riffs are incredible. Once again Ramos doesn’t skip a detail in every lyric he sounds, it’s all so intentional and thought-through. He considers which lines end in a high or low and these minute details are make-or-break. Instead of the song focusing on breakdown ferocity it’s more about stead-fast blast beats and the technical element of this wonderful band. The final minute of the title track slows with a technical spin that builds for ages, and blows back at you with operatic bang.
So, that’s all folks, enjoy listening to this historical deathcore artefact for years to come.
Lorna Shore – …And I Return to Nothingness EP tracklisting
1. To The Hellfire
2. Of the Abyss
3. …And I Return to Nothingness