Lorna Shore – Pain Remains (Album Review)

Lorna Shore interview

Lorna Shore – Pain Remains
Released: October 14, 2022

Lineup:

Adam De Micco // lead guitar 
Austin Archey // drums 
Andrew O’Connor // rhythm guitar
Will Ramos // lead vocals
Michael Yager // bass guitar

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G’day. Lorna Shore. Bloody Pain Remains. Let’s do this, mate. I want to preface this review with a message to readers. Lorna Shore have undergone some adversity to get to the point that they’re at now, and with the recruitment of vocalist Will Ramos and their debut EP together …And I Return To Nothingness, the band has blown the f*ck up. Most of you reading this are on team Lorna Shore, but there will inevitably be some of you saying things like “there’s way better deathcore bands out there” and “every song sounds the same“. But I’m here to say, take it easy ‘Negative Nancy’; if this band is helping the deathcore scene blow up, then let’s ride that wave. They’re not claiming to be perfect (even though they bloody well might be), and they certainly haven’t sold out. What you’re about to hear is some of the most real, most genuine and authentic heavy music you may have ever heard.

If you’ve read my reviews, you’ll notice I like to rate the respective record with death by adjectives, so you can feel it all with me. Anyway, you know the drill. Let’s do this.

Opening track ‘Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer‘ runs for a beastly seven minutes, and it gets you all greased up for what’s yet to come. Debuting thematic sounds you’re about to hear a lot of, the five-piece showcase a dramatic and operatic intro, packed with ever-bursting bass so thick, you’ll need to take your blood pressure meds; you can partly thank Michael Yager for that. Then it hits, a slamming purge of hell from Lorna Shore, accompanied by one of Ramos’ longest-lasting stints of non-stop vocal energy we might’ve ever heard from him, period. As you’ll know from the singles, the band double-down on the symphonies with this record, and whilst it is sustained on every track, it’s the variation on execution that keeps it fresh. The album opener could be a crowd favourite as it holds no prisoners and exceeds the animalistic hopes and dreams you’ve had for this record. Both guitarists Adam De Micco and Andrew O’Connor deliver impeccable riffs with virtuosic talent that’ll truly impress. The closing breakdown of this one is reminiscent to that of ‘To The Hellfire‘ with a melodramatised tension that crumbles on you with a serotonin-like effect.

Into The Earth‘ was the second single we heard on this album campaign and was definitely an attention-grabber. The tune bursts into oblivion in the first ten seconds before breakdowns are detonated with such epic foundation, you’ll find yourself floating away into complete bliss, giving it your undivided attention, whether on purpose or not. With those momentary symphonic elements and Ramos’ uncanny ability to spit hellish tones so rhythmically, you’ll feel like you’re hearing this for the first time all over again, but this time infused with the rest of the ‘show’.

The ‘Sun//Eater‘ opening verse will completely stop you in your tracks now just like it did the first time you heard it. It’ll remind you of the stepped-up production we initially heard as the first track revealed to the world. Elements like ceased instrumentation for Ramos to announce his hellish lyrics will make your blood swim through your veins. The deathcore grooves sustain an epic embodiment of their vision and the surprise breakdown in this first half will shock you like seeing a kangaroo plunge across the highway. The mid-section is packed with crunchy and technical riffs, and then it begins; the build-up. Hold onto your seats folks, Lorna Shore prepare for a disgusting end. Ramos outdoes himself once again on this earth-shattering breakdown, and both drummer Austin Archey and Yager will send you to another dimension with blasting bass.

To close the trio of those first singles they released, ‘Cursed To Die‘ sees their symphonic deathcore continuity evolve with impeccable production and all the tasty breakdowns you’ve been living for. With a few more epic melodies thrown in, this one delivers that optimal variation across the three singles.

The excitement steps up at this mid-section of Pain Remains; and it does this for two reasons. One, we’ve all spun the three preceding tracks endlessly, and whilst we’ll never get tired of hearing them, that ‘new car feeling‘ is wearing off a bit. Two, we’ve seen Lorna Shore pivot from the recipe already with what we’ve heard from epic triple-threat tracks ‘Pain Remains I‘ and ‘Pain Remains II‘, so we’re hanging to hear how ‘Pain Remains III‘ not only winds up the trilogy, but the entire LP; but let’s not jump ahead; all in good time matey.

Enter the darkness of ‘Soulless Existence‘ which kicks off in a cinematic and eerie fashion. Initially, it remains intentionally slow, where Ramos drags out every lyric with such presence and articulation. Micco and O’Connor deliver a sonic narrative, familiar to that of a Marvel movie trailer, packed with precision and epic wonder. What Ramos reminds you of in this fresh-to-the-ears track is that he’s simply relentless. This guy gives nothing less than 100% for every vocal note, period. His conscientiousness accelerates tracks like this, ten-fold, and really validates this ‘household name’ brand they’ve been tagged with. Archey adds to the symphonies and carefully engineered and ethereal guitars with his drumming. The textures he creates with the drums is so visceral, it’s like bringing a 90’s animation to a 2022 VR immersion.

Apotheosis‘ can be defined as “the highest point in the development of something; a culmination or climax.” Get ready to unzip, folks. Unlike the previous track, this one takes on an intentionally less calculated rhythm and tempo and strikes a somewhat mathy chaos. It remains careful though, with each note so ever calculated and leaning into the variability of this record. This is yet another track that grabs every band member and squeezes them dry of all their talent as their instruments are all equally showcased to deliver perfection.

I also want to give ‘Wrath‘ some attention before the next chapter of this album destroys us. With all the aforementioned elements uniquely repurposed, there’s some reminiscent riffs, tuned similarly to that of their 2021 EP, a nice signature move. Out of nowhere, one of the craziest operatic breakdowns on the record appears and smacks you in the face with its ferocity, and then repeats again a bit later on. And the thing about these breakdowns is that they’re all extraordinary about them, something that makes you feel like they’re you’re on the journey with them and never want to let go.

Ok, drink a Powerade, we’re getting into the ‘Pain Remains‘ trilogy. Part 1, ‘Dancing Like Flames‘ is the straight-up deathcore ballad we never knew we needed (but spoiler alert, we do). The paired video is emotive you’ll find yourself facing into your feelings and spending some ‘alone time’ with it. With an approach remarkably different to the rest of the record, this feels like it’s building up to something big. Ramos’ melodic unclean chorus is so incredibly unique to anything I’ve ever heard from a deathcore vocalist and adds a next-level intensity to it. Oh and how do you even describe the melodies encased by the guitars on this track? These two strumming legends dramatise everything they touch.

A lot of fans have debated whether their preferred streaming platform seamlessly transitions into Part 2, ‘After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear‘ – I can confirm it does, and it’s just delightful. What I love most here is how the final section of Part 1 starts to subtly speed up to merge into Part 2 which, whilst still exceptionally symphonic and reminiscent of the former, definitely packs more of an aggressive punch. This track is angry, there’s no other emotion to describe it, and when accompanied with the music video, you realise why.

Ready for Part 3, ‘In A Sea of Fire‘? Nine. minutes. long. Not even yankin’ your chain here. The album and trilogy closer spends nearly two minutes in an operatic ether before Ramos bursts in with the band with some carefully orchestrated ensemble. This is the catharsis needed after the rollercoaster we’ve been exposed to. De Micco does this stop-start thing on guitar which we’ve heard on other songs before, executed in a way that enables Ramos’ to annunciate with power. Technical metal fans are going to die for this tune (if they haven’t already from the rest of the record). The track is like a 3-in-1 and just when you think it’s over, the cinematic melodies return one last time before they spend a minute on the outro.

Pain Remains extends over an hour to deliver the symphonic masterpiece you expected, with more drama than a Shakespearean poem. Packed with not-so-kosher/halal pig-squeals, this record will have you pulling a stank face that might just leave a mark. My only gripes on the album include a slight overuse of symphonies (despite its impressive variation) and some of the track lengths, which may be a bit hyperbole. Other than that, it delivers above expectations and will be an album you remember for a very long time.

Lorna Shore Pain Remains

Lorna Shore – Pain Remains tracklisting

1. Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer
2. Into The Earth
3. Sun//Eater
4. Cursed To Die
5. Soulless Existence
6. Apotheosis
7. Wrath
8. Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames
9. Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear
10. Pain Remains III: In A Sea of Fire

Rating: 8/10
Pain Remains is out on Friday, October 14 via Century Media Records. Grab it here
Review by Ricky Aarons (@rickysaul90)

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About Ricky Aarons (695 Articles)
Co-editor at Wall of Sound and self-acclaimed deathcore connoisseur. My purpose is to expose you to the best emerging breakdowns and gutturals that this planet has to offer.