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Lorna Shore – ‘…And I Return To Nothingness’ EP

Century Media Records
Mental Cruelty, Worm Shepard, Carnifex
Release Date
August 13, 2021
Century Media Records

The day Tom Barber left Lorna Shore to join Chelsea Grin, I was truly distraught, for I revered this band with high praise as they were quickly becoming the titans of Deathcore especially where their 2017 album, ‘Flesh Coffin’ is concerned, at the time taking the genre of Blackened Deathcore to new levels, stoking the flames of the pyre which was ignited by Carnifex’s tribute to the genre. Songs such as ‘Fvneral Moon’ and ‘Death Gowns’ are just morsels that can feed the masses which relishes this cacophony of heretical dissonance, for where Lorna Shore excels is the unification of all elements to conjure a dense atmospheric experience, for they have extracted the key components from each genre, the aura and primordial essence from Black Metal mixed with the cataclysmic spirit of Deathcore, where each body intertwines into one cohesive entity,

So now you have been acquainted with the alchemic talent of this band in concocting two extremities to form one singular being, you will understand the great concern that ailed me in wondering, what will happen now that the voice of this glorious beast has now forsaken and rendered it mute? (Disclaimer, I was actually really happy that Chelsea Grin acquired such a talented vocalist) If there was ever real life proof for lightening striking twice, Lorna Shore would be the perfect specimen…enter CJ McCreery, the leviathan behind the sermons expelled from Signs of The Swarm (another talented Deathcore band at the time who were cutting their teeth into the scene) who replaced Barber, as the saying goes, cut off the head of a hydra, another will take its place.. ‘Immortal’, released in 2020 on a new label, Century Media, marked a triumphant return for the band as the music while still retaining the Blackened spirit, however this time it is transfigured into a more vehement creature due to the register of CJ’s vocals, the band was able to explore new territories and reclaim the crown that once sat upon the many heads of this goliathan being.

However, something crucial was missing within the band’s ranks…their vocalist! Lorna Shore parted ways with CJ rendering them once again without a tongue, also, ‘Immortal’ saw its birth without one of its creators. By then the genre itself had seen an insurgence of new blood filling its chalices, bands who were taking new liberties and pushing the borders of Blackened Deathcore, German legion, Mental Cruelty had already released ‘Inferis’ (2019) and was evolving their sound to reflect the soundscape of Black Metal which was exhibited in 2021’s release ‘A Hill to Die Upon’, newcomers, Worm Shepherd also released their debut, ‘In the Wake ov Sòl’ in 2020, and it seemed that most bands within Deathcore, whether intentionally or not, had some veins embedded within that of Black Metal. So…where does that leave Lorna Shore?

Remember earlier I said what are chances with lightening striking twice, well it seems in Lorna Shore’s favor, there is also a third time, and the bolt that scorches the earth spawned a beast with many tongues capable of speech in the most archaic voices, and this beast was cloaked in human’s flesh and inherited the name of Will Ramos.

Enter Lorna Shore’s most recent release, ‘…And I Return to Nothingness’ a three (3) track EP, clocking in around eighteen (18) minutes which acts more of a sneak-peak into the future of the band, and in summary, the blinded seer needs not eyes to perceive that the future is in this band’s grasp with these three monumental pillars in which they can build their obelisk upon.

The band utilizes the structural foundation carved by previous releases but amplifies them with more ambient yet atmospheric moments with the injection of synths and acoustic portions where needed, such as  ‘To The Hellfire’ and ‘And I Return to nothingness’. However the merit in which these ambient pieces offer is that they feel like an exposed membrane that is responsive to stimuli, like salt placed upon an open wound, what is meant here is that these orchestrated moments aid the overall EP in crafting the emotional content that is needed to invigorate each track.

For instance, the song, ‘And I Return to Nothingness’ even though the tone in which instruments generate feels rather vehement with a brontide resonance to the playing, the song itself as a singular entity emits a melancholic aura, a feeling of disparity as though misery and sorrow has drowned the shores of one’s life. The beauty that resides within is the juxtaposition between the tonality of the music and the aura that resides behind the notes, what is meant by this is that even though Lorna Shore’s musical prowess and technical proficiency are evident (meaning the strings and percussion) it is the creation of the void that which devours the light and from that which births an esoteric beauty that only through negativity can it be comprehended.

‘To The Hellfire’ also exhibits the same traits but instead of being draped in a melancholic spirit, the track’s flesh is blistered and repugnant like a body inflicted with scars through aborted self-destruction, the same synth elements are used but feel rather ominous However, while musically the track is adorned with musical patterns akin to Black Metal, the song itself feels as though it was fashioned to be an altar for which Will Ramos would be able to deliver his blasphemous diatribe.

“My final breath

Swallowed by the womb of death

As you pass through the fucking gate

Descending towards the end faster”

By now everyone in the Deathcore community are familiar with these words that heralds the monumental breakdown that annihilates the track, this particular moment, is one of the defining points within this EP as it not only demonstrates Will’s range but the symbiosis achieved with the musical elements and vocals as one. The vocals here creates the illusion of every negative emotion that has festered within the mind and has morphed into its own being of disgust and contemptuous hate as it tries to escape its womb of  flesh, releasing its howls and snarls in a schadenfreude manner as it inflicts shards of pain as the host convulses and writhes in agony.

Lorna Shore has demonstrated that Deathcore needs not focus and rely upon sheer extremity alone in order to climb a proverbial ladder, instead the extreme moments here seep from a wound of negativity and loath, and in my opinion makes it a laudable work of art.

Originally written for Metal Temple***

Lorna Shore has demonstrated that Deathcore needs not focus and rely upon sheer extremity alone in order to climb a proverbial ladder

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