Band: Lorna Shore
Genre: Blackened Deathcore
Label: Century Media Records
Location: Warren County, New Jersey
FFO: Angelmaker, Aversions Crown, Shadow of Intent
Lorna Shore has been teasing ‘Immortal’ since 2018 with the single ‘This Is Hell’. Since then followed 5 more singles throughout 2019, until the official release of 2020. Immortal is a piece of art that you come to understand the effort and time put into it from the very beginning. There's so many layers to these songs that it's difficult to know where to start when talking about them. I think the best word to use is ‘theatrical’. I feel like I'm sitting in the middle of a theater and witnessing the biggest, loudest, brightest yet darkest play I've ever seen, but it's all with my ears. A really good example of this is "Hollow Sentence". It starts with chimes and organs like you're drifting through clouds until the vocals kick in when you’re instantly transported back to reality. My first reaction is to just smile. Because it sounds so cool but they also make it work really well once they fully bring all the instrumentals together. To top it all off, there’s next to perfect production that makes sure you can hear every individual characteristic.
Often times when I'm trying out new Deathcore or death metal bands, a lot of it sounds similar and it's easy to think to yourself “Is it even possible to make something new in this field? I mean you're pretty limited within the confines of the genre, right?” Lorna Shore makes the answer clear in Immortal. Guitarist and founder Adam De Micco, much like other artists, doesn't like being put into a box. That mindset transfers into this album very well with all the things they throw at you. From souring solos to the heaviest of breakdowns. All backed by a wall of orchestral instruments. Immortal stays diverse while sticking to it's brutal core, with every single song. Including the breakdowns, which is something even harder to be unique at, comes off fresh. Especially when you are often attacked with it out of nowhere. And that's very important when this album is filled with them. To add to that, one of my favorite things in a metal song is when there's guitar feedback. If you're constantly doing that, it might be a bit annoying. But in the right places, I absolutely love it. And during "Warpath of Disease" you get this ringing, which isn't guitar feedback but it gives off the same vibe, in the background in between each burst that adds this, diabolical feel to it. The breakdowns don't end there though. Arguably the hardest one on the album is at the end of "Misery System". That one just hits different. This isn't an album where every song sounds the same. Every song has its own personality to it. And you hear that even with just one listen through.
I discovered the band when their last LP came out, ‘Flesh Coffin’. That album was and still is great. The ex vocalist Tom (now with Chelsea Grin) is a beast, and the instrumentals are on point. But Immortal places itself on another level. It takes me back to the dirtiness of their EP ‘Bone Kingdom’ while bringing in the great production of the proceeding albums. Then turns everything up by a 100. The heaviness, darkness, production, and everything in between. As the vocalist on this new album, the one thing CJ struggles with is his pronunciation. I understand Deathcore vocals aren't gonna be crystal clear, especially when he gets into that very low register. There's moments on this LP such as "King ov Deception" when he just sounds like a ravenous wolf eating its prey. It sounds fantastic, but regardless I think the clarity could be worked on. However, when the words are slowed down or coming out more natural, such as towards the end of "Relentless Torment", the ability to understand what he is saying becomes much easier. Speaking of lyrics, at the time of writing this, they have not been released for the full album, so I'm not 100% on themes across this record but based off the few songs that they have released lyrics for, it's safe to say there's nothing too unique. But the lyrics themselves are written well and nothing comes across cheesy or too typical. Just like the music, they lyrics have their own ‘voice’ to them, if you will. Very dark overall though, as they should be.
I don't have anything definitively negative to say about this album. Lorna Shore is sounding better than ever. And if it is only every few years we get a new record, if the extra time worked on it shows like this, it's more than worth it. Not only is this an amazing and consistent album, but I'll leave you with a rather large yet confident statement: In my opinion, Immortal is one of the best Deathcore albums to ever be made.
Strongest Song: Darkest Spawn
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/immortal/1484867840