REVIEW: Lorna Shore – ‘Pain Remains’

By Greg Maki

As I’ve stated in previous reviews, I’ve never been much of a death metal guy. I’ve also never been the biggest fan of hardcore. Put two and two together, and you probably can figure out that deathcore isn’t exactly my favorite subgenre of heavy music. Maybe that’s because, as far as I can tell, there’s never been a deathcore album like Lorna Shore’s “Pain Remains.”

I’ve heard plenty of deathcore, and I’ve seen many of those bands live, but “Pain Remains” is just different. Listening to it is like witnessing the birth of a new subgenre, one that’s equal parts death, black, symphonic and progressive metal, with hardcore/metalcore influences rearing their heads in a few devastating breakdowns. It truly is something to behold, a work of majestic beauty despite the subgenre’s inherent ugliness.

The album is Lorna Shore’s fourth full-length, but the three before it seem almost irrelevant now. It’s the band’s first long-player with frontman Will Ramos, who came on board just prior to the pandemic in 2020 and made his recording debut on the 2021 EP “… And I Return to Nothingness,” featuring the viral hit “To the Hellfire.” Maybe it was his inhuman vocal abilities that unlocked such wild creativity in the rest of the band, led by guitarist Adam De Micco and drummer Austin Archey.

Some listeners might complain of indulgent song lengths on an album that runs over an hour. But everything about “Pain Remains” is huge, and it simply wouldn’t be the event it is without that excess, without everything cranked up to 11. There’s an awful lot going on here, musically and vocally, and the production (by Josh Schroeder) and mix expertly make sense of it all, ensuring nothing gets lost or overshadowed. From a purely sonic standpoint, this record sounds incredible.

“Pain Remains” already is bordering on masterpiece territory and then comes the “Pain Trilogy,” a devastating 20-minute suite of songs that closes the album in grand, epic fashion. A microcosm of the record as a whole, it’s massively ambitious and succeeds on every level. More than just a standout in a subgenre, “Pain Remains” is a high-water mark for all of modern metal.

Rating: 10/10

Century Media Records – October 14, 2022

Buy/stream “Pain Remains”
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