Lorna Shore
...And I Return to Nothingness EP

New Jersey’s Lorna Shore has come a long way since I reviewed their 2013 EP, Maleficum, a decent but standard deathcore release that had a few symphonic elements here and there. But through  2015s Psalms and 2017s Flesh Coffin, they gradually added more epic, symphonic elements, but they really didn’t register as something special at the time. But with 2020s Immortal, (my third favorite album of 2020) they absolutely knocked it out of the park with a full-on symphonic deathcore display that is arguably the benchmark for the genre now, even with some slight negative press regarding then vocalist CJ McGreery, who performed on the album but was/is no longer in the band.

So earlier this year they dropped a new single called “To The Hellfire” that was from this EP and they unveiled new vocalist Will Ramos (former vocalist for Secrets Don’t Sleep and A Wake In Providence), a 6 minute epic that is fucking fire, even if it seemed to use some familiar melody lines from Immortal, but with an ending breakdown that’s just insanely heavy . But just as importantly, Ramos showed he was a fine replacement for McGreery, though if I’m being honest, a casual listener probably wouldn’t even notice the changes, as he delivers the same screeches and bellows with demonic power (pun fully intended, he sounds like he turns into a fucking demon at the end of the video).

The question is then, how are the other two songs that flesh out this little, 16 minute, stop-gap, vocalist introducing EP? The opener “Of The Abyss”, has some dramatic, choral parts (the choirs seem to be increased overall) amid a song that’s on par with “To the Hellfire” or anything from Immortal, with somehow even more orchestration, a nasty breakdown, but again, some melody lines that could be from “Immortal”, Death Portrait” or ‘King ov Deception” from Immortal.

The title track though , is a little different, it shows a more melodic, triumphant, dare I say uplifting, (musically at least, the lyrics certainly are not) Lorna Shore, though still armed with massive breakdowns, simply glorious orchestration/choral arrangements, and a soaring closing and some nifty solos. Also, it’s the one track that doesn’t have a familiar Immortal background melody in it.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a fan boy of these guys after Immortal (which in a 2020 year end redo, would have been my top album now), and this EP only enhances that feeling and leaves no doubt they are one of the best bands in deathcore, symphonic or other wise right now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 27th, 2021

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