A change in personnel can have huge ramifications for a band; Lorna Shore have reaped the rewards and then some. Since dynamic frontman Will Ramos joined in late 2019, the New Jersey deathcore quintet have burst into the metal spotlight thanks to last year’s stunning EP, …And I Return To Nothingness, a monolithic live presence – those who attended this year’s Bloodstock can attest to such a thing – and a bit of help from a viral video showcasing a medical examination of the singer’s vocal cords. Now, though, it’s back to letting their music do the talking. Fourth album Pain Remains is their most ambitious to date, over an hour in length, and, given the last three years, arriving with sky-high anticipation.
However, once opening track Welcome Back, O Sleeping Dreamer explodes into life following 90 seconds of grandiose, choral build-up, what follows is an extreme metal rollercoaster, hurtling at breakneck speed until the very end. The three previously released singles – Into The Earth, Sun//Eater and Cursed To Die – segue into one another beautifully, making much more sense in the context of the album, and Apotheosis takes the bombastic orchestrations of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth, and marries them expertly with blastbeats and breakdowns.
In line with Lorna Shore’s boldness on this album, though, the final 20 minutes is handed over to the title track, split into a trilogy of movements. I: Dancing Like Flames is a steadier metalcore number in line with modern-day Parkway Drive. II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear begins by following suit and then evolves into an all-out deathcore assault, which is where the nine-minute long III: In A Sea Of Fire picks up, following a brief reprise of strings, and powers the record through to its conclusion. Lorna Shore have been audacious and daring in the composing of Pain Remains, and it’s paid off handsomely.