Review: Lorna Shore – Immortal (Century Media)
Yes – we have THAT record in hand. And we’ve heard all the songs… the one the internet is squawking about. And let me say this from the beginning – from a musical standpoint, Century Media and Lorna Shore was right to release this record as it was recorded. This review focuses on the music itself and the music only.
You’ve likely already heard the album’s opener, “Immortal,” and if you’re reading this, you probably really like it. “Immortal” is a great way to introduce this record and, honestly, it’s just a taste of the goodness here.
Lorna Shore gives listeners their most mature, clearest sounding record to date. I love how this offering is recorded and engineered so that the listener doesn’t miss anything. And there is so much going on sonically. Just listen to “King Ov Deception” and you’ll know exactly what I mean; that is, if you get yourself off the floor from that ridiculous breakdown right in the middle of it.
There’s a little Dimmu Borgir here (which got me hooked on this record as a black metal fan), tons of blistering blast beats and just crushing riff after riff and riff. Every track is just packed to brim with heaviness and sheer brutality – but with tinges of beauty and serenity here and there for a bit of texture. The solos, in true Lorna Shore fashion, are astonishing. I’m often shocked at how these guys come up with them, rising seemingly out of a tangled abyss of bleakness and filth.
Certainly tons of controversy surround the departure of vocalist CJ McCreery, and while that controversy will remain, there is one thing for certain… Lorna Shore and Century Media made the right move in releasing Immortal with CJ’s vocals – at least from a musical perspective. We have to remember that there are 3 other band members here and a wealth of people behind the scenes who put this all together.
CJ delivers a great deal of appropriate and differing/contrasting cadences that match the music so extremely well. And the juxtaposition between the vocals and guitars on bridges like the one found on “Death Portrait” provide a breathtaking entree into the solos and breakdowns.
“Darkest Spawn” has an epic feel to it. It’s a bit slower than the other tracks, but it quickly has become one of my favorites on the record. Airy at times, but then so dismal and dark moments later. The records closer, “Relentless Torment” has a similar saga for the listener and ends the ten track disc so appropriate. Love the tremolo guitar on this song as well.
Orchestrations and keyboards are present here and the symphonic elements are refreshing but, at the same time, not overdone. Songs like “This is Hell,” which are alternately symphonic and just filthy at the same time remind me a great deal of what I might find in Norway in the early 2000’s. Lorna Shore, however, tend to embrace a bit more chaos in their sound as they lean a bit more towards blackened death than black metal. “Warpath of Disease” is cut from a similar cloth and it’s just composed so well.
Immortal is so much more than a “deathcore” record. Think of this as the next level in the genre, with a strong nod to Scandinavia. But at their very hear, Lorna Shore is, indeed, a deathcore band, and Immortal proves that they just might be the very best – at least in terms of what’s recorded here.
Immortal releases on Century Media on January 31, 2020 and you can pre-order it here. And you should.