These last few months have certainly been a big statement for Lorna Shore. Not only has the band skyrocketed to the forefront of deathcore, but can arguably be seen as paving the way for extreme music to permeate culture further. Between the release of their EP and the rollout of the new album, Pain Remains, Lorna Shore have shown there is a voracious appetite for heavy music that is also striking on an emotional level.
Lorna Shore is certainly at the top of their game right now, with their album Pain Remains, setting the metal world ablaze as they flex the talents from shredding guitars, blistering drums and Will Ramos mind-boggling vocal range.
Pain Remains is poised to be the standout album of 2022. Fuelled by, you guessed it, pain, loss, and grief, the album has some surprising roots in video games and movie scores. Guitarist Adam De Micco walked us through it track-by-track…
Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer
That song came through in the middle of writing the record. We knew what we wanted to first track to sound like in our heads. We wanted it to have this kind of sound and nothing that we were writing at that point had this specific sound.
I started getting really into Doom and old 90’s first person shooters. They redid Doom in 2016 and I played Doom Eternal a lot, and I started going backwards and I would replay old Doom a lot. I started thinking about it from that perspective. I have to have a visual and a reason for writing a song. For me, the vision for that song was “If I was the Doom Slayer, and I was taking on the hordes of Hell, what soundtrack would I want playing in my helmet?” And that’s where I was coming from. “If I had to take on the legions of Hell, what song would I want to hear while killing demons with a shotgun?”
The working title for it was “DM1-5” which is one of the names for the Doom Slayer. It was all centered around this whole Doom Slayer soundtrack if you will. And that’s where it all started from.
What was really fun about that song was, up to that point a lot of the songs were put together not as a band, because we were all over the place. I would finish writing the guitar riffs for a song, then I would hand off the song to Will to write vocals or I would hand off the song to Austin to write drums. It felt very mechanical and didn’t feel like we were a band. But the fun thing about this song particularly, was it was during the point of the writing process where we started having to work after hours. We were up until 5:00 in the morning finishing the song. It was at that point where you start to get cabin fever and start laughing and just dying at everything because you’re so delirious and that song was put together in that kind of headspace. We left the studio with fragments of a song and came back the next day like “Here’s a fully fleshed out polished song.” For me, it was just fun to sit in a room and put the song together as a band, because we really hadn’t during the earlier parts of writing the record. It was cool to have that morale and that enjoyment and I think that helped us gain momentum for finishing the rest of the record.
Into The Earth
This was the first song we finished. This was a really cool song for me to write, because we had all these fragments of songs when we went into a writing session in June. We just had all these ideas, but nothing was finished. Then, when we went into the writing session in September and I was like “We need to leave here with finished songs. We need to have something finished.” And I was feeling really defeated because I wasn’t coming up with anything I liked.
So, one day, I went into the studio super focused. And, in Josh’s set-up, he has different rooms and a studio B set-up and I was like “I’m going to be in here, just leave me alone.” And I was feeling really defeated and low, and my inner self-talk was really, really low. “I’m not going to be able to accomplish this. I’m failing.” It was just a lot of negative self-talk.
And I remember walking around his neighborhood for a couple hours and being my own hype man, because my morale was so low that I had to overcompensate to where it was borderline narcissistic. It was sociopathic how I was having to hype myself up to the point where I could accomplish something. That’s where the song started from. And from that point I was like “I’m going to finish this song today and no one is going to tell me otherwise.”
And I was also by myself in the room. It was just me, I was doing everything and it became a testament to myself, because I was feeling so low about myself, I needed to have a win on the board. I just needed to do it for me.
This was a difficult song for many reasons, because it went through so many versions. It was another situation where we had a fragment of a song, but it had no clear identity.
When we went back to the studio in November, we had a couple other songs and we were comparing them and it wasn’t as aggressive and over the top as, say, “Into the Earth” is and it wasn’t as melodic as some of the other songs, or not as emotional as some of the songs, it really had no clear identity. It was just bland.
Once we established the vision for the song, that we wanted it to be this Skyrim or Lord of the Rings sound is how that song came about. It wasn’t sounding like that at all, but we were like, “Let’s try to write some epic, triumphant sounding song.” And that’s how the chorus came about. Because we had this vision that we wanted this song to be this epic and triumphant sounding, big, Lord of the Rings sound, it made it easier to put the song together.
And it’s one of my favorite songs to play live. It’s really challenging. My favorite thing about this song is the guitar solo. That was the first guitar solo that I finished for the record and it really started me on doing the rest of the solos. Because I started with that and it carried over through the rest of the record.
And it’s the perfect song to describe the band because it has everything that we’re doing.
Cursed to Die
Outside of the “Pain Trilogy” this is one of my favorite songs on the record. How this song came about was that we had two writing sessions with our producer Josh: one in June/July and another one in September. When we went in June/July we didn’t have anything written and I wanted to start the writing process with him. For the first few days we were figuring out ideas and one day he said “Sometimes, if I have to write a song, I just think of what I have been listening to, whatever it may be.” And I remember I was listening, for some reason, to the Bloodsport soundtrack. I love that movie and I was listening to it because it would get me all hyped up. I don’t know why. It made me feel like I was in the Kumite, but I wasn’t. I was just in New Jersey, haha!
But I was listening to the soundtrack and I had a keyboard in front of me and I was playing around with stuff, and I wanted it to sound like it was coming from this really heavy, 80’s synth, obnoxious kind of sound. And that’s how we came up with the melody for the song.
The intro melody to this song was one of the first things we had written for the record. It just didn’t go anywhere. We just had the idea, and we had the post-chorus melody as well, but we didn’t know where to put either one of those ideas. It wasn’t until towards the end of the record that we finalized the song.
I was also listening to a lot of Def Leppard and I loved learning about how they wrote Hysteria. Every song on that record was meant to be a single. On their previous record they only had two singles, but this one they had to have seven and that’s how Hysteria was such a big record, because every song was hit after hit after hit. And that was a big inspiration for this record.
So with “Cursed to Die,” I wanted to have a big, our version of a ‘radio rock’ hit. So that’s why this song is the shortest one, it’s the most straightforward. It’s not as heavy, it's a bit more melodic, it's a bit softer. So that was the purpose of the song: “Let’s just try to write our version of a radio hit.”
And, bringing it back to video games, I used to love Street Fighter. I remember as a kid, I used to love the score to Guile, Ken and Ryu’s stage. So every time I hear that melody, it makes me think it’s a stage in Street Fighter. Hence the working title for the song was “Street Fighter” for the longest time. And Jean-Claude Van Damme played Guile in Street Fighter, so full circle, haha!
This is another one that is a product of writing fragments. I had pretty much the last chorus into the outro written, because I was jamming one day. I don’t typically write at that tempo, but during one of the first writing sessions, Josh was like “Why do we try to do other things and write in tempos that you don’t really do.”
The EP was all at 130 and that’s not bad, that’s just the tempo we chose and he was like “Why don’t we do other things.” Faster songs, slower songs, longer songs, shorter songs and just try to mess with things.
So that’s why “Into the Earth” exists, because that’s our fastest song, and “Soulless Existence” is the slowest song on the record.
And it was very fun for me because I was very caught up in my feels and my emotions and I wasn’t really thinking about anything. It was more just jamming and improvising. Because we had that fragment of the chorus into the outro, we could build off that. We really wanted this drawn out, slow crawl song where it changes the pace. Which is why we put it 5th. Because the first four songs of the record are just really in your face and aggressive and we wanted it to feel like a cool down.
And that solo to the chorus and the outro is one of my favorite moments on the record because it’s so different for me. I’m so used to playing faster, playing as many notes as humanly possible, doing stuff that is over the top and this forced me to be more reserved.
Apotheosis was one of the last songs that we finished. Me and Austin sat down and we were like “We don’t know what to do.” We had checked off all of our boxes for this record. We were finishing up the “Pain Trilogy,” we had all the singles that we wanted, we had the intro to the record, we had all the songs. And we were like “Let’s just do the things we liked from other things that we’ve done.” And I know that sounds kind of weird or like we are copying ourselves, but we also just like playing those things and hearing those things and those moments. So we went back through our catalog and were like “What are moments on other songs that we really enjoy that we haven’t done on this record.” So it became this Frankenstein approach.
The only thing we had going in was the chorus. And it was one of those choruses that sounded really sick, I just didn’t know where to put it. But that chorus had to make the record. It was non-negotiable, it had to make the record and this was the perfect song to put it in.
This was something that we got home from our headline tour last year in October and went into the studio in November and me and Andrew were sitting together and we put together the first riff and then I one day started to write a bunch of other riffs. And it’s always nice to have your band around you because they sometimes notice things that you don’t. I wrote that intro riff and I didn’t really think anything of it and I showed Andrew and he was like “That is really sick, we can turn that into an intro.”
The pre-chorus riff was something that we had from a previous writing session, but we didn’t really know what to do with it. The downside of having all these parts is that you don’t always know what to do with them.
The chorus is something I wrote between the tour and the studio. At that time I was listening to a lot of film scores and I wanted this really regal sound, because that’s what I was listening to. But even though we had the pieces, it didn’t really have an identity. But then Andrew said “If this was 2016 and you were writing Flesh Coffin, what would you do?” And as soon as he said that, it made putting the song together that much easier.
Pain Trilogy: Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames, Pain Remains II: After All I've Done, I'll Disappear, Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire
This is something that we, as a band, are most proud of. I have to explain the whole trilogy, I can’t really take it one song at a time. How this came about was that I always wanted to do a long two or three part song. One of my favorite records of all time is Between the Buried and Me’s Colors. I’m so into that record because I had never heard anything like that, where it was just a continuation of one song. The whole record felt like one big, long song and that is musical genius. And then The Faceless did Autotheist I,II & III, Contortionist did Exoplanet, and I always loved these long songs because you have more time to tell a story.
There’s a reason why Lord of the Rings is such a long movie, because you need that much time to tell the story. If you tried to condense Lord of the Rings into one, 1-hour episode, you could do it, but you’d miss so much of the grandiose big, epic story because you have to cut things out. So it would miss the point. This was our version of writing a really long film.
It all started centered around “Pain Remains II”. The working title of that song was just “Pain Remains”. I used to, in the past, give songs working titles that were kind of goofy or funny, and it’s fun, but this song took me out of that element, and I just sat and thought about how the song made me feel and it was just “Pain Remains.” I did not think that would become the name of the record and everything around it, but it helped me keep the identity of the song because I was in a very emotional state and a very sad and painful state.
It all started with the chorus of the song and the chorus melody of the song is the melody that is in Part I, Part II and the outro of Part III; it exists throughout.
But going back, this was something I had always wanted to do, but had completely forgotten about it. And we were sitting in the studio with Josh, giving everything an identity, and he was like “What if we do a 3-part long song?” and I was like “Oh my god, that is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
And he was like “We already have Pain Remains. Why don’t we just extend it to the beginning and the end? If you had to write a movie, and you already know how the middle of it is, you gotta figure out how you got there and where it’s going.”
But at that time “Pain Remains II” wasn’t finished. As I was writing more parts for “Pain Remains II”, ideas for “Pain Remains I” came about. And the worst part of writing the record for me was writing these songs. This was at the lowest point of the record for me. I was feeling very defeated, feeling like a failure, all the worst thoughts dealing with the pressure of the record and dealing with stuff in my own personal life. I was locked in a room for days. I locked myself in there. I had the key, but I was like “Leave me alone and let me go do this.”
So “Pain Remains I” came about because I was writing for “Pain Remains II”. That established a structure and we filled in the gaps. And it made it easier to see where everything was going because you could kind of foreshadow into the future, so we kind of knew how to plan things out.
For “Pain Remains III” I wanted it to be like, if you’re ending a film and you want it to be the biggest, most grandiose thing you could possibly have. This big, giant epic moment. “Pain Remains I” is emotional, “Pain Remains II” is driving, but still emotional, but then I wanted this big, going out in a blaze of fire feeling.
And I felt like, on the record, we didn’t really have anything like that. We had songs that had big moments, like “Sun//Eater”, but it didn’t really have this big grandiose ending.
It was draining to write. After listening to it, I was like “How the hell did we do this? What have we done?” It was an amazing moment as a band.
A lot of us were going through things personally, so lyrically, it is very fitting to what some of us were going through. I was talking to Will because I had an idea for lyrical content: I wanted it to be like loss, grief and then just “fuck the world.” Because that’s kind of how I felt. When you go through something and you have to deal with that loss and there is that grief, and you can either pick yourself up and dust yourself off and go, but sometimes you have that feeling of “fuck this place, I don’t wanna be here anymore.” And that’s what really drove “Pain III”. This idea of “I’m going to destroy this world with me in it.”
And that’s the identity of each song. “Pain I” is like, you got broken up with and you’re just sitting in the shower crying; “Pain II” after you got broken up with and you just go lay in the snow to numb out; and “Pain III” is just setting the world ablaze. Rain, snow and fire. You can hear it in the songs, you can see it in the videos, that’s the identity of each song.
When I look back on it, I’m just like, “How on earth did we do this?”
Now for those of you still wondering, even after this deep dive into this beautiful piece of music, what Adam’s favorite dinosaur is, fear not, I did not forget to ask.
Of course people are going to gravitate to the Tyrannosaurus Rex, because it’s like the big baddie. But that’s not what I would describe myself as. I’m definitely more scrappy and more aggressive…Velociraptor. The Velociraptor has way more personality, more arrogance, just did not give a fuck. A lot of sass, it rode in a pack. And I just love the idea of you and your homies, just going to cause mayhem…that’s a band.
The arrival of Pain Remains completes a extensive run up for the band in a year busy with international touring , festival appearances and a skyrocketing trajectory. Making a strong play for AOTY, the full length is paired with the band’s “The Pain Remains Tour”, which sees Lorna Shore headlining North America with special guests Aborted, Ingested, AngelMaker and Ov Sulfur. The 26-date stretch nearly entirely sold out, with just a handful of dates seeing limited tickets remaining.
Pain Remains from Lorna Shore is now available via Century Media Records – HERE.
Lorna Shore “The Pain Remains Tour”
w/ Aborted, Ingested, AngelMaker, Ov Sulfur
Oct. 21, 2022 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts *SOLD-OUT*
Oct. 22, 2022 – New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre *SOLD-OUT*
Oct. 23, 2022 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Oct. 24, 2022 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage *SOLD-OUT*
Oct. 25, 2022 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre *SOLD-OUT*
Oct. 26, 2022 – Nashville, TN – Brooklyn Bowl Nashville
Oct. 27, 2022 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (Heaven)
Oct. 28, 2022 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum *SOLD-OUT*
Oct. 29, 2022 – Orlando, FL – The Abbey *SOLD-OUT*
Oct. 31, 2022 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Nov. 1, 2022 – San Antonio, TX – Vibes Event Center
Nov. 2, 2022 – Fort Worth, TX – Ridglea Theater
Nov. 4, 2022 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 5, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA – 1720 *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 6, 2022 – Roseville, CA – Goldfield Trading Post *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 8, 2022 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 9, 2022 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 11, 2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 12, 2022 – Denver, CO – Summit *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 13, 2022 – Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 15, 2022 – Chicago, IL – The Bottom Lounge *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 16, 2022 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 17, 2022 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 18, 2022 – Mckees Rocks, PA – Roxian Theatre *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 19, 2022 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre *SOLD-OUT*
Nov. 20, 2022 – Montreal, QC – L’astral *SOLD-OUT*