Art in the face of adversity often leads to lasting results. Such has been the case for Jersey deathcore collective Lorna Shore.
Carving out their place within the ranks of the subgenre and building a reputation as a consistent contributor, Lorna Shore's trajectory was always ascending, though there were some obstructions along the way. To close out 2019, Lorna Shore emerged from the studio equipped with their first full length album since the departure of their founding vocalist Tom Barber who was enlisted by Chelsea Grin.
It was a important milestone for the band, a statement of perseverance to be able to endure such a significant personnel blow and press on. The core of Andrew O’Connor (guitars), Adam De Micco (guitar) and Austin Archey (drums) offered a compelling collection of songs in Immortal that asserted their identity as one of the genre's best while building upon the sound the band had established for the last decade.
However, in the weeks prior to the January 2020 release of Immortal, Lorna Shore again found themselves without a vocalist. Despite piecing together a solid reintroduction in the LP, allegations leveed against the band's then frontman CJ McCreery prompted swift action from Lorna Shore - forcing the band to release the album with only three/fourths of the unit in tact.
Proving once again to be especially resilient, Lorna Shore enlisted the help of a longtime friend in vocalist Will Ramos as the band was confirmed to support Decapitated on the European Faces of Death tour and introduce songs from Immortal live. What amounted to a trial by fire, forged a unique creative bond between Ramos and the instrumental infrastructure of the band. Ramos' prowess as frontman, combined with the little preparation time, suggested that the fluidity of the pairing was fate in action. This may have started as a fill in position, but it had obviously developed into something much more.
Despite how well received Immortal was, Lorna Shore deserved the opportunity to better introduce themselves - with no asterisks. Unfortunately, 2020 had other plans. Forced to shelter in place, without a stage or studio in sight for months, Lorna Shore was again - stalled.
It was during that stretch that touring iteration of the band in O'Connor, Di Micco, Archey and now Ramos kept in touch and when time and circumstance allowed it, they convened once again. This time, the band took to the studio to see if they could capture that same lightning in a bottle that happened onstage just months prior. The result was a three-tack haymaker of an EP in …And I Return To Nothingness, an unexpected show of force and arguably, the band's best work to date.
The EP managed to produce one of the best heavy tracks of 2021 with "To The Hellfire" all while emphatically marking the arrival of the most recent, and undeniably resolute version of Lorna Shore. With Ramos officially at the helm, the EP began the chapter of the band that suggests to be most formidable - an even more remarkable triumph given the preceding setbacks.
The band's Adam Di Micco spoke about the clean slate of the latest EP, the creativity that resulted from lockdown, and how despite the odds, Lorna Shore is a locomotive - jump onboard or get the hell of the tracks.
Were you at all surprised by the kind of reception “To The Hellfire” got - it was arguably the heavy song of the summer.
Di Micco - Very much so. I don't think any of us expected it. We just felt like it was the best way to unveil Will and that's all the purpose of it was. To give him a good introduction to everyone. We could have never ever forseen the reaction that it has.
This is the first release with Will Ramos officially in the band. Given the personnel changes the band has had to endure, do you feel like this line up is the strongest version of LS thus far?
Di Micco - I think so. I think we all get along and we all share the same common goal. Which I think that is the most important thing. Having everyone on the same page and wanting to do the same thing is very important that I don't see enough people talking about.
Was the intention always to put out kind of an introductory EP or was ‘…And I Return to Nothingness’ more a result of being sequestered for 2020 just needing to be creative?
Di Micco - I think it was both honestly. I think not having anything to work towards made writing and being creative feel empty. There was no purpose, but as soon as we locked in studio time it completely changed. We also wanted to introduce will in the best way possible. I think releasing it with songs that were his songs made the most sense in my eyes.
How quickly did the band get to work on this EP following the European Faces of Death tour?
Di Micco - It wasn't all that quickly. I think we started gathering some ideas during the spring and summer but it wasn't until we booked studio time in august that we really hit the ground running. Felt like having the deadline and something to work towards gave us purpose, before that was simply writing for the sake of it. Even though that was the case some ideas that we wrote during the spring and summer did make the record.
Its hard to dismiss the fact that deathcore seems to be the wave right now. Is that something you embrace or do you feel like trends trivialize the music?
Di Micco - I think we simply do what we do. If it is the trend right now that;s awesome. It will bring new people to us who wouldn't normally find us if it wasn't the trend. How I also see it is that it's trending because bands in this genre are writing good records so that's exciting to be apart of. I think things become trending when there is an influx of solid records and that is awesome to be a part of it. I don't find it random at all.
Considering Immortal was released just last year was any of ‘…And I Return to Nothingness’ left of from Immortal or was this a clean creative slate?
Di Micco - It was a clean slate. We barely got through finishing Immortal so we didn't have anything left over anyway to pull from. I also think that writing every record from a clean slate makes the most sense. We aren't the same band we were when we wrote Immortal in 2019 let alone when it came out in 2020. Even if there was any left over ideas it's not an accurate representation of the band.
Stylistically, how do you feel like the band has evolved in the short time since Immortal to now?
Di Micco - It's simply just getting closer and closer to the sound that we hear as a band. I think as we write more and more records we find things that we enjoy about the band. We find things that can be improved and things that we want to add to the sound. It's just becoming more mature at the sound we have been creating. It's metaphorically like carving away at a statue and each song we write the statue becomes more clear.
Given the time away from he stage, how eager are you to get back on tour with Enterprise Earth, Sentinels and Crown Magnitar?
Di Micco - Very eager. We played some shows around the EP release and it was awesome and I didn't want it to end. So I am for sure eager to go back out on the road and play this EP as well as other songs.
Just a hunch, but there has to be more than just three tracks here. Is the plan to maybe release more EPs or is there an eventual LP at play here?
Di Micco - So we are going into the studio in november to do a full length. This train doesn't stop.
…And I Return to Nothingness from Lorna Shore is currently available via Century Media Records. Order the EP - HERE