Review Summary: New Jersey deathcore quartet Lorna Shore brings a surprisingly brutal and punishing EP, not for the faint of heart.
For a deathcore band in 2013 to avoid being completely overlooked, they need more than just one trick up their sleeve. Simply having a vocalist with a great range or a very skilled drummer isn't going to cut it. Luckily enough for any listener of 2013 EP "Maleficium", Lorna Shore packs enough of a punch in each of the four members musical professions to leave any death metal or deathcore fan craving much more than the EP's 20 minute runtime.
The punishment doesn't take long to begin, after about 40 seconds a strong intro riff and blast beating accompanied by a tight double bass drum begin belting your ears, not to relent until the EP is over. The first track, 'Godmaker', perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the EP, showcasing all the band's strengths in one four and a half minute track.
Austin Archey's drumming is fast, tight, and perfectly in time, every time. The constant demand for lightning fast blast beats, extremely quick double bass and frequent tempo changes seems only second nature to the expert drummer. Ending track 'Accumulatory Genophage' showcases the drummers skills perfectly.
Vocalist Tom Barber's brutal lyrics are spit out in a manner that I can only describe as being a wretched combination of Whitechapel's Phil Bozeman Infinite Death-era Thy Art Is Murder's Brendan van Ryn for lows and highs respectively. "So say goodbye to your father, your mother, your sisters and your brothers" because the lyrics are just as brutal as the voice that screams them. The adept vocalist's extreme range shines on title track 'Maleficium'.
Guitarist Adam De Micco adds his creative touch into the equation, riffing and chugging his way throughout. He's landed a perfect combination of death metal style riffing where it it fits, and chugging when its necessary. There are two great stand out solos on the tracks 'Maleficium' and 'Accumulatory Genophage' that perfectly fit the EP's dark and twisted theme.
Lastly, Gary Herrera's bass playing must perfectly follow suit behind the guitar playing, because there are unfortunately VERY few times where the bass guitar sticks out of the mix at all, if any.
Lorna Shore's "Maleficium" brings a ferocious, bloodthirsty and unique change of pace to the otherwise stale deathcore genre, but it's not perfect by any means. The overall short length, complete lack of a pronounced bass guitar and the very frequent, sometimes erratic tempo changes may be a turn off to some, but by no means should constitute anyone who's a fan of the band or their genre to skip out.
If a five track, twenty minute EP can devastate the listener in this manner, I eagerly anticipate a full-length release from this group.