Death Metal is tricky to get right. Many try, many fail, and that is realistically down to the genre’s limited scope. Note-blurring blastbeats and inhuman vocals are a given, and are becoming less and less impressive as each hopeful comes and goes, so it takes a lot more than that to really capture the imagination. On the 5-track sophomore EP, Maleficium, Lorna Shore have attempted Death Metal, and got it damn right.
It takes all but 30 seconds of ‘Godmaker’ to hear the first clichÃƒ© growl and blastbeat pattern, triggering an unrepresentative first impression. As the track continues, it quickly becomes clear that Lorna Shore know when to rely on these standard techniques, and when to just blow your mind with sweeping solos and punishing breakdowns. They boast the technicality of Whitechapel, and then combine it with the sheer brutality of Thy Art Is Murder, and the result is pure evil. The monstrosity carries on throughout EP, particularly on ‘Cre(h)ate’ and the title track, but their attention to structure and progression is what clinches the deal. Sub-60 second tracks are also common in this field, whereas these 5 minute assaults are well structured, well thought-out, and highly developed.
Ultimately, Lorna Shore succeed by not overusing the essentials. Maleficium is tight, brutal, and most of all, actually interesting. They can certainly grab hold of your attention for 5 tracks at a time, but the real test will be whether they can do it with the same intensity on a full-length.
Reviewer: Matt Borucki