Album: Lore of Lies
There was a time when you could close your eyes, sleep and dream without fear—most nights, it even came easily. There was a time when your own mind wasn’t working against you, allowing every thought to flow smoothly through the channels of your brain without resistance. These were great times—however, they are no more. Nights once spent calm and collected are now spent trapped in a carnival of your own personal demons—and on the nights you can sleep, you dream only of your own self-sustained Hell. Thoughts that once coursed smooth channels through the dendrites of your brain now flow as thick and slowly as molasses, making your head pound with every attempt at cognitive function. This mental decay and slow drip into the placid pools of insanity is Lore of Lies, the debut full length release by progressive deathcore juggernauts Lorelei. Packed with stunning symphonic elements and jarring, skull-busting heaviness, Lore of Lies is a multifaceted listening experience that grabs the listener by the scruff of their scalp and dunks them into a tank of their greatest fears and most visceral nightmares.
Slowly and subtly, sleep comes easily—for the first time in a fortnight. You feel your eyes drooping, your mind calming down and your body relaxing, anxiously embracing the welcome presence of rest. The small voice in the back of your head warns you, wearily: it all seems too easy. Unfortunately, what that small voice lacks in fortitude it makes up for in verity. It was right—as calm and serene sleep suddenly transgresses into a daunting, pulse-pounding nightmare. This is the introduction to Lore of Lies, as “Preface to Insanity” fades into “Godfather Death,” the listener becomes all too aware that the first track’s majestic and melodic nature was too calm to be the truth. Lorelei attack the listener with immense, inescapable orchestral symphonies and lacerating, flesh-shredding blast beats that tear at skin and expose bone. Overtop, the guitars and bass roar, tearing into the listener’s sanity with razor-sharp talons and beaks that seemed as if they were carved from marble. The epic track “Godfather Death,” as well as “The Dunwich Horror” do this exceptionally well—combining stunning and stellar violins with speedy, intense technicality that doesn’t seem as if it would fit together, but does so brilliantly.
This surreal mismatch of elements continues to play in Lorelei’s favor as each component of each track grows and winds into one another. Even at their most symphonic, Lorelei include touches of spine-rending brutality and blistering heaviness that would make even the strongest shoulders bough and break beneath its weight. “Masque” does this incredibly well—playing on symphony and sinful amounts of shred alike to create an onslaught unlike that which the listener has ever heard. Likewise, “The Mortal Immortal” juxtaposes speedy fretwork and machine-gun blast beats alongside overarching harmonization and orchestral arrangements that surround the listener in a cathedral of sound. This chapel of curiously-crafted harmonization lasts only seconds before Lorelei once more devolve into a primal, go-for-the-throat style heaviness that tears away the listener’s jugular and leaves them completely and utterly breathless. This pattern repeats itself tirelessly, even on epic and enormous sprawling soundscapes such as “Lore of Lies,” where the same tactics are masterfully manipulated to make a twelve-minute long track feel as though it is still twelve minutes too short. Lore of Lies is a bipolar juggernaut that will have the listener breathless in awe at one second, and without a seconds notice, breathless for lack of a chest cavity to respire with.
While Lorelei are no doubt at the top of their instrumental game, it is the lyrics that provide the finishing touches to Lore of Lies to make it a truly immersive listening experience. Guttural, gritty bellows and raspy, strung-out screeches work side-by-side with eerie clean vocals and surreal whispered segments to tell the darkest series of campfire-like horror stories the listener can imagine. The sheer diversity of the vocal component of the album are enough to inspire fright in and of themselves—especially on the magnificent “Salem Town.” Paralyzed with fear and awe at the band’s marvelous storytelling capability, the listener has no choice but to continue down Lorelei’s rabbit hole of horror—sucked in by inventive songwriting and snared by surreal, soul-shredding screams and lyrics that would make M. Night Shamylan cower in fear. To put it simply, Lorelei are masters of inventive, symphonic deathcore songwriting—a mastery which is rivaled only by their ability to write immersive and engaging lyrics that fit each segment of each song—even when those segments feel like they shouldn’t fit in the first place.
Every night you try to sleep, hoping you won’t wake up—realizing that the Hell inside your head is slowly morphing into Hell that surrounds your conscious form. Lorelei have everything it takes to make this a reality—as Lore of Lies is a carnival of horrors that surreptitiously sneaks inside the listener’s head and lays eggs that hatch and grow into soul-stealing nightmares. Lore of Lies is a bastion to the perfection of symphonic deathcore that will haunt the listener until their dying day.
For Fans Of: The Bridal Procession, Make Them Suffer, Ovid’s Withering, Delusions of Grandeur.
By: Connor Welsh