Artist: Lost Fortune
Album: Living Ghost – EP
Have you ever found a coat or pair of pants you forgot you even owned—only to put it on and find the pockets are a playground of forgotten gems and trinkets? Maybe it’s a keychain you won from an arcade, a present for your (now-ex) girlfriend, a handful of loose change or—best case—a crisp twenty dollar bill. Serendipitously stumbling across things like those can turn crap days into great ones—just because the universe aligned to give you a little good luck. Beatdown-tinted deathcore act Lost Fortune are, in a way, very similar to such an event. The unknowing heavy music fan may stumble across this furious Floridian quartet expecting the standard for the scene they hail from: a collection of pissed, heavy—but unmemorable—heavy hardcore anthems. That might be what they expect—but it’s far from what they get. Lost Fortune are a crushing deathcore supergroup composed of members from Dealey Plaza and King Conquer, and their debut EP, Living Ghost, is exactly what you would expect from such a superb gathering of heavy music’s heaviest hitters.
Lost Fortune are a surprising band in the sense where they capture traditional deathcore’s white-hot aggression and blistering speed, but without boring the listener to death with boatloads of blast beats and repetitive tremolo-chug “riffs.” Percussionist Tyler Smith dominates tracks like “The Walk” and “Dead World” with bouncy, groove-laced patterns that use technically savvy fills and fleet footwork to keep the listener engaged, rather than relying on over-the-top speed. In fact, a great majority of Smith’s drumming is anything but fast—“Scream,” for example, uses a combination of dancy, fun patterns and perfectly tuned and produced tones to entrance the listener—while bassist Bryan Long adds depth and explosive bounce to each bold groove. Long’s lurid bass grooves never steal the show, but they do give each soul-smothering breakdown the extra bit of thickness and girth they need to send Lost Fortune’s heaviest moments into downtempo deathcore territory. While Smith and Long bounce and boom away with a solid mixture of speed, energy and aggression, guitarist Jesse Kirkbride does what he does best: groove. No portion of Living Ghost feels like his razor sharp riffing on any of Dealey Plaza’s releases—rather he takes his sinister, sharp style of furious fretwork and dulls it down, covering it in a filthy layer of rust and drags it along the listener’s spine at a snail’s pace. The conclusion of “Dead World” all through the dissonant downtempo anthem found hidden in the misleadingly named “Interlude” is some of Kirkbride’s heaviest, most horrifying work to date, but shines especially brightly in the context of the entire EP, where each track strides a fine line between tactfully energetic groove and no-holds-barred aggression.
The final part to this Floridian four-piece is arguably the most engaging and incredible facet of their dynamic. Frontman Chris Whited—yes, of King Conquer fame—lets loose with what is not just some of his finest work yet, but with a genre-defining display of diversity that solidifies his position as one of deathcore’s greatest voices. Whited is a warrior behind the mic—wonderfully aggressive and fearsome to a tee, as well as having superior endurance and incredible power. During his closing salvo on “Living Ghost,” the listener can practically feel his breath and spit on their face, exploding through their headphones with more force than a ten-ton-tank’s cannon. Here, Whited reigns with a harsh, hefty and intelligible mid-range yell—but segments of “Dead Walk” and “Scream” display how diverse and engaging he can be. Here, Whited’s vocals don’t even sound like they come from the same throat as the syllables that preceded them; as they are grisly, visceral and gurgling, drowning the listener in slimy, sloppy filth. Between his energy, endurance and incredible diversity, Whited is the icing on Lost Fortune’s five-story-tall cake.
Bouncy and quick enough to satisfy fans of heavy music that are bored by the “low and slow” trend, yet destructive and heavy enough to steamroll Mount Everest, Living Ghost is a comprehensive display of crushing aggression that is exactly what one would expect from a group composed of the underground’s greatest talents. Each riff, groove and chug from Kirkbride’s fingertips is more furious than the last—and every syllable from Whited’s mouth is absolute fire. Lost Fortune might lose points for such a brief display of brutalizing, genre-ruling dominance, but those are points they easily earn back with their debut’s devilish catchiness and incredible replay value. Living Ghost is a lacerating display of devastating anger that cuts through the listener’s skull and removes part of their brain with ease—only to dwell and propagate in the caverns it has crafted in the listener’s cranium.
If you picked up Lost Fortune’s debut release thinking it would be a standard but fun display of trademarked Floridian fury, prepare to be amazed. Living Ghost is an excellent release that will haunt the listener’s head—and “recently played” list—for eons to come.
For Fans Of: Beacons, Dealey Plaza, We Have Been Compromised, King Conquer
By: Connor Welsh