Pain Remains

Lorna Shore

Pain Remains

When Lorna Shore brought in Will Ramos to replace their previous vocalist in 2020, he had his work cut out for him. The New Jersey deathcore crew already had three albums and three EPs under their collective belt—not to mention a significant fanbase. Ramos made his studio debut with the band on their 2021 EP, …And I Return to Nothingness. “Writing the EP, I overthought the crap out of everything,” he tells Apple Music. “I had a million different ideas but wasn’t sure what to do. In the end, the band was like, ‘Do whatever feels most comfortable.’” Their advice paid off when the EP’s “To the Hellfire” went viral. So, Ramos trusted his instincts when it came time to write lyrics for Pain Remains. “I wanted to write an adventure that starts with the first song and ends almost back at the beginning with the last song,” he explains. Inspired by some of his favorite anime and manga, Pain Remains is a concept album that takes place in a dreamworld created by someone who wants to escape their reality. “A lot of deathcore albums are about anger and ‘fuck this, fuck that’—very monotone,” Ramos notes. “I wanted to do something that creates an emotion that, maybe, you haven’t felt in a long time.” Below, he discusses each track. “Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer” “There’s a narrator explaining the potential of dreams and lucidity, the opportunity for exploration of the infinite, and a deeper dive into the human psyche. The whole song is about falling into this place that feels familiar, but it’s somehow not familiar at the same time. It’s a concept album, so this is the first chapter.” “Into the Earth” “This is where the character starts to realize that they’re lucid dreaming—and they’re able to control almost all of this world that’s around them. In the first song, they’re falling into place. In this one, they’re becoming aware of their abilities. Lucid dreaming—becoming aware of dreaming during the dream—is one of the hardest things to do. Usually, when you do that, you wake up immediately. But this person is realizing they can manipulate their dreamworld.” “Sun//Eater” “In this one, the character starts to realize that they’re almost like a god. When you start to lucid-dream, you become the god of your dreams. You can control everything. The chorus talks about being omnipotent: ‘I am the one/Icarus/I’ll touch the sun,’ whereas Icarus could not touch the sun. He tried so hard. In this song, the person is saying, ‘These are the things I’m going to do.’ It’s optimism. ‘I want to create. This is where I’m at.’” “Cursed to Die” “In this song, the character is fully immersed in a dreamlike state. After realizing that they’re a god in the last song, now the person who controls this dream universe ends up making people in his own image, so he’s not alone in this world. He’s creating man, essentially, from his memories. He’s basically just trying to fill a void inside that can’t be filled. At this point, he starts second-guessing everything. ‘Did I do this for fulfillment? Am I feeling fulfilled?’ He’s not exactly sure. But he’s learning that reality is whatever you make it to be.” “Soulless Existence” “This is where the main character, who has become the god of his own world, starts to realize that there is no point. ‘I’ve done all this shit, and I’m still not happy.’ His emptiness is filling up this world. He himself is nothingness. He’s lost his purpose. He’s found no significance in himself or anything that he has created. He’s lost. He starts to feel like he’s in an endless, almost inescapable purgatory. The lyrics are basically saying he’s in a place where nobody could ever find him.” “Apotheosis” “The character starts to see something in the distance that gives him a glimpse of hope. It may be a person or a thing, but he sees the light at the end of the tunnel. He’s like, ‘This is going to be fine. Everything is going to work out.’” “Wrath” “When we were putting the album together, this one got moved around. ‘Wrath’ was supposed to be before ‘Apotheosis’ in the story, but the songs flowed better sonically this way. The song is about being pissed and wanting to destroy everything. He’s basically at the point where he wants to see the world he’s created go down in flames. But, like I said, this was supposed to be before he finds any glimpse of hope. So, the story is a little jumbled here.” “Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames” “I used to have dreams where I would have this fantastic relationship with somebody, and I can’t even tell who this person is at all because that’s how dreams are. Unfortunately, you can’t make out a lot of things—dreams are so vague. But in your mind, it makes sense. You’re falling in love, and then you’ll wake up from the dream and be like, ‘Shit, that never really happened at all. This sucks.’ In the story, the character has a moment like this. They begin to love in their dreams, which returns meaning to their dreamworld. But they can’t quite find solace.” “Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear” “He’s beginning to realize that, after everything, he’s at the end of this whole world he made. It’s all a ghost in the breeze, like fading memories. He wants to disappear, to escape from this dreamworld.” “Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire” “This is the conclusion, but it’s also the part where he is most angry. He’s at the bottom of the barrel and desperate. The world he made, he’s going to burn it all down and disappear. He’s ready to go back to wherever it was that he came from. It’s the idea that God has left us and the world he made. He’s bored, he’s sad, and nothing he’s done has brought him any purpose. So, he leaves the world and goes back to the reality he came from. The ending is a bittersweet tragedy.”

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