Italy is home to many things, the Tuscan sunset, a rich history, and some of the best metal music in the world. The main exporter of precision machinery, Italian musicians’ LORN work as a well-oiled machine that combines a burning assault of authentic instruments, but also the uses of synthesizers and atmospheric tools to create a double-edged sword of excellence on their newest record, Arrayed Claws.
LORN has been in production since 2002 with their split-record release with band Near, Into The Frozen Empire. Since then, LORN has made their way through the ladder with their psychotic attacks and gentle underbelly that shines through as a catalyst to the destruction at hand. Once LORN begins rolling, their musical style is an unstoppable force of nature that continually builds and takes very little time to show mercy. Even during these few breakdowns, LORN still maintains that same level of intensity as they focus on a single instrument to progress the track forward, keeping an onslaught of constant depth to their tracks. While comprised of only two single members, Radok, the band’s multi-instrumentalist controls the guitars, bass, synthesizer work, and even vocal aspect, while Chimsicrin leads the percussion.
Arrayed Claws is only a five-track album, but spans nearly 40-minutes; a journey of mixed emotions that sways the energy from strength-driven metal to a gentle, more background focused style where LORN puts away their teeth and instead creeps up on the listener instead. On their opening track, LORN uses “Disharmonic Feticism” to instill a ten-minute journey of anguish, dread, but soon hope as the synthesizers start to fade away the black that surrounded the first sections, and in turn make for a beautiful ending. Before however, from the start of “Disharmonic Feticism,” Chimsicrin is pounding out hits on the bass drum and Radok is not only growling, but also moving in a sprinting motion on his guitar. Radok uses his vocals to cover topics of death, despair, and foolishness. Even his first lines on Arrayed Claws speak of, “Intentness, so that nothing correspond. Intolerance to the familiar, orgasmic grate. Reposing trust in the lag, like an addicting remand, misaligning spring of disorder. And his prolific pollen will strangle this illusion to fool the motionless ring of our hour.” LORN is more of an instrumental band that uses their sound to convey emotion rather than the actual lyrics; this is more and more present as Arrayed Claws continues into the following track, “Abstract Trap.”
While the synth segue is entirely misleading, “Abstract Trap” is just that; a track that uses bait and completely switches to bring about more destruction with the constant pummel and power struggle between the percussion and the guitar work. from the sections where no words are spoken, but the instrumentalists are screaming through their music continues the same level of intensity as before. It is a consistent ride of how the tracks are actually mapped out, most times they are a grinding persecution of long-winded, death metal style sections where the guitars can swell and work along side the percussion. Other times, the synths take over, or the guitar plays in a melodic style, branching out the sound in more of an experimental style.
LORN manages to switch their sound up in such variety, that it is almost impossible to not see each track as one long masterpiece of fluid content. There are miniscule sections where the music completely stops, the continuous nature is a wonderful style that not many artists can pull off as well as LORN. Even on the moments where Arrayed Claws is not a pulverizing conquest on the listener, like on the final minutes of the track, “Aus Nebel Turm (From Mist Tower)” where LORN instead becomes more drone-like in their approach and begins a broader perspective on their musical output. The genre-blending style of LORN is a fresh approach to metal and leaves the mostly destroyed backdrop for a more hopeful style with the final fading notes. They combine both a cloud of death, and a rebirth in their tracks near seconds from each other in a style that is impossible to mimic.