Love And Death arrived like an anguished breath of air in 2013, with their emotional, disillusioned worldview and inherently religion-centric lyricism that first took centre stage on then ex-Korn guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch’s earlier solo effort, Save Me From Myself. Forged as a creative outlet for recovery and spiritual redemption, their debut album, Between Here And Lost, found the band sounding aggressively earnest as they poured out their blackened hearts, and Perfectly Preserved continues in this vein.
The four-piece’s sound hasn’t changed drastically, but every element has been expertly honed. Sonically, Perfectly Preserved is a lot more arresting by comparison, with the interplay between Jasen Rauch’s dissonant bass rumbles, Isaiah Perez’s blistering drum work and JR Bareis’s guitar tone feeling more organic and intricate than before, especially on songs like the previously released single Lo Lamento, which veers between a seething, nu metal-like blitzkreig and searing ballad in terms of its underlying melancholy. JR’s clean vocals sound a lot more confident this time, with the dynamic Infamy being a hair-raising highlight. Brian’s harsh screams are even more savage too, but still just as clear and audible, which is good as Love And Death place a starker onus on songwriting this time around.
From the depths of addiction (Down) to failed relationships (Let Me Love You, featuring a cameo from Flyleaf’s Lacey Sturm) and the heady collision of optimistic values with oppressive systems on anthemic White Flag, the album rails against a variety of topics whilst managing to incorporate personal beliefs amongst huge, punchy hooks and pummelling riffs without coming across as overly preachy. A sonic confessional of sorts, Love And Death’s second coming has managed to draw new triumphs from former tribulations.
Love And Death’s Perfectly Preserved is available to pre-order