PVRIS

All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell

Written by: LL on 10/11/2017 15:02:04

The young Massachusetts band PVRIS signed with Rise Records and stormed onto the alternative music scene in 2014 with the charismatic vocalist Lynn Gunn in front. Their debut record "White Noise" was praised from all sides for successfully and inventingly blending electropop elements with the band's previous metalcore sound for a synth-heavy new style akin to a band like Bring Me The Horizon's newer things but with no growling or screaming of any kind. On their sophomore release "All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell" however, the band has moved even further from their origins and while the album is definitely still dark in sound, the heavier drums and distorted guitars of the first album have been toned down here. The music is still very rhythm-based but the rock elements don't always seem like the foundation anymore.

PVRIS have thus pushed their sound further but while their songwriting results in several catchy tunes that have both the energy and riffs of alternative guitar rock and the expansive and heavy sound of dark electro, the songs just don't reach the same heights as the best cuts of the group's debut album. So maybe I'm just slow to attune myself to a new more floaty sound but the tracks that stand out to me here, then, are the ones where Gunn strains her voice the most into a sort of angry not-quite-screaming and where the music has the most dramatic shifts. In that department "Anyone Else" keeps catching my attention with its great contrast between a more simple, dark background and Gunns sharp vocals.

Many of the other songs here are, on the other hand, dominated by the thick backdrops all the way through and only album opener "Heaven" and the almost shoegazingly circling "Half" are worth mentioning as standout tracks in that style, not least because of their pushy drumming that keeps the energy high in the softer sound. "No Mercy" kicks in with a faster tempo on the second half of the album and picks up in the chorus with a noisy expanse of sound that stands out from the more dreamy sounds of the surrounding album. Other songs have catchy and well-delivered lines, like the confrontational "I'm just somebody that you used to know!" in "Same Soul", or just in general a really appealing lyrical flow as in the single "What's Wrong" that also shines in the chorus with its busy synth work. Most of them, unfortunately, have strong choruses and bland verses that sit in stark contrast to the all-round quality of songs like "My House", "St. Patrick", "Fire", "Holy" or "Mirrors" that were all excellent cuts from the first album.

We are left, then, with an album where the best tracks are the three first ones, after which different elements of the songs keep the album afloat but without really hitting home with any full song. The band's mixing of styles still sounds seamless, though, and the production by VersaEmerge's Blake Harnage makes it all sound full and magically enveloping. It's thus a great-sounding record but it seems to lack some of the more hard-hitting inventiveness that made "White Noise" such an intriguing debut. For any fans of modern electronic rock, however, its blanketing soundscapes might be just what you need to sink into and hide away in for the cold season.

Download: Anyone Else, Half, Heaven
For The Fans Of: Tonight Alive, Versa, Thirty Seconds To Mars, We Are The In Crowd, You Me At Six
Listen: facebook.com/PVRISBandMa

Release date 25.08.2017
Rise Records

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