Love And Death – Perfectly Preserved
Released: 12th February 2021
Brian ‘Head’ Welch // Lead Vocals, Guitar
JS Bareis // Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jasen Rauch // Bass
Isaiah Perez // Drums
Finally it’s here. You know we’ve been excited for this release. Love And Death has been cooking up a storm for a few months now and they’ve now finally dropped Perfectly Preserved, which is truly a masterpiece. Let’s not waste any time and jump into it.
Intro track ‘Infamy’ is a keyboard-led piece, which is soft, filled with drama, and encapsulates incredible suspense for what’s coming next, particularly if you’ve heard the singles the band have released thus far.
‘Tragedy’ is the first track we haven’t heard yet and it’s wonderful. KoRn’s Brian ‘Head’ Welch showcases his clean vocal effort straight off the get-go, with support from JS Bareis on some of the sharper notes. It’s really nice to hear Welch getting involved in some clean vocals, as in our research for the interview with him, it was clear in his book that singing has been a challenge to overcome historically. Don’t worry though, ‘Tragedy’ progresses to a head-banger, and gets you in a bit of a KoRn mood; and don’t worry there’s a lot more where that came from. Also, wait ‘til the “feed me” breakdown at the end – you’ll know what I mean when you hear it.
Far out, I need a Powerade already. ‘Down’ is next on the horizon which you’ve most likely heard before if you’re reading this, however if you haven’t, imagine this as potentially the first ever Love And Death song that many people heard. It really encapsulates the fusion of Breaking Benjamin and KoRn and everything experimentally in between.
Ok brace your-fucking-self. Ex-Flyleaf vocalist Lacey Sturm joins the band to cover DJ Snake and Justin Bieber’s ‘Let Me Love You‘ (yes, you heard me correctly). If you’ve heard Love And Death’s cover of ‘Whip It’ from their last LP, you’ll know they have a chance at cracking a pop cover. JS Bareis is absolutely phenomenal on the pipes, and the riffs are heavy, which is exactly what you want to hear ahead of brutalising a Justin Bieber effort, ‘cause we’re metal and all, right? Sturm is an excellent addition for the track, and you can tell she’s having the best time having a duet with Bareis, but wait til Head jumps in with his gutturals – you’ll be ready for the nightclub. The cover is not only a brave effort, but incredibly fun – go into this one with an open mind.
‘Death of Us’ is kind of like a deep-cut, as I couldn’t imagine it being released as a single, but only because it’d be better to capture it as part of the record in a sonic story, than in an isolated manner. The track is highly Breaking Benjamin influenced instrumentally, and once again Head jumps in on the clean-vocal game, and it sounds great, particularly given how iconic his voice is, and you’ll never hear that in KoRn. This is Bareis’ moment to shine as well, he carries the track with his harmonious clean vocals, and leaves his mark with the band with numbers like this. At this mid-way point ‘Slow Fire’ caters to both the hard rock and low-tuned metal. The fusion is another deep-cut that hangs well in the album. Next up is ‘The Hunter’ which you’ve also heard before. It features Keith Wallen from Breaking Benjamin so at this point you’ll really be looking around and going, “where’s Benjamin Burnley”? But, in all seriousness, it’s great to get more of the BB boys on the track, and hearing the fusion expand between the musicians’ respective bands.
‘Lo Lamento’ takes us to the back-end of Perfectly Preserved and commences with blistering riffs with Head taking over the vocal effort again, which is a suitable alternation after the last track. Again, Head’s vocal effort is applaudable and is mixed really well with the rest of the band. This track is a bit of a stand-out, it’s highly melodic and has some delicious crescendos which will leave you going back for more, undoubtedly. They use the soft-verse, crunchy chorus recipe and the alternation works a treat. Oh, and look out for that ballistic breakdown at the end, when Head reverts back to what he does best, well, uh, going ballistic on the mic.
Before the closing track the band deliver ‘Affliction’ which feels really personal to Head, as it talks about addiction, which is something the iconic guitarist has openly battled his whole life, just check out his books. What you will get on this track that you haven’t got elsewhere is a nu-metal aspect where Head dabbles in the rap-game as his close friend Jonathan Davis does, and it’s awesome to hear how this works for Love And Death. You’ve got it all on this track – the melodies, the breakdowns, but also the nu-metal. All I can say is wow.
Finally, we have ‘White Flag’ which you’ve probably also heard before. It features Ryan Hayes and is a real anthem for the record. After forty-five seconds, Head’s raspy vocals appear, and sucks you right into the vortex of Love And Death immediately. This is the perfect song to play last because it captures the talents of the band endlessly, and leaves you with the best kind of feeling. The chorus could not be more Breaking Benjamin influenced, and brings in the ‘Welch belch’ – we might have to copyright that one. The song takes a slower turn but then reverts back to that nu-metal chaos, which will leave KoRn fans frothing at the mouth for more.
Honestly, this record is going to go down in history as something really special, and the thing is you may not hear another one because COVID is what finally brought these guys back together after a long time apart. Check it out, and enjoy the familiarity of their other bands, and also their unique approach to Perfectly Preserved.
Love And Death – Perfectly Preserved tracklisting
- Let Me Love You (feat. Lacey Sturm)
- Death Of Us
- Slow Fire
- The Hunter (feat. Keith Wallen)
- Lo Lamento
- White Flag (feat. Ryan Hayes)
Revisit our interview with Brian ‘Head’ Welch chatting all things Love And Death, COVID, Bieber and more here