PVRIS
All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell


4.5
superb

Review

by Aeri USER (26 Reviews)
August 25th, 2017 | 190 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark, and damn near perfect.

White Noise couldn’t have set it up any better.
It was a brighter light for certain, but still darker than most within the usually perkier electronic rock genre the record inhabits, and Lyndsey Gunnulfsen made damn sure of that. Conceptualised initially under the working title, Haunt, White Noise sees Gunnulfsen bear her heart for all to see, poignantly inspired by ghosts and spirituality, and including the very real frustrations of her own sexuality. These all come together to gorgeously, hauntingly infect the album, and renders White Noise an incredibly captivating affair, deluxe edition or not. Resistance at completely letting loose is sometimes apparent on White Noise; a constrictive self-restraint seems to linger throughout the record, but it is also as much apparent as the obvious urge to want to seize you by the neck, and scream directly into your face.
”Oh, you’re killing me right now. I think it’s time you burn me down.”

Sophomore effort, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, shares much of what came before, but a difference in perspective and looming presence of a brutal cynicality is vastly evident from the very beginning of the record. Sure, Gunnulfsen still offers her heart to be seen, but instead of another willing glimpse into her psyche, everything she has to say seems to spill out violently, splitting at the seams and plunging forward uncontrollably. There’s something wrong here. The mood is murkier; the dying glow from what came before is almost completely gone now, and the white noise is fading to black.
”Don’t need you to tell me I’m so cynical; quit being so over-skeptical.
Yes, there is something wrong here. It’s you.

”I think we were cursed from the start.
That sounds accurate enough. Things aren’t exactly beginning optimistically when ‘Heaven’ opens All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, and Gunnulfsen’s aching croon sets the mood perfectly. ‘Heaven’ is hardly the façade of positivity that the title may have you believe; it’s about as far from it as you could possibly imagine, and, within 20 seconds of opening the record, a blast of vibrant reverbed vocals and explosive pop-rock instrumentation rears its head. Gunnulfsen’s furious delivery of ”you took my heaven away” rips through the mix, and any resistance that may have lingered from the previous record is firmly pushed into the past. The track peaks in a massive crescendo of overlapped vocals before suddenly fading, bleeding softly into ‘Half’; a delayed guitar laced with chorus, gently picking up from where ‘Heaven’ left off, before charging forward into one of the most enthralling tracks the record has to offer. It’s heavily enhanced by some fantastic lead guitar work from Alex Babinski, and Gunnulfsen’s searing vocal delivery once again hugely highlights the track, lyrically focusing on an inability to rid herself of an internal torment, and overcome an overwhelming decision. Lyndsey Gunnulfsen’s ability to captivate and capture a listener has been evident since even before White Noise, but the desperation that seems to fuel her performance on All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell pushes things completely over the edge;
”One foot in the grave, the other on the ground. I can’t process what I’m feeling now.”

Following suit from the introductory tracks ‘Heaven’ and ‘Half’, aesthetically the album’s soundscape remains wonderfully vivid throughout the entire record. Considering the overall morbidity lingering over most of the songs, such as 'Winter' and 'Seperate', some clear influence that comes from recording in a supposedly haunted church is certainly evident; everything is intoxicatingly morose, even at the best of times. ‘What’s Wrong’s opening “oh woah”s could be initially misinterpreted as a more uplifting addition to the album’s repertoire, but the chorus infected guitar line has returned to a quietly spectacular effect, and once Gunnulfsen softly laments ”two years gone, came back as some bones and so cynical” the track dreamily follows suit what most tracks reflect. It all sounds so frustratingly exasperated, a weary build from tired to thunderous when Gunnulfsen’s composure finally snaps, screaming ”no, I never sold my soul.” Heaviest cut on the record, 'No Mercy', features a similar performance, geared toward a far more rock orientated sound, reminiscent of earlier PVRIS releases, and Gunnulfsen once again completely letting loose.
It’s chaotically furious, and beautifully so.

Displaying a little more of the All We Know of Heaven... side to things, 'Anyone Else' shines as a much lighter track instrumentally, yet lyrically the song mirrors much of the battle between vulnerability and self assurtion that 'What's Wrong' embodies so brilliantly, with repeated chants of an enraged "I don't belong to anyone else" before peaking suddenly into an enchanting closing harp segment. While also featuring some refreshing acoustic work, similar track 'Same Soul' also stands as a slightly more upbeat track on the album, but remains in keeping with the record's overall tone and utilizes some mezmerizing synthesizer work to enhance the chorus.

Summarizing the gorgeous cocophony that All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell so fantastically stands as is easy enough from a first glance, but some truly spectacular performances are to be found here, and are deserving of so much more care and attention. A great amount of heart has been poured into the record, and PVRIS’ investment in the album’s core themes is also just as easily evident from the band’s approach to the visual style surrounding the release of the record; White Noise’s music videos and accompanying artwork were hardly colourful endeavours, but All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell is plunged into a far more pessimistic environment. Throughout a series of simplistic ‘visualette’s alongside the few music videos currently released, the band members are placed into theatrically capricious scenes that gradually worsen as the videos continue, somewhat disturbing to behold at times. The easiest and simplest reflection of one of the album’s significant themes is seen through the album artwork, featuring the band member's all mirrored on the surface of a nearby lake, and it is exactly that; reflection.
”Take the mirror from the wall so I can’t see myself at all;
Don’t wanna see another damn inch of my skull.


If All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell offers anything, it’s simple catharsis in visceral ferocity, reflecting on what came before and a desperation to be rid of it.
It's dark, beautiful, and damn near perfect.



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user ratings (195)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
copperperson997 (3.5)
PVRIS have uncommon maturity in the way they write choruses and structure their music, but they stil...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Aerisavion
August 25th 2017


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Turns out I loved this.



As always, feedback appreciated.

SteakByrnes
August 25th 2017


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love both the album and the review. Such a good progression from White Noise, and my god Lynn sounds incredible on this record. With a couple more listens I might bump this up, if I still feel that it's as spectacular as it was on the first two listens

Digging: ERRA - Neon

Dewinged
August 25th 2017


10821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lyndsey absolutely rips this album from the inside, pure guts. Just listened to it this morning and I was very impressed. very good review Aeris, inminent pos.

Digging: Tomberlin - At Weddings

Aerisavion
August 25th 2017


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys, appreciate you checking it out.



Agreed, Lynn is absolutely incredible here.

Divaman
August 25th 2017


2633 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review. Looking forward to checking out the album.

Digging: John Gorka - True in Time

Aerisavion
August 25th 2017


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man, hope you enjoy it

sempiturtle
August 25th 2017


1464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Fuk this is so good honestly 2017 was pretty shite before August but this month just went in.

Dewinged
August 25th 2017


10821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The year is gonna go out with a bang Sempi, heed my words.

Wolfhorde
August 25th 2017


15372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gonna see these guys in November.





Gonna need to re-listen but so far I'd expect this to be in 3.5-4.5 territory.

Dewinged
August 25th 2017


10821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a solid 4 if not over that. I will probably bump it at some point.

Aerisavion
August 25th 2017


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I envy you. I wanted to see them but couldn't get things sorted so I could ):

Wolfhorde
August 25th 2017


15372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That sucks. Yeah, tickets are like 30 bucks or sth and I don't have one yet but I don't expect it to be sold out too quickly, will get one as soon as I have money left tho, haha. I even have a friend who wants to come with as I randomly played some songs at her place and mentioned they'll be playing here!



Lynn's voice is supposedly incredible live.



SweeneyTodd
August 25th 2017


1663 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fantastic review, haven't listened to this yet but going off the pre-release tracks this'll easily be a 4/4.5

Aerisavion
August 25th 2017


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man, cheers for checking it out

ianblxdsoe
August 25th 2017


1887 Comments


kinds dug the 2 or 3 singles i heard from this but i have white noise 5'd so idk how this will pan out

Digging: Chief Keef - Mansion Musick

Aerisavion
August 25th 2017


1533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It shall pan out well my friend.

SteakByrnes
August 25th 2017


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I saw these guys open for Muse and they sounded incredible live, especially the drummer and Lynn

Beardog
August 25th 2017


2048 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The singles got me really excited, I guess I'll enjoy this one more than White Noise

Advent
August 25th 2017


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was really good. I got some serious AFI vibes from this and at times I thought it spun like a Decemberunderground Part 2.



And agreed: Lynn sounds amazing here. There are a lot neat little touches and breaks among the songs too and I'll definitely need to spin this a few more times to dissect them all.

trackbytrackreviews
August 25th 2017


3361 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Really? With the exception of Walk Alone I think this album is damn awesome



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