Love and Death
Perfectly Preserved


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyler W. CONTRIBUTOR (53 Reviews)
March 24th, 2021 | 15 replies


Release Date: 02/12/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A satisfactory return

Eight years. There were eight years between Love and Death’s arrival on the scene with their debut, Between Here and Lost, and their newest effort, Perfectly Preserved. This time was disrupted by changing band members, return to former bands, conflicting schedules, and the joys of a worldwide shut down. Nonetheless, the potential for a Love and Death sophomore record remained, persisting more and more each year. Finally, after years of waiting and losing hope, the band returns with their second record that continues the same nu-metal/alternative metal sound that dominated the debut.

In an interview with guitarist JR Bareis, it was revealed that the record was written over the entire course of the 8-year gap between the two records in various segments of songwriting motivation. From the oldest written track “White Flag” to the more recently written tracks such as “Down” and “Tragedy,” Perfectly Preserved embodies its own title as it stands out as an album full of preserved tracks that were written and enhanced over long periods of time. With its composition, Love and Death’s sophomore record embraces the same nu metal sound established previously with heavily distorted riffs with dissonance, groovy drum rhythms and patterns, emphasized bass presence, and the dynamic performance of harsher sing/screams from Brian “Head” Welch and the cleaner, smoother tones from JR Bareis. From the dramatic opener of “Infamy” that soars in atmosphere to the heavy, unrelenting closer of “White Flag,” Perfectly Preserved is full of nonstop energy and power. This is particularly felt in the addition of Isaiah Perez and drums and Jasen Rauch on bass. Both of these new members provide a deeper aspect to the songwriting of the band, establishing their own sound within the record by providing heavier grooves and powerful presence.

Along with these new members, Love and Death tackles new territory with their sound, expanding their horizons of songwriting ability. On “Tragedy” and “Affliction,” the band looks more toward a slower build of compositional tension, providing softer verses that explode into powerful choruses, accompanied all the more by intense, brutal breakdowns that showcase the heaviest aspects of the band’s performance. On the other end of the spectrum, tracks like “Death of Us” and “Slow Fire” show the band taking on an immediately aggressive presence, displaying some of Love and Death’s heaviest riffs to date mixing low tuned open notes contrasted by high dissonance. Finding the middle ground between these two sounds lies the more “mainstream” styles of “Down” and the cover of DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You,” providing listeners with the heavier riffs in the intro and breakdown while maintaining a cleaner approach in the verses and choruses.

On the other end of the songwriting spectrum, JR Bareis described the lyricism of Perfectly Preserved as a similar approach of the debut’s cry for redemption in the midst of recognizing the damages around, yet these themes are written from a new perspective. The last eight years have been a time of change for each of the members as they took on new challenges with different bands and projects, providing them with broader aspects of the world and how that impacts them personally. Moreover, Bareis described this experience as a more collaborative band effort, moving the focus from the struggles that Head faced early on in the solo music industry to the more holistic problems plaguing the modern-day world that affects individuals, especially in times of crisis such as now. However, with this more collaborative effort spanning multiple years, the themes often feel convoluted in presentation, showing the disparity between the tracks with earlier songwriting compared to those of more matured composition. Despite this disparity, the message behind each track remains just as powerful on an individual level, amplified by the supporting instrumentation throughout the record.

Aside from some inconsistencies in songwriting and composition (which is to be expected with such a large hiatus gap), Love and Death’s Perfectly Preserved satisfies fans with a solid comeback record that carries the momentum of the debut further. Although not as raw and dynamic as the first record, the band’s sophomore record shows signs of maturity in songwriting capabilities and showcases the band members working with each other with fantastic chemistry and teamwork. Now the question remains: how long will we have to wait for Love and Death’s third full length?



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user ratings (37)
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
pizzamachine (2)
The only kind of review this album deserves since Love and Death are stuck in the past....



Comments:Add a Comment 
tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2021


2497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Guess it should be noted that I am a bit of a fanboy of this band since I've been listening to them since they first started, but this is definitely a fun record for me to listen to!

Not as good as the debut, but it still stands strong as a solid jam from them... hoping we don't have to wait a ridiculous amount of time again before the next project from them releases

SteakByrnes
March 24th 2021


24243 Comments


Ayyyy sick, glad you finally got this out bro it's a rad review. I still gotta check this out lol, maybe as soon as Erra stops swallowing me whole

Digging: Origami Button - No Parking

William21
March 24th 2021


680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm definitely digging this album

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2021


2497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Appreciate it Steak! Hope you enjoy this when you check it out.

Glad to see you're diggin William, what are some of you favorites from this?

William21
March 24th 2021


680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Slow Fire, Tragedy, Down, and The Hunter come to mind. I also love the cover song, bizarre choice as it is.

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2021


2497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice man! Tragedy has been my favorite since release, but Slow Fire and Affliction have been growing on me immensely

William21
March 24th 2021


680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Affliction isn't quite as high on my list overall, but it does have an awesome bridge

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2021


2497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, that's my favorite part for sure... pretty sick screams from JR there

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2021


8295 Comments


nu metal?! and a DJ Snake cover?! hot dang



JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2021


3174 Comments


great review ty, i think i'll avoid the living fuck out of this considering nu metal, dj snake cover and that album art lmaoo

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2021


2497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

probably best haha, appreciate the read tho!

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2021


24835 Comments


It was a good read indeed. Didn't know about this project until this album was announced.

I may give it chance, not too big on nu metal these days but it's always entertaining to say the least.

Digging: Nightwish - Wishmaster

Purpl3Spartan
May 24th 2021


742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Brian "Head" Welch. The man, the myth, the legend

Beardog
June 29th 2021


4072 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NOT BAD, love that JB cover haha

JonathanHouse
July 16th 2021


16 Comments


Very nice read!



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