ARTIST: PVRIS

TITLE: ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN, ALL WE NEED OF HELL

LABEL: RISE RECORDS

RATING: 8/10

Few bands have seen such high expectations around their second album as PVRIS, whose excellent 2014 debut, White Noise, catapulted them into the spotlight faster and farther than most bands see throughout the span of their career. Universally acclaimed, and with an ever-growing number of adoring fans, Lyndsey Gunnulfsen (stylised as Lynn Gunn), Brian Macdonald and Alex Babinski were under a great deal of pressure to provide with their new record, All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell.

Not only have PVRIS lived up to the hype, but they have absolutely knocked it out of the park with AWKOHAWNOH. If you’re a fan of PVRIS (which we are) then you are going to love this album. White Noise now feels like a simple taster of what we could come to expect from the Massachusetts-born trio. All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell is a dark, mesmerising, often ethereal experience that shows PVRIS spread their wings and soar to new heights.

The band’s growth is perhaps nowhere more evident than in album opener, ‘Heaven’, which shows not only a vocal growth from Gunn, whose voice has reached a new level of maturity, but a growth in technical ability and awareness from all three members of PVRIS, with their individual sections now blending seamlessly, and not pushing against each other for centre stage as happened a couple of times during White Noise (though unintentionally, it must be said).

The lyrics of the song also give a taster of what is to come from the record. The line “You took my Heaven away” lets the listener know that this is going to be a darker album than White Noise, and at the heart of All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, it is very dark. The album may have its lighter moments, with tracks like ‘Anyone Else’ and ‘Same Soul’ shining through with moments of infectious clarity and positivity, but as the album progresses, the moment of light fades and AWKOH returns to its brooding atmosphere.

This is most clearly the case in the penultimate track of the album, ‘Separate’, which might just be the strongest song PVRIS have ever written. Gunn’s vocals are haunting and beautiful, while the drums and piano carry along a sense of other-worldliness that has been building throughout the progression of the record, culminating here as something that makes the music feel like a dream.

For all of its strengths, White Noise was clearly a debut record, showing that PVRIS still had a lot to learn, and had areas to improve on. All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell on the other hand, feels like the work of an experienced, highly skilled band. This kind of quality is rare for the second album of a band, and if the level of quality continues to rise the way it has so far, PVRIS are going to be on top of the world in a very short amount of time. Their meteoric rise shows no sign of slowing so far.

You can listen to the album here:

WORDS: JOSHUA SOUTHERN

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