All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell
Rise Records · August 25th, 2017
The release of the band’s sophomore album All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell was preceded by five singles and three videos, which certainly increased the hype surrounding this past Friday. The first single and opening track “Heaven” starts off slow and builds to a rumbling chorus, drawing listeners in and giving them a proper summary of what is yet to come with the rest of the album. Fans of PVRIS’s earlier music will notice some of the same rhythmic patterns and themes taken to the next level. Layers upon layers of synth, guitar, and other ambient effects create an entirely new environment that can only truly be experienced by listening to the entire album in order. A few of the tracks conclude with the playing of a harp that seems to push one song into the next in a seamless transition.
Structurally, the songs on the album suggest that PVRIS are moving closer to the pop side of the electropop genre, but the motifs of introspection and darkness they’ve cultivated throughout their previous releases remain steady in their hard-hitting instrumentation and lyrics, and signals to the listener that their deeply ingrained post-hardcore sound isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Steady, powerful drums pierce through the sea of reverb at exactly the right times, and vocalist Lynn Gunn’s growls and authoritative high notes accentuate the emotion the band channels into their handiwork. The noteworthy lyrical content demonstrates a certain maturity that takes many other bands multiple albums to master— some examples are “Half my bones in the city streets/The other in my sheets/And I don’t think they’ll ever get the chance to meet” (from “Half”) and “Cause I could touch a hundred thousand souls/But none of them would ever feel like home” (from “Anyone Else”).
Overall, it is clear that PVRIS’s intention for this album is not to simply showcase their abilities, but to use their skills and talents in a way that perfectly demonstrates their own visions and feelings that most people would not be able to put into words, let alone music. They made this album for themselves. A majority of the lyrics deal with the unkind combination of feeling overwhelmed while simultaneously feeling almost nothing at all. There are also many references to lessons learned from experiences of betrayal, loss and mistrust. The highly personal lyrics coupled with the tone of the music itself allows listeners a glimpse into the soul-searching it must have taken to write this album, but this glimpse is fairly small compared to the songwriter’s understanding. A couple weeks before the album release, Gunn took to Twitter to reflect on a then-unknown song (which we now know to be “Anyone Else”) that she claims is her favorite off the album. It’s not the lyrics that make the song special to her, but the atmosphere that it creates. “Maybe you’ll never specifically feel what I do from it & that slightly breaks my heart… to never be able to fully share it,” she laments. “It’s my feeling and my feeling only… a secret only I’ll ever know.”
Listen to PVRIS’ sophomore album here: