Love and Death is a band formed by Brian “Head” Welch, former guitarist of Korn, of which the bands roots extend way back as 2009. In November 2011 the group under his name sake released a single titled “Paralysed”. In February 2012 Brian’s solo music project got rebranded, and thus this is the result of that. The band debut single, “Chemicals” was released in early April, whilst their debut EP of the same title was released on the 24th April, 2012. Late September of 2012 that band announced that they had signed a deal with record label Tooth and Nail Records/EMI. Though initially planned to be released on November 20th, this was pushed back to January 22nd.
So getting down to the review, what does one get on this release? Well on initial first glance, before listening I wondered how this would match up to his other work. More honestly I was wondering if it would be able to match to his work with Korn. So on popping in the cd into my player, you will be glad to know that if you are a Korn fan, this album fits right in with earlier releases from Korn, which in my mind, was the best era of the band. This is a hard hitting album filled with blatant honesty, packaged and loaded to energize and electrify with its delivery and commitment. Brian’s vocals hit strong throughout, fuelled by hard hitting lyrics, vibrant rage, and raw power. There is a lot of passion that comes to the fore, and that oozes out largely due to the vocal intensity and by far captures the urgency and emotions of what Brian shares with the listener on each track. The album deals largely with personal struggle and triumph (“Chemicals”, “Paralyzed”) and also has some great raging anthems found in songs like (“Fading Away,” “Watching The Bottom Fall”). Without boxing it with comparatives, this is a lot better than anything Korn has released in awhile. This is not saying this is another Korn clone, as Brian has through the talents of guitarist, J.R. Bareis, bassist Michael Valentine, and drummer Dan Johnson put together something that has its own unique fingerprint. However it should find favour with Korn fans, and certainly those that perhaps felt stretched by the dubstep route that Korn took on their last album. Might actually find that guys who might have not liked Korn for whatever reason, might in fact come to enjoy, ‘Love and Death’.
“The Abandoning“, the opening track bursts the album to a raw and high energy fuelled head kick. Great melodies and raw power, the chorus is fantastic, and the vocal intensity marries nicely with aggressive guitar playing. Great song for getting the adrenaline pumping, and is an important catalyst in shifting you into the right mood for the rest of the album. I normally not a big fan of covers, I more than not have found the original better, but was pleasantly surprised with Love and Death’s rendition of Devo’s “Whip it” and scores as one of my favourite tracks. It’s in fact one of the better tracks on this album.
The sound is consistent through out, and the momentum flows with fluidity and with charismatic intention. Brian has not slowed down a bit, and he carries the same intensity as he did on “Life is Peachy”.
As a band, all the musicians work well together, this is an important quality if you looking at having a good sounding record release. “Between Here & Lost” is a fantastic album that leaves very little ground for criticism. The overall guitar melodies and beats are articulate and infectious, leaving a satisfyingly, and memorable experience for the listener.
One of the selling points of this album is that Brianbrings his old self to the party on this release, and that driving force alone will sell this album. “According to Welch, “this record was birthed from trials, tribulations, pain, suffering, anxiety, depression, and drama. However, we came out on top and the end result is a very real, raw & honest record.”” – Wikipedia. One cannot conclude it better than that, this is a great find, and a great add to any metal heads cd collection.
For fans of: Nu metal / Korn
Review by Donovan de Necker
01. The Abandoning
02. Whip It
03. Watching The Bottom Fall
04. By The Way…
06. My Disaster
07. I W8 4 U [featuring Mattie Montgomery]
08. Fading Away
Record Label: Tooth and Nail/EMI, Jan. 2013.
Chemicals (EP) (April 2012) [Review]
Between Here & Lost (Jan 2013)
Brian “Head” Welch – Vocals/Guitar
JR Bareis – Lead Guitar
Michael Valentine – Bass
Dan Johnson – Drums