January 22nd saw the release of Love & Death’s debut album Between Here and Lost. The band is fronted by Brian “Head” Welch, former KoЯn guitarist and rounds out with Michael Valentine on bass, Dan Johnson on drums and JR Bareis, also on guitar.
The listener is greeted with The Abandoning’s first line, “Wake up sleepy, wide awake,” and is then led into 11 tracks teeming with cacophonous guitar accents, warbling modulation effects, and dissonant guitar melody lines. Welch’s signature guitar sound is still in full force, emanating from his amp of choice, the Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier, which is a staple in metal music.
Tracks such as By The Way, Meltdown, and Chemicals feature honest, vulnerable lyrics dealing with sanity, love lost, light and darkness,and temptation. While certainly not lacking raw aggressive emotion, the lyrics remain positive and are meaningfully conveyed through Welch’s dynamic vocals and the band’s ability to employ differing dynamics and timbrel variety.
The most surprising find on Between Here and Lost is a cover of Devo’s Whip it. Stripped of the synthesizers and poppy chorus we are familiar with, the song becomes a darker more forceful version that barely resembles the original, and yet is very likely to become a favorite of many listeners.
Mattie Montgomery, vocalist of For Today, makes a guest appearance on I W8 4 U, one of the heaviest tracks on the album. Welch and Montgomery’s contrasting vocal styles meld together to create an amazing chemistry.
Welch has taken on the role of charismatic frontman with ease. Along with Valentine, Johnson, and Bareis, he has created a unique and powerful sound that is sure to strike a chord with a wide variety of listeners. Between Here and Lost is a solid debut album and hopefully just the beginning from Love & Death.
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