Album Review: PVRIS – “All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell”

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The three piece alternative-rock band PVRIS recently released their sophomore album All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell via Rise Records on August 25th. The album features singles “Heaven” which was released late April, “What’s Wrong” which was released mid-June, “Half” which was released mid-July, “Winter” which was released early August, and “Anyone Else” which was released a few days prior to the album. I feel like this is one of the most anticipated albums of the year, since we haven’t heard anything from PVRIS since 2014.

“Heaven” is the first song on the album, which leaves fans having much anticipation for the rest of the album. The song is a piano and drum based song instrumentally, vocally compelling the message about being at a loss with the heart. “You took my heaven away” I believe is the message Lynn was trying to tell in the song, due to her breakup years ago.
“Half” is next, which the band teased fans with by playing it live before the track was officially released. This song carries interchanging guitar riffs and a solid medium drum tempo throughout the whole song. Composing the song, I believe the song holds the message, “Half” relating to the phrase “torn between my head and my heart.”
“Anyone Else” which was released on August 22, was the last single released before the album drop. It’s an up-beat tempo, pop style song with a sing-along chorus feel. Mixing the pounding drums and smooth guitar riffs for the instrumental style. The line, “I could touch a hundred thousand souls, but none of them would ever feel like home.” makes fans feel very nostalgic as the song talks about not needing another person. The song finishes with a beautiful instrumental outro, that could almost be heard at the beginning or end of a Netflix series.
 
“What’s Wrong” follows, which was originally released as a radio play on BBC1, then the band released a music video to capture the elements of the song as a whole. Instrumentally, the song features a light to medium drum pattern, and vocally Lynn presents the same vocal scheme as “Half,” screaming some lyrics but mostly singing in different keys depending on the part of the song. This song I feel, reaches out to those who feel off in the world. With the lyrics, “I don’t know what’s so wrong, but I’m so far gone. Don’t need you to tell me I’m so cynical.” When people shut off from the world, this is usually how I imagine they’d feel.
“Walk Alone” takes a different turn, mixing synth-pop with R&B style instrumentally and vocally. The vocals remind me of their song “Eyelids”, while the drums in the chorus remind me of “St. Patrick” but at a faster pace.
“Same Soul” has the acoustic vibe that their older song “Eyelids” did, with the switching vocals between screaming and singing lyrics like “Half” did. I would love to see a stripped down version of this song.
“Winter” which was released in early-August at a random time, is in a few simple words — a jam. I imagine people can dance around to this in any setting, or at a show possibly clapping along or tapping along to this retro-styled tune. The vocals and instrumentals work together in this song to keep you on your toes.
 “No Mercy” is probably my favorite off of the album, reminding me of “Let Them In,” not only vocally but instrumentally as well. With the pounding drums, screaming backing vocals and Gunn’s vocals. The song discusses parallels of a “karma” deal, with the lyrics “Show me no mercy, and let it rain. There’s blood in the water, but it tastes so sweet.” I am very interested to hear this live on their upcoming tour.
“Separate” holds a very emotional connection to most fans who listen. Talking about a struggle between the head and the heart, anyone can relate. Also instrumentally, holds a light ghost-like synth with a light drum pattern.
“Nola 1” in honor of New Orleans, according to Gunn on Twitter, is the last song on the album. It’s a techno-upbeat song. The song talks about changing from one’s past self, into a new person.
Overall, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell is a beautifully composed album full of nostalgia and the message of not needing someone to be a better you.Not only is it a new era from White Noise, but it also shows how you can turn heartbreak into art and still be the band fans came to know you as. It’s obviously one of my top five albums of the year, and will for sure make big numbers on the charts. Well done to PVRIS, and I can’t wait to see how they bring this album to life in months to come.