Former KORN guitarist Brian “Head” Welch has undergone a lot of changes both personally and professionally since leaving the band in 2005. After years of struggle culminating in a newfound sobriety and spiritual awakening, Brian is back with his new band Love and Death and their first full length album, “Between Here & Lost.”
The very first thing you hear on the record is Brian shouting “Wake Up Sleepy, Wide Awake!” as the band launches into the first track, “The Abandoning.” It’s clear from the start that this record is going to be intense and what follows does not disappoint. Backed by the precise rhythm section of Michael Valentine on bass and Dan Johnson on drums, Brian and 17 year old guitar whiz, J.R. Bareis, rip through hardcore tracks like “Meltdown” and “My Disaster.” Mattie Montgomery of For Today makes a guest appearance on “I W8 4 U” and there is a very dark cover of Devo’s “Whip It.” There is even an attempt at a rock ballad, well a very intense ballad anyway, with the slower melody and sweeping chorus of “By The Way.” Head’s vocals run the gamut from soft whispers to heavy growls and the lyrics on the album are quite introspective, giving an honest portrayal of Brian’s difficult journey.
“Between Here & Lost” is a guitar driven metal album with brutal riffs but that doesn’t mean it lacks in melody. The songwriting is superb and this album may be both the heaviest and most melodic record that Head has ever done. Of course, the record does sound a lot like KORN, but that is to be expected. Brian was the core of KORN for many years and his sound in many ways is their sound. The bottom line is Love and Death have given us one hell of a rock and roll record. Much like a rollercoaster, “Between Here and Lost” is fast, intense, and a little out of control. My advice is to buckle up and enjoy the ride!