Black Veil Brides have certainly attracted a lot of attention in the last couple of years. Granted not all of it has been positive, due the band's image being slated by the press and the fact that the majority of their fanbase are seen as part of the subculture known as "scene" or "emo". However, like them or not, Black Veil brides have been taking the world by storm and when their new album was released I thought it was high time I saw what all the fuss was about, so to speak. But for this review I shall purely be focusing on the music and not the band's image.
From the second the first real track, "I Am Bulletproof", kicks in, you know what you're in for. All the signs are here. An upbeat mixture of punk, metalcore and glam rock riffing? Check. Lyrics about confidence, acceptance and being proud of who you are? Check.
Yes, it's that predictable...
But in a weird way it seems to work. And musically, I can't deny that it's well crafted, with a couple of excellently written solos from lead guitarist Jake Pitts. "Resurrect The Sun" has a particularly nice lead break. However, most of the songs ultimately pass by forgettably or blend into one with zero distinction between.
While Andy Biersack's voice may grate on me (always has, always will), the lyrics seem cliché as all hell, and the interlude tracks make this "concept album", and believe me I use this term loosely, seem pretentious as can be, most of the music and a few of the choruses are genuinely enjoyable. "Days Are Numbered", featuring a guest spot from The Used's Bert McCracken, is a song I could actually consider listening to on my iPod normally. However after peaking on this track the band then ruins the mood with an attempt at a ballad in "Done For You". Try as he might, Andy Biersack cannot croon, and shouldn't kid himself by thinking he can.
Picking up the pace again, the band redeem themselves slightly with "Nobody's Hero" and "In The End", full of glam riffing and harmony guitars, all in all pretty good. Sadly the rest of the album from here on in consists of yet another average song, and two spoken word segues (courtesy of Wil Francis of Aiden/William Control). While it's great that a handful of tracks on this album are genuinely kinda good, when you have a 51 minute album consisting of 19 tracks (kind of excessive in my opinion, due to them not being a grindcore band and all...), 7 of those tracks are spoken words sections or pointless orchestral segues, and only a quarter of the remaining 12 are considered "good" in any sense by an impartial reviewer such as me then let's be honest, it's a bit of a poor show. The rest are either poorly executed or very forgettable, a shame considering the faith many people have in this band.
At the end of the day, fans of this band aren't going to be listening to them hoping for musical virtuosity, complex song structures or highly relevant social commentary in lyrical form, they appreciate the messages of pride in individuality behind the lyrics, and good for them. If you're a fan of the band then you'll like this as with their other releases, if you've checked them out and don't really like what you hear, then I'm afraid this won't change your mind. A nice try though, but better luck next time if you're hoping to be taken seriously lads. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to cleanse my musical pallet with some Agnostic Front and early Darkthrone. \m/
Check this out if: you like the band, otherwise there's not really any need to bother
For fans of: Black Veil brides (duh...)
Wretched & Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones is out now on Universal Republic Records