Released: Oct 27, 2014
Genre: Glam Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Label: Lava, Universal Republic
Number Of Tracks: 11
After tinkering with some sound experimentation in their previous album, Black Veil Brides plant their feet back in their comfort zone with their fourth album, "Black Veil Brides."
Black Veil BridesFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 31, 2014 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: There may be no better analogy for Black Veil Brides than to call them the Michael Bay of metal: a band that makes bombastic and heavily-produced music that succeeds in dazzling the audience at the beginning but ultimately offers little depth; and the frustrating juxtaposition of frontman Andy Biersack's menacing shock rock getup being paired with an overly-clean voice is icing on the cake. But in similar fashion to a Michael Bay production, Black Veil Brides' records are blockbusters. Starting as a blend of one-half pop-metal and one-half throaty metalcore, by their second album, "Set the World on Fire," they decided to commit to the commercial-friendly vocals and choruses while going over-the-top on the instrumentals, which garnered the vast demographic of teenage millennials nationwide. Their third album, "Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones," is where Black Veil Brides met their uncanny Michael Bay comparison, where they crafted a concept album stuffed with a plethora of new sound influences; from cinematic string scores to Nine Inch Nails-inspired industrial beats and even acoustic interstitial narrative tracks derived from folk metal albums.
With the follow-up to "Wretched and Divine," Black Veil Brides bring a comedown from the complex concept style back to their conventional method of things; hence the simple eponymous title of the fourth album. Whether due to the band only wanting the elaborate sound palette to be associated with their concept albums (there are hints of a sequel to "Wretched and Divine" coming in the future) or the fact that the sound experimentation was met with mixed reception, little of those elements carry over into this album, and this absence may be welcomed by those that thought the wide array of bells and whistles in the previous album were overindulgent. On the other hand, "Black Veil Brides" sounds very similar to their second album, "Set the World on Fire," because it's basically the same formula. Amongst the majority of Avenged Sevenfold-evoking metal (to cite one of several different derivatives), they also include the reflective slow-rocker "Goodbye Agony" and the token power ballad "Walk Away." They tap into their metalcore roots with a couple of breakdowns found in "Faithless" and "The Shattered God," and those oddly-engineered harsh vocals of Biersack make a return in "Stolen Omen." The guitar solos are still awe-striking and abundant, and the rhythm sections get their hat-tip-worthy moments of fury outside of the typically tame verse and chorus riffs, which, at this point, is the status quo for Black Veil Brides. The most standout track instrumentally is the ending "Crown of Thorns," where the opening guitar line smartly builds up on harmonies, and Ashley Purdy's bass finally gets a proper moment to shine in the break. But with the album ultimately containing a mirrored form to "Set the World on Fire," the instrumental fervor comes off as commonplace rather than solemnly extraordinary. // 6
Lyrics: As Biersack's lyrics began on the mournfully macabre side in Black Veil Brides' debut album, "We Stitch These Wounds," his lyrical style started to gravitate towards motivational subject matter, generally being the words for the downtrodden rising up for the better and standing strong in the face of opposition. This was seen heavily in "Set the World on Fire," then turned into a parable in "Wretched and Divine," and is seen yet again primarily in "Black Veil Brides." Biersack continues to draw from the well of internal struggle in "Faithless," "Devil in the Mirror" and "Drag Me to the Grave," while the defiant disposition from "Wretched and Divine" carries over to this album in "Heart of Fire," "Last Rites" and "The Shattered God." The Christian themes are still as prevalent as they have been in the last couple of albums, though it's still unclear whether Black Veil Brides are officially considered a Christian metal band or not. Biersack also gets pensive about failed romances in "Goodbye Agony" and "Walk Away," though the emotions expressed in these are quite similar to the previous songs of love troubles found in "Set the World on Fire" (the dismissive message in "Goodbye Agony" is fairly synonymous with that of "God Bless You"). So in the same fashion as the sound aspect, the lyrical aspect of "Black Veil Brides" is an echo of what the band has done before. // 5
Overall Impression: Though Black Veil Brides have earned a lot of scorn early on from the level of derivativeness found in their metal, they've been able to get away with it by simply eclipsing that observation with fierce instrumental talent (sometimes a great guitar solo is a good way to end an argument). But with "Black Veil Brides" strongly echoing their earlier album "Set the World on Fire" in almost every way, having their music become derivative of itself is an even tougher detriment for Black Veil Brides to try and remedy in the future. It's easy to say that "Black Veil Brides" is as good as the band's previous albums, but it's hard to say that's it better; it just feels the same. And if Black Veil Brides want to truly move up as their career continues, they'll have to move forward rather than fill the same mold with every excitable guitar solo they can conjure each time. // 6
Black Veil Brides
milesak, on january 14, 2015 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: I may get a lot of hate for this review, but first I'm going to try and explain. The Black Veil Brides are not the posers you think they are! No, I'm not a 12 year old girl and I think this is an absolute solid album! Now, my biggest (well, my only) criticism of this band and their sound has been the singer. I found him frankly annoying, and he simply didn't sound like a metal singer. Or he didn't even sound like he was trying. This album has changed my perspective on this. The guy can really sing! He contributes a lot to their sound and no - despite the rumours - he does not use autotune. Throughout the album, he is clean, accurate and when he needs to he can growl like the best of black metalists.
If you can't give the band props for the singing. Then it's almost impossible to doubt the ability of the highly talented guitarist. Throughout the album, a distorted wall of metal riffs are a constant. The solos are shredded like the best of them. The riffs and chords are played impeccably and are always easy listening, heavy and easy to headbang to! (Which counts for a lot, right?) And lets face it, listening to the solos, it definitely seems there is very little the lead guitarist is incapable of. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, this album is up-to-scratch. Many of the tracks have the feel of metal anthems that would make Ozzy and KISS proud! Throughout the album, the lyrics are totally and utterly accurate to the feel of the song. Now, being honest... He's not the best singer in the world. He's also from what I've seen, not the nicest guy in the world. That never stopped people from loving plenty of rock 'n' roll vocalists before him though, and shouldn't stop them now. His attitude is the biggest downside of the band. He can, however, hold his own when singing and his screams are metal as they come. // 7
Overall Impression: This, in my opinion is by far the best album Black Veil Brides has ever produced. With deep, meaningful songs like "Goodbye Agony" to heavy rock anthems like "Heart of Fire." I really appreciate that BVB don't try and be anything that they're not. This is a solid metal album with solid solos and solid vocals. Frankly, as far as metal albums go, I simply can't fault it. It's definitely an excellent addition to any metal heads album collection, and is one you would want to listen to over and over again. So, I beg of you. Do not let prejudice get in the way of what you think of this band. Their music is solid, they write most of it (more than Metallica do, to all those "I'm a real metal head" guys), and they deserve far more credit than they deserve. I mean lets face it, 90% of people who hate on this band are ones that have never heard them. I urge you, don't listen to what other people say. Listen to this album, form your own opinion. I promise you won't be disappointed. // 9