Sound — 7
Black Veil Brides return with their first major label debut, "Set The World On Fire", after only a year since they released their first album "We Stitch These Wounds" in 2010. Their first album consisted mainly of post-hardcore influences, comparing them more to Escape The Fate than their image would suggest. Putting the band's image aside, their first album had a few good points, mainly the skills of the two guitarists Jake Pitts and Jinxx. The band has also had a line up change that has clearly improved the quality of the songs on the album. They have replaced Sandra Alvarenga with Christian Coma. The change can truly be heard, especially in the chorus for "New Religion", where Christian actually blast beats the chorus, which is something that their previous drummer wouldn't have even though of doing, let alone putting it into practice. The drums are impressive throughout the album and bring the songs together well, holding some of the less impressive songs together at the sides to stop them spilling out into generic metal nonsense. The rest of the line up remains the same, Andy Biersack on vocals and Ashley Purdy on bass. "Set The World On Fire" loses this post-hardcore sound, even reducing the amount of abysmal and painful screaming that Andy produced in their first album. Even though the screams are used scarcely within this album, they are still painful to the ear and even sound misplaced within most of the songs, especially the ballad of the album, "Savoir", which ends on a cringe worthy note. However, the melodies of the guitarists truly shine, with some extremely impressive fretwork, such as in "Die For Me", which clearly has some neo classical influences. The guitarists have clearly drawn on multiple influences for their solo's and melodies; even some basic form of Dragonforce can be heard in the solo for "Rebel Love Song". However, whilst the solo'sare clearly impressive and a vast improvement on those featured in their last album, they are all completely shred solo's. And don't get excited and presume that you're going to get a soft melodic solo on one of the slower songs of the album, "Ritual", as it starts out promises but then swiftly declines into yet another fret firework. The album has clearly been mixed and produced a significant amount better than their previous album, possibly due to the presence of Josh Abraham in the production team who has worked with bands such as Linkin Park, Velvet Revolver and Korn.
Lyrics — 4
Whilst the album on a whole is generally decent, the main point of failure lies within their somewhat ailing singer, Andy "Six" Biersack. The lyrics remain similar to the previous album, rising up, accepting who you are, lost love, etc. However, there are some points of originality and clever song writing skills, such as in "New Religion" and "Fallen Angels". The lyrics occasionally weld well with the guitar melodies, but this is unfortunately a rare occurrence. The lyrics are generally unimpressive and generic, resulting in a bland amalgamation that only breaks from its holds on rare occasions. In the last album, Andy was highly criticised, with good reason, for his nasally singing, specifically on "Knives And Pens". Although this has improved for "Set The World On Fire", it is not by a considerable amount and due to this it actually leaves some of the lyrics barely comprehensible. His singing revolves around the same range, essentially never leaving the norm. After listening through a few songs in the album, this eventually becomes an excessive draining sound that you simply wish to erase to truly enjoy the song. Regardless of this, many of the choruses are incredibly catchy, and Andy's singing actually does the job. Nearly all of the songs have some form of crowd chant that is sure to get blood pumping within the audience. "Rebel Love Song" is particularly catchy, which is sure to be stuck in your head, melody and lyrics all. Unfortunately once you've heard one or two of the songs choruses you've essentially heard them all.
Overall Impression — 7
Although not the best album, nor band out in the industry today, it is certainly an improvement on their previous album. There are a lot of good points in the album, making it worth giving a listen to, but simply bare in mind that Andy's singing ruins the true potential of the album. Black Veil Brides prove what they are capable of in "Set The World On Fire", but they need to draw on the untapped potential that is bubbling away on the surface before they can achieve true greatness. Some very tasty, tight riffs and melodies that are both impressive and catchy that prove the skills of the bands guitarists. Overall, the album is worth giving a good listening too, but don't expect to be blown away.