Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones review by Black Veil Brides

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jan 8, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 6 (261 votes)
Black Veil Brides: Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones
3

Sound — 8
Black Veil Brides are still a fairly new act, having signed their first contract under the name Black Veil Brides in 2009, though they have existed in some form or another since 2006. They came straight out of the gate just straight up taking aesthetic aspects of KISS's and Motley Crue's stage personas while still in the process of hammering out their own individual sound. They have remained extremely active since that time, with this being the third full length studio album they have released since that time. Their only remaining founding member is vocalist and keyboardist, Andy Biersack. Their lineup has remained stable since late 2010, however. You can definitely tell that Black Veil Brides step out of their comfort zone at places in this album, and this is where the album shines. There will be fans that will probably be put off with the more orchestrated and ambient elements of the album, but there is still a fair share of hard rock riffing going on. Honestly, their stage personas have been hard for me to overcome in order to enjoy their music, but this album shows at least the effort on their part to say something worth hearing. I hope moving forward that they continue to stretch their boundaries musically. While they initially came off as a very commercial group to me, I have to remember that really a lot of bands like The Who and The Beatles, started out as straight up pop bands.

To actually talk about the sound of the album, the composition works quite well and the "F.E.A.R. Transmission" spoken tracks really help create the proper mood to enjoy the album. The orchestration that is used is tastefully done, and the guitar playing is tight throughout the album. The drums do a really great job of holding the tracks together. The album is mixed very well overall with a full stereo mixed sound to it. While the album as a whole is definitely a concept album, the majority of the songs still seem they can stand on their own merits separately from the album. Black Veil Brides needed something to separate them from the myriad hard rock acts out there, and this album helps them in that respect much more than their costumes, hairspray and makeup.

Lyrics — 7
Andy Biersack has a really solid rock voice which fits their genre really well, and Jinxx and Ashley provide solid backup vocals. While Andy's voice isn't super distinctive it is however a workhorse of a voice, providing the range needed and performing solidly on tours and doing extremely well for them on "Wretched And Divine". There is very little vocal processing used, outside of slight reverb or delay, but where it is used it is used to great effect. The lyrical themes seem to go into spirituality, the failure of society and then the general feeling of alienation experienced by people as they grow up.

As an example of the lyrics, here are some of the lyrics from "I Am Bulletproof": "Here we go/ Holding on to lies/ holding on to tides that vanish/ Cut the rope, and fall into the sky/ The Devil fills our minds with sadness/ The world's all gone, and I've been naming all my life/ Got some thing to live for, I know that I won't / Surrender/ A warrior of youth/ I'm taking over, a shock to the new world order/ I am bulletproof (x4)/ Here I go/ Another/ Another perfect sky I damage/ Now I know, just who created life/ And why I set my sigt to save it/ The world's all gone, and I've been naming all my life/ Got some thing to live for, I know that I won't surrender/ A warrior of youth/ I'm taking over, a shock to the new world order/ I am bulletproof/ And they say take this final breath, I ask him the truth/ I'm taking over, a shock to the new world order/ I am bulletproof".

Overall Impression — 7
Just to be completely honest, I have not historically had a good attitude about Black Veil Brides and other bands that use a lot of pageantry in their performances, but as I've watched it seems as if Black Veil Brides has really grown into something more interesting than their stage personas. This album, "Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones" comes off as an epic concept album in the vein of "Tommy" or "Operation: Mindcrime". I'm not saying that every moment of the album was a raging success, but there was more success than failure when you listen to the album. I will continue to follow Black Veil Brides to see what they come out with next, and I definitely am intrigued by the direction they are going now. While early in the tracking of the albums they insinuated their release would be a mixture of punk rock and metal, their actual release is much more interesting than I anticipated. There are 19 tracks on the album, however 5 of these tracks are spoken word. The total runtime of the album is right around 52 minutes. There is supposedly a full-length film in process as a companion to the album which will be called "Legion Of The Black", but which is not included with the album. So far it was screened a few dates in late December but should be seeing a DVD release in the near future as well as possibly being a pay per view event.

157 comments sorted by best / new / date

    BwareDWare94
    I worked a show where this band was the opener. I thought, "hey, cool, they're using their image to promote gay rights and openness to the many realms of human sexuality" but then their singer started using the word "fag" over and over again to imitate what the audience must think of them up on the stage. Talk about a bunch of clowns.
    switch625DL
    It's not glam metal. It's not even close.
    RR3tran
    I too have avoided BVB because of their commercial friendliness and overtly mass appeal. No real artistic bravery, I think. But going off this review, I think I'll give them a chance this time if they are actually doing something interesting with their music rather than making a wall of generic high-gain wank.
    Logan_B
    No artistic bravery? Wuuuut? Their image is killing their reputation among people who have serious judgemental issues when it comes to looking at the way they present themselves. I mean come on, I heard Perfect Weapon or whatever it's called on Octane and I was BLOWN AWAY. I could not think of a band that sounded exactly the way they sounded and then I was shocked they were as out there as they are. This band actually taught me that image doesn't matter when you listen to music, it's about the expression of the music. Their image is just a cool thing to differentiate from all those bands that play live and just wear their normal average joe clothes kind of thing. I swear, if we blindfolded everyone and played a random song by any band that is hated for their image, that people would maybe like their music until they saw said image. I honestly don't think this is the best band in the world, but they are actually really great for a more mainstream hard rock type band. One last thought that really gets me, People keep saying that they are sick of songs that are all like fml! Then these guys go and make a concept record like this one which appeals to the opposite of the sad stuff, that is supposed to be tailored to the live show and get the audience singing the anthemy stuff and that's no good either.
    vppark2
    Dont be surprised then. Still the typical crap you would always know to find from these guys. Lead single sounds like 30 Seconds To Mars with he cheesy anthems.
    Pan-Tallica
    Obviously everyone is welcome to express their dislike for this band... all opinions are welcome. But can we stop calling them "gay"? The sign-up age for UG is 13, so everyone should have stopped using gay as an insult a long time ago.
    indyrock91
    I'm getting grilled for this but it really isn't bad. Feel like BVB is a good gateway metal band. Young kids will hear this and gradually get into the heavier metal bands.
    ChucklesMginty
    Honestly I don't think they'd get nearly as much hate if they had a different look and didn't have such an annoying fan base. Still nothing to write home about.
    playswithprs
    I got about 30 seconds into a youtube clip then my wifi cut off. It must have been a sign from the rock gods
    DifferentWorld
    I still haven't forgiven BVB for reaching commercial success before hiring a bass player. I have to object to them on general principle.
    reversegenesis
    BVB are an example of a band being perfectly marketed to rebellious teenagers. It's also a worrying thought that people are going to start thinking that black metal bands who wear face paint and costumes are this watered down and safe.
    MetalRock4ever
    Personally, I think it's a good album. I don't care what others think because everyone has different musical tastes. Some people think BVB are awful, some think they're good. They're only opinions.
    RetroGunslinger
    Sigh if that song is anything to go by they haven't changed at all and are just poor avenged sevenfold copyists who nicked Wasp and Motley Crue's dress sense
    Van Guff
    They've made a huge step up since their first album. People should it a listen before bashing them down, because at the end of the day, at least they aren't One Direction or Justin Bieber!
    EyesWideOpen
    Just because they aren't as bad as something 10x worse doesn't make them good or worth a listen. A runny nose isn't as bad a cancer.
    paulohd2
    They are extremely bland and generic. I just don't see why so many people think they are bringing heavy metal back.
    iommi600
    Well, I listened to the song posted along with the review. It's terrible. I mean, really, really terrible. That's all.
    Zoltan1251
    target audience is 13-18 years girls..... what is alarming is they plaster these lyrics everywhere... i cannot imagine more "metal" cliches in one song
    MR.LZZYHALE
    Well sir can't you at least say that their guitarist are some what good.
    iommi600
    He is indeed skilled, but I still disliked it strongly.
    vppark2
    Its like Falling In Reverse...love the guitarist's skills, but cant stand Ronnie's ****ing voice.
    tdwpozzy
    I like Ronnies voice, the over the top arrogance in the lyrics got old VERY quickly tho.
    hereticfive
    Actually with falling in reverse, ronnie and his old bandmate omar from escape the fate write their songs. The rest of the 'band' are just there to play the stuff live. But Jacky is indeed a good player and too good to be working with a mediocre musician and human being like ronnie.
    Logan_B
    I honestly don't understand all the hate associated with this band. When I first heard them on Octane I was shocked when I saw one of their music videos but I have gotten over their whole image thing. I think it's great that they say they are the outcast type of people that just want to put an image to the music and be individuals. There's so many acts out there that are afraid to be who they want to be but I think BvB is a great exception. Personally, I think that they validate this viewpoint by having a solid, very talented group of individuals. These guys at times are almost sort of mainstream, yet have elements like screams, crazy fast riffs, and wild drums that slap you in the face and tell you that this isn't just a one track mainstream band.
    blamesociety182
    i agree theyre trying to prove a point not dress like that because theyre gay im pretty sdure theyre all straight and theyre music is awesome regardless of the way they dress
    Abacus11
    The first time that I heard/saw this band I knew that metal might be in trouble... Not because they're horrible (which they are) but because apparently there are younger kids who think that this IS actually metal. It's not. I'm all for experimenting and evolving but this band is just an absolutely mindless, heartless, talentless load of crap dressed up in a shiny package so kids who don't know any better will buy it. Black Veil Brides is One Direction with guitars and makeup. There is no difference. I'm gonna go listen to some Slayer and try to forget that "bands" like this exist.
    starsky133
    Am I the only one who sees something wrong with calling a band gay as a negative term?
    scorpio2billion
    Probably not, since we, as a society, seem to place a lot of importance on making sure that what everyone else says is acceptable. I'll say what I want to who I want, and if it offends you, I guess you're offended.
    Calymos
    Not at all. I love Queen, and they were gay as gay gets. This is not a bad thing.
    EyesWideOpen
    What's wrong with it? I occasionally use it not as a sexual slur but as an insult. It's got nothing to do with sexuality in most cases.
    bradd101
    So would you call something "Niggerish" and then say "Oh it's an insult, not a racial slur" Kinda the same thing xD
    EyesWideOpen
    Not the same thing at all dude. Don't be silly. Niggerish isn't an acceptable term to use. A hell of a lot of people have turned to using gay as insult and not all of those people are homophobes. Words can develop different meanings. Or you can ignore all this and remain on your high horse and complain about what you want people to have meant when they said a naughty word.
    blamesociety182
    i do too its wrong none of them are gay they all have gf's or wives and its serioulsy annoying and immature
    RJDfan666
    Not a fan of BVB. I'm not a bvb basher like a lotta metalheads, but I just can't get into them. Plus they're very feminine and it just looks like they're trying too hard, yet still sound bland and mediocre. That said, I am a big fan of A7X. I know they get bashed a lot too and a few of them look pretty gay, but they do a lot of unique things that you just don't hear other bands do, they're one of the very VERY few newer bands that I like.
    Geldin
    It's pretty telling that you're using "feminine" and "gay" as negatives to describe music. Do you even lift?
    hereticfive
    Your statement about A7X is about 8 years old, theyre all buff now and stopped trying to appeal to THAT audience haha
    GenerationKILL
    your statement about his statement is actually invalid. A7X have always been in good physical shape. Because, you know, I care about what bands "look" like when im listening to them on my ipod.
    hereticfive
    They didnt look that way to me when i saw them on warped back in the day, but nevertheless youre right. When it come to music looks shouldnt matter, but for these guys it does because thats how they got popular. The girls these days like guys that look like girls.
    MR.LZZYHALE
    TRue and when they were trying to appeal to that adience they put out one of the best metalcore albums ever: Waking the Fallen!!!!!
    el tigre
    ...yeah well I'm still sticking to my Slayer and Anthrax as a metalhead.
    Geldin
    I haven't heard anything from this album and I'm not familiar with their music in general, but I will say this much - that album art is awesome.
    EyesWideOpen
    I know this has no bearing on the albums quality but that is the most awful and pretentious name for an album I've ever heard. Also Black Veil Brides are a below mediocre metalcore band for angsty teenage straightened hair types. Also they suck. And are also gay.
    hereticfive
    This CD had the lowest rating I've seen on this site, then i saw on tumblr a bunch of posts telling people to come here and vote now its up to a 5 haha how pathetic. But I must say that calling them 'gay' is offensive to gay people, as gay people dont look or sound this silly.
    NemX162
    Who the **** are you to judge people's lifestyle? If a teen wants to straighten his hair, what the **** of it? Your eyes clearly aren't that "wide open" if you use "gay" as an insult.
    ManInTheBox14
    UG, could you please get some reviewers that don't use words like "ambitious" to describe this stuff, who don't compare Black Veil Brides to The Who, The Beatles, and Queensryche (I have no objection to weird comparisons, but these are pretty unjustified), and who have some grasp of journalism and better grammar? As for the music, I watched that video, and it wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting, though it's far from genius. It's pretty generic, and the vocals are awful. That said, it's mildly melodically interesting in some parts, and they're not totally untalented - the lead guitarist has some decent chops, though there's a ton of shred overkill here. That said, I can see why so many people hate them: the vocals; the image as a gimmick; the huge credit they're given by radio-metal fans; and the pompous *****-ness that the guitarists have given off in the interviews I've read with them. Also, that lyric sample from "I Am Bulletproof" is horrendous. The lyrics look like they were written by a sixth-grader. "The devil fills our minds with sadness," really?
    burnummaster
    Yes their music is bland and bad, but I just think the singer has a horrible sounding voice.
    link no1
    I actually like the music but I have to agree, the vocalist is terrible...and whiney. He spends half the gigs talking crap about how he "had a rough time in high school" and that the "people who don't like us are jealous". They should just fire him.
    powachord
    meh. some guitar parts are ok but in the end, they just remind me of nickelback
    headbang123
    This band's problem is that they're overly ambitious. If they focused on writing quality/unique songs instead of being the "biggest band in the world" and writing songs for their "BVB army" they may get more respect. My Chemical Romance used to be veiwed in a similar way. With the whole "MCRMY" and whatnot. But what sets them apart is that they still keep their band focused on MUSIC rather than just adding a bunch of "whoa oh"s to bland poetry and calling it an anthem for their fan base.
    katalyzt13
    Man, I don't even like BVBs but everyone is hating on them so hard core that I want to defend them. Their music isn't horrible. The vast majority of their back catalogue is a little boring, and it is like watered down radio metal, but this album I felt was a step in the right direction, even if they didn't completely escape their watered down metal moments.
    3L173
    As far as I see things, we can all complain as much as we want, but last time I checked...Madonna is still around after years of hate. We just have to hope they die.
    LightxGrenade
    I got no issues with the outfits, I mean if I'm cool with what Gwar wears, I can accept this lol. That being said, I have absolutely no patience for bands that got this Anthemic-glam rock-pop vibe going. Bands like this or Escape the Fate that have no real interesting lyrics, and it's basically just ranting about adversity until the big soaring chorus comes in explaining how "I wont lose the fight" or in this case "Im not afraid to die". I think a good portion of my feelings are because I'm closer to 30 than I am 20 and well I've just had my go-around with music like that already. I can imagine though that if a 15 yr old kid heard this and they're just starting to get into guitar-oriented music they would really like it the same way I enjoyed A7X's Tim Burton-esque song themes at that age.
    slaytallica7
    I hate to be a party pooper about 'In the End'...but it's part of a story about some dude. This is the dude realising that he's ****ed up and is going to die. The song portrays this perfectly. It doesn't need to bring anything else lyrically. Just this guy, realising he's going to die and trying to go out with a brave face when actually he's ****ing terrified. It's brilliant, and I'm not even a BVB fan.
    LightxGrenade
    In The End as you fade into the night Woah oh oh Who will tell the story of your life Woah oh oh And who will remember your last goodbye WOAH OH Cause its the end And Im not afraid I'm not afraid to die ---- Nah man, it sounds like bad teenage poetry. You explained the song but that still doesn't change the fact that he's singing about tough times: "Through it all I have given my heart for a moment of glory" - yep sounds like he's talking about some sort of adversity. And what kicks in right after? The big sweeping chorus that I posted above. I'm not saying that it's a horrific song, I'm just saying it's boring. Talking about overcoming some obstacle, big sing-along chorus, repeat, throw in a solo, repeat process until song ends.
    GenerationKILL
    I don't like or dislike these guys. They're like KISS. I respect them for what they're doing, but I cannot get into what they're doing fully. They have a few songs that I like, but its clearly mostly for that hot topic crowd. I'll keep an eye on these guys because i think musically, they're talented and am interested to see where they go in a couple years. Everyone else here whos being negative is reading into them a little too much. They're young and clearly having fun. This isn't the new Rush concept album... And yes, lets all hear what the pseudo-internet celebrity-blogging, long haired, 22 year old metal head has to say about these guys. Since his opinion is just as valid as taking this band "really" seriously.
    ferilyne
    People listen to much to the masses these days... I'm not into this style at all, I'm more into the old style prog-rock stuff, and I honestly think BVB are probably the best at what they do, I don't like the music, but they don't deserve the hate they get.
    intothe
    My biggest problem is that this album is so damn safe, they're not taking any risks with instrumentation, structure or anything else. Occasionally some songs have some interesting elements like the beginning to Resurrect the Sun, but unfortunately they soon change into another radio-chorus. Is it the worst album I have ever heard? Not at all, but overall it didn't interest me at all
    EvilorDivine68
    I'm not a fan of BVB whatsoever. My co-worker this morning was listening to them on the radio, and my god. It's an awful, uninspired album. Let me tell you why. 1. The vocals. They're just so...bland, undistinguished, whiney, and it seems like they're forced to fit with the music. 2. Way too much shred wankery. Some bands can pull this off with great songwriting skills, but if I want to hear the melody of the chorus, I don't want to hear meaningless leads over it that are simply dead weight to the song. The guitarists have some chops, but they need to learn how to use them in the right places at the right times. You can be one shitty guitarist, but if you have good songwriting skills, people will at least want to listen. Also, the tone extremely bland, as well. It sounds like they've just put the gain at 8 o'clock on their 6505's and said "Hey, this sounds pretty heavy!" It sounds boring. 3. This all has been done before. SO many times. The fluttery, unnecessary leads throughout every song. The whole concept-album thing, especially with how they've set it up. Just everything about this album. Don't get me wrong; I love concept albums if they're done right. But this wasn't. By the way, I'm surprised nobody has asked these chicks for their numbers yet...
    intothe
    Eh, well that song was very mediocre, nothing unique that would set them apart from any other band
    Klepa
    and Jinxx and Ashley provide solid backup vocals. Whoa, I didn't know that Nicki Minaj contributed to the album
    BledGhostWhite
    Subtle way of promoting others' music. If you don't have anything to say about the content on the page, don't post anything.
    LetLiveTheDark
    Hey vppark2, they do not make typical crap, Andys' voice has progressed over the years & i like his voice now. So you need to deal with it. & if u or ur anime loving friends think BVB isn't inspirational, we like andy said, you can kiss my ass, listen behind the screa, thats what it really means.
    Deathlock257
    Calling them "feminine" and "gay" makes you look like an ignorant dumbass. Their guitarist is amazing but this band in general is very bland and they are some of the biggest sellouts I've ever seen. I used to like them back before they got signed to the new record label and COMPLETELY changed their sound. That is one of the big reasons that the girl drummer left. She was sick of how the direction the band was going.
    sonicx2218
    When I first saw Black Veil Brides I automatically assumed they were in this business for the women, fame and fortune; after listening to their music, I can almost verify. I'll give the band this much; they are all talented individuals, as reluctant as I am to admit it. But, I feel like their music keeps jumping around; they really have no clear idea what they want to achieve. It's like they got a band together and are still experimenting with what type of music they want to create...that or their producers are trying to figure out what sells more. I hate to seem so cynical, but I'm not sure this is a band I could trust, genre differences aside.
    vegasunderfire
    I have been a bvb fan for a while now and i must say they and their fanbase don't deserve all the hate they get. Yes I'm a teenage guy, no i'm not gay emo or any of the other stereotypes you guys are talking about if you don't like the music that's opinion but don't be haters
    crystalmonday80
    This albums whole concept is very similar to My Chemical Romance's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Which is also set in a post apocalyptic word. Where they are fighting against an evil corporation called s/c/a/r/e/c/r/o/w/ and they also have transmissions. Funny...
    El_Kino
    Okay, well I'm going to be the odd one out here... I've been a BVB fan for almost a year now and my love for them has grown more and more. This album really blew my mind. It's the best record they've put out so far. I really don't know how they're going to top this. The thing that really irritates me is the hate they get. They do not deserve it. BVB are not a horrible band, "heartless" and "untalented" like someone said on here. Look at Jinxx, he's a guitarist, pianist, and violinist. He grew up on classical music. And I'm pretty sure Jake is better than most of you here. I really feel like I'm the only huge BVB on UG. That user rating of 4.3 is not right. You either hate BVB anyways and gave it a low rating, or based it off of In The End, which isn't even a horrible song. You want horrible, go listen to Blood On The Dance Floor. Anyways, I love Black Veil Brides and I always will.~
    bradd101
    Or, y'know, I listened to it and just didn't like the music anyway. Ever thought of that?
    NortonDevon
    I'll give you that their guitarists are talented, but as far as the music they write, it is nothing special and is nothing I would ever buy.
    nickie_vampire
    I can assure you, I'm as big a fan of them as you. Love them to death and I agree with everything you said on here