Album Review: Black Veil Brides – Black Veil Brides2 min read
Black Veil Brides have been touring non-stop for almost half a decade now. Somehow in this time they have also managed to produce four studio albums, the most recent of which has just been released.
While the band identifies as rock ‘n’ roll, throughout the years they have undergone many stylistic changes. Their 2010 debut, We Stitch These Wounds, was described primarily as metalcore, however they’re now more heavily influenced by glam metal acts such as Kiss, Def Leppard and Aerosmith, and this shows on their newest self-titled record.
Lead vocalist, Andy Biersack has abandoned most of his heavy vocals for a cleaner, more produced singing style, however this is somewhat overshadowed by lead guitarist Jake Pitts’ dazzling solos, which make for a sound as theatrical as their Hollywood hometown.
The opening single, Heart Of Fire, aims to capture the listener’s attention with soaring guitar solos and a catchy, sing-along chorus. However, despite a lacklustre scream near the end, this track feels as though it was created solely for its commercial appeal. Frontman Andy Biersack’s overly produced vocals fail to hide that fact he doesn’t quite hit a few of the notes, while his lyrics seem to lack any depth and meaning. Structurally, the song works well as a single, but, as seen in the video, demonstrates their theatricality as performers more than their talent as musicians.
The intense breakdown in Faithless takes the band back to their metalcore roots and show they are strong musicians, but once again the passionate lyrics seem written only with the intent of getting a crowd to sing along rather than communicate anything of meaning or substance. The same goes for Devil In The Mirror. The metal style drumming is complex and impressive, sitting tightly with the guitar, while the vocals bring little to the table.
However, in some tracks Biersack pulls through giving a gutsy and raw performance. This is the case in Last Rights, where he comes across as far more real, and also Stolen Omen, where he delivers gravelly metal roars amidst his cleaner delivery.
The following track, Walk Away, is a six minute long piano-driven power ballad. While it makes use of rhythm guitarist Jinxx’s violin playing ability, the heart-felt delivery at times lacks authenticity, however it does showcase Black Veil Brides’ compositional skill with an effective build up to another of Jake Pitts wailing guitar solos.
The main concern for this album, other than its shallow striving for commercial appeal, is that it doesn’t feel new. Each song is interchangeable with the next, and while they are strong musicians, their music comes across as an impersonation of their glam rock idols, rather than an original work produced to communicate some meaning. The talent is there but on the whole this album is somewhat lacking.