Review Summary: Could've been much better.
-Andy Six: Vocals
- Jake Pitts: Lead Guitar
- Jinxx: Rhythm Guitar
-Ashley Purdy: Bass
-Sandra Alvarenga: Percussion
This is my first review, so go easy on me. Black Veil Brides is a gothic glam metal quintet from Los Angeles. Originally formed in 2006 in Cincinnati. They released 2 EP’s in 2006 and 2008. This is their first album, and I gotta say. It’s a letdown. I heard about this band from a friend, and it was around the time the music video for their first single Knives and Pens came out around June 2009. Needless to say, I became a fan. Eagerly staying up for the music video for their second music video Perfect Weapon, in June 2010, I started having my doubts for the album. I reserved a copy 2 weeks before it came out, and when I finally got it in the mail, I was ecstatic. The first disappointment began with the track listing. No ‘The Gunsling’. For all you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Gunsling is another BVB song, which is my personal favorite. My hopes went downhill from there…
1. The Outcasts (Call to Arms)
A quick 30 second intro to the album, which wasn’t bad and built me up for their first real track.
2. We Stitch These Wounds
HOLY BALLS. This is one of the three songs the band re-recorded for the release of this album, and good god is it different. I expected something pretty decent after the intro, but I got this. There is some great guitar work in the song, and the Sandra’s drumming is great as usual. But no bass is heard, sadly. The vocals are decent. Still nasally, but typical Andy if you know their older stuff. The screams are decent too. As well, there is a solo which is average, and a breakdown which is surprisingly well done.
3. Beautiful Remains
The intro to this song is well done, and beautifully played by Jinxx and Pitts. Which made me pumped for the first song I hoped would be decent.. and I was right. The vocals are okay, the screams are okay, the lyrics are okay, and the music is okay. It’s just an over-whelming mass of decency. The band has put in some group ‘ohh’s which fit the track alright, but will hopefully be the last we hear of them. Then comes the solo. This pleasantly surprised me.
4. Children Surrender
What a shocker! Another okay song. Not gonna say much, but it’s pretty bland and there isn’t much worth mentioning. Oh no… the group ‘ohh’s are back.
5. Perfect Weapon
The groups second’s music video is the highlight of the album. With all the butchering of the classics, and the subpar new songs, this is a great song which, if you haven’t heard of Black Veil Brides, is a great place to start. So the song opens with a scream, with Pitts and Jinxx harmonizing. If you listen very closely you can very slightly hear the bass. Hooray for Ashley! The lyrics are obviously about revenge, which reminds me. Every song on this album is written with emotion, not all the thrown together hardcore *** we get nowadays. Black Veil Brides are obviously passionate about what they’re doing. Look what we have here..! Another solo! If you have the opportunity to listen to this, you will hear all of the solos, which just sound recycled, and basically the same thing just switched around. Meanwhile this one sticks out. It’s played by Pitts (who does most of the solos) throughout the album. A repeat of the chorus, and we’re on to the classic Knives and Pens. It’s a BVB classic, what can go wrong with this?
6. Knives and Pens
YOU DICK WEED. YOU BUTCHERED ANOTHER CLASSIC SONG. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE BAND. They achieved all their success with this song, and they completely ***ing ruin it. If you’re like me, it’s at this point you know the albums gonna suck. So they start off with the intro which is okay, which leads into the first verse… which makes my ears bleed. Andy sings higher, and more nasally, same with the screams. The little guitar filler before the chorus is all ***ed up. Nothing can save this now. The chorus is good. But here we arrive at the solo… oh god another solo… It’s the first harmonized solo for Pitts and Jinxx and holy god it sucks. Sure, it would sound great with any other song. But this is Knives and Pens. This is a fan favorite. Sure, Jinxx played the solo on the original. But then it was just Jinxx. Now that I take a closer look at the CD insert, I see Pitts is the mastermind to the music for every track. *** you Pitts, *** you.
7. The Mortician’s Daughter
As I was saying earlier, Black Veil Brides are passionate about what they do, and this shows it. A decent acoustic ballad which even has some violin thrown in the mix (played by Jinxx who was raised as a classical violinist). This song was another classic which the band decided to redo. I haven’t heard the original, but to be honest, this version isn’t all that bad. All in all, it’s a surprising addition to a gothic metal album (if you can even call it that) which is killed by Andy’s ever so nasally voice.
8. All Your Hate
A pretty bland and typical Black Veil Brides song. I’m not gonna say much about this one, but this song is essential Black Veil Brides. The album wouldn’t have been better or worse without it, but it’s a nice touch.
9. Heaven’s Calling
Andy is at his best on this one, the guitars, however, not so much. They just sound sludgy, whiny and way too typical-metal ‘chugga-chugga’. Jinxx and Pitts sound kind of like they’re genre-jumping with this one. Another okay solo… shocker. The lyrics are kind of stupid, if you don’t believe me, read this.
Sink in anger, fountains forming
Spills like thunder to what we’re holding
Sleep forever now my darling
I won’t dwell on Heaven’s Calling
Sure, it sounds fine when it’s sung, but on paper, it’s just stupid.
10. Never Give In
Your typical motivational wannabe anthem. Nothing special, pretty filler-sounding. Everything, again, is decent. Next!
11. Sweet Blasphemy
If you’re like me, this is when you shut the album off. Don’t believe me? Listen to it. It’s in this song, the band makes it obvious they’re trying too hard to be something else…. Which they’re not. The only upside is a nice sounding guitar lick played during the chorus.
So the album (finally) closes. They decide to close with a ballad, which is a strange choice. It’s not terrible in any means, but it’s not them. At all. This sounds more like what a Dashboard Confessional cover band would want to play. Of course, the band tries to make it more bearable with electric guitars later on, but ultimately kill it. Again, it’s not terrible, but it’s not Black Veil Brides.
If you’ve never heard of Black Veil Brides, start off with the Knives and Pens music video, or The Gunsling. This is for die-hard fans only, which, sadly, is mostly teenaged girls. I’m a 15 year old guy, and now I can start to believe why everyone on the internet hates them. But, all I’m gonna leave you with is this. They could’ve been so much more, but they stick to their roots. It’s not a bad thing, but ultimately, kills their appeal.
Goodbye, have a great ***ing day.