Review Summary: Black Veil Brides reaches out to multiple genres and time periods with a groundbreaking effort.
Black Veil Brides' first album and EP were marked by the critics as instrumentally gifted, yet lyrically and vocally lacking. With this album, they significantly pick up with an astonishing vocal style and great instrumental performance all around. It presents a noticeable absence of screaming, which if they had done on the first record, it would've been severely lacking. Yet Andrew Biersack (Otherwise known as "Andy Sixx" or "Biersack" to fans) made a powerful change to his vocal style, picking up a commanding coarse sound to his cleaning, much like that of M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold).
The album opens up with a shot to the face in "New Religion". It gives off a vibe for good pure metal fans like that of Avenged Sevenfold or Bullet For My Valentine. At the end it is noted for a small rant by Andy Sixx, making evident that the album is a shout out to fans within the lyricism. Overall, "New Religion" gets two thumbs up and is very nicely placed as the opener on the album. This song as well as "Love Isn't Always Fair", "The Legacy", "Die For You", and "Youth & Whiskey" are the heaviest tracks found on the album and all of them are very good tracks. "The Legacy" was released prior to the album as a single and lives up to expectations, it is a song that would probably conclude any live set list of the band as a great moshing song / anthem.
"Fallen Angels" was the lead single found on the album and upon asking any 80's hair metal fan it sounds like an unreleased Def Leppard track, which is by no means anything bad. With songs like this including their strong teen fanbase it brings back an old feel that even the revered Alice Cooper commended this group at their Kerrang! Award ceremony by saying they're bringing back a long lost sound in modern rock music. It's good that the song sounds like a Def Leppard track, due to the fact that the band intentionally recorded the album to sound similar to that of "Hysteria" by Def Leppard in the way that it was recorded and produced.
The other songs that aren't as heavy as the aforementioned included "Set The World On Fire", "Rebel Love Song", "Savior", & "Ritual". "Rebel Love Song" seems a bit ridiculous, just by the name itself being extremely cheesy and uncreative. And of course it is also mentioned within the song that the song is indeed "A Rebel Love Song". It really takes away from a nice song, and makes it unbearably annoying since it is found within the ever-repetitive chorus.. When listening through the whole album, it's an obstacle to clime in order to reach the powerful ballad that is "Savior". This song has a powerful sound to it as the tone down from the rest of the album, and is a great effort from Andy Sixx vocally. It also has a screaming part that is seldom found on the album, and is very well placed along with the pick up found late into the track.. "Ritual" is a nice softer song as well, though not melancholy sounding like "Savior". It gives a vibe for punk and is upbeat in a way. It seems reminiscent as a semi-final track that is lighter, much like "Sweet Blasphemy" found in the same place on their first album. The title track is an extremely good song, and provides the listener with a nice lighter feel to parallel the powerhouse opener. It contains a strong chorus, great instrumentals, and overall an awesome performance.
A song with an entirely different feel from the rest is "God Bless You". It gets the listener rocking their heads from the very start, and not long after will get Avenged Sevenfold fans once again turning their heads with an ever familiar sounding riff. It's almost pitifully similar, yet at the same time not disappointing because it fits well in the stand out song. It's no better than either of the singles found on the album, but at the same time stands out just as much for it's unique feel. Another track that sounds very much alike to something else is "Die For You". Because while it is a very good song, the intro is painfully reminiscent to that of "Heaven's Calling", which is also a track 9 song, yet again like "Die For You". The song placement is a very miniscule fun fact, but at the same time makes it seem like the song placement ideas for the band are slightly generic. But regardless of anything, "God Bless You" and "Die For You" are both very good songs.
A small bothering point is that it seems like "The Legacy" should be the lead single ahead of "Fallen angels, seeing as it clearly blows the song out of the water. Other songs that seem like they should be singles found on the album if it were possible would be "Set The World On Fire", "New Religion", and "Savior". These are phenomenal, extremely catchy tracks that stand out from the rest like a sore thumb. Overall, the album should be one that sells hundreds of thousands of copies and should hold a grip on the charts, bringing back an old feel by presenting a new one while still increasing the young, influential teenage fanbase of the modern age.
- Significantly improved vocals.
- Another great instrumental performance all around.
- Catchy tracks throughout.
- Bringing back an old rock feel and bringing it back GOOD.
- Lyricism cheesy at times.
- Should have had a slightly bigger amount of screaming.
- Youth & Whiskey seems like strictly filler.
Vocals (Andrew "Sixx" Biersack & backup/group): 9/10
-Significant improvement from the first album, won't silence critics due to the absence of screaming, but those who don't appreciate the screaming will be very much satisfied with this album upon listening. The change in vocal style is very tasteful and strong, and a throwback to that of other great hard rock acts.
Guitars (Jake Pitts & Jeremy "Jinxx" Ferguson): 9/10
-As it was in the first album, the guitars yet again make the album what it is. A great riff or solo often found in every song has become a staple for these guys, and there was no real error. Doesn't get a 10 because the solos are predictable, lots of sweeping and little else.
Bass (Ashley Purdy): 7.5/10
-A great perfomance by a great bassist, often underestimated and really enhances the feel of the album. Clearly not as good as the the other instruments, talented. Loses taste at times but is nicely done regardless.
Drums (Christian "CC" Coma): 8.5/10
-They had a different drummer on the first album, but with this addition did not lose any touch. Very speedy, but can pick up a groove beat just as easily and keep it from getting too trashy. Nice fills and fluid progressions. An easy staple is the frequented, yet suitable double bass. I expect more from this drummer in future releases, an extreme talent and gift to a band that is already loaded with it.