Review Summary: On paper it sounds like a bad idea, yet PTV's latest effort is among one of the most well executed albums of 2012.
Putting Pierce The Veil into one specific genre is about as difficult as can be for the average listener. One moment you are led through a hard rock, no nonsense barrage of chords, the next you are listening to an assault of unique breakdowns. Yet through this onslaught of things you would believe you've come to expect of a basic metalcore 101 band you are introduced to the technicality of lead guitarist Tony Perry. What seemed like another Black Veil Brides knock off turns into something else entirely, something enjoyable.
Their sophomore effort "Selfish Machines" was lauded for the act's diversity. You weren't thrown into song after song of one note, dropped D, guttoral growl assisted breakdowns. You were shown a group of some of the most talented young musicians rip through songs that you simply don't expect in this day and age of music.
So with such a well received album in their discography you would expect a band to pull an Avenged Sevenfold and go backwards.
Once again you're proven wrong as PTV steps up their game even more and it pays off in one of the most sound albums of the year.
Frontman/Rhythm Guitarist Vic Fuentes and co. have a very spot on tradition of pounding your head in with a relentless attack of heavy hitting opening tracks and does not let up. On "Collide With The Sky" the situation is no different as the band opens up with the One-Two punch "May These Noises Startle You in Your Sleep Tonight/Hell Above." You initially might be discouraged as a newcomer to the band as the first half is an almost basic breakdown that tarnished an entire genre. That quickly wanes your worries as Lead Guitarist Tony Perry's jumps in with his ever so catchy work on the fretboard comes into play. Nothing on this album is slow and simplistic. At the same time nothing on this album is long or overstays its welcome.
The reason everything works so well is due to the tight musicianship between the members. Every instrument grooves together quite nicely and everything compliments everything very well. Vic Fuentes' voice might take some getting used to and no doubt putting him in a joint effort with Sleeping With Sirens' Kellin Quinn can be nails on the chalkboard to some people. Yet his effort into this album is top notch. This man can sing, and he is no slouch on his guitar work either. The drumming is always a notch above everything else the genre currently has to offer (Bulls In The Bronx is an example of how impressive sibling Mike Fuentes is) as instead of being there, it bring a wide range of emotions to the songs. The basswork as well deserves a mention since not only is it always audible it adds the lows that give the 12 tracks some real depth. The production is extremely top notch and deserves praise as this sounds like a full band.
Selfish Machines', and the group's arguable top song is "Caraphernelia." Featuring the vocals of A Day To Remember's front man Jeremy McKinnon. Despite your views on that band, Jeremy's work really made "Caraphernelia" the highlight of that album. Pierce The Veil knows this and goes to great lengths to topple that song with not one, but two guest spots. Both are polar opposites yet through the band it works so fantastically. The earlier effort features everyone favorite female voiced male Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens trading mic worth with Vic in "King For A Day." It can be easily said that distinguishing the two is a task on it's own but once you get over that the song really shines. It isn't the most technical song or the most emotion ridden but it is one of the most fun to sit and listen to. The latter track features Jason Butler of LetLive in "Tangled in the Great Escape" His performance steals the show as his voice and style presents a clear chemistry with Fuentes and the song itself being the longest on the record never has a hiccup. Does the song with it's techno sound and piano influence be PTV's anchor song? Probably not but it is one of the most unique songs in the group's catalog, and in a catalog thriving off diversity this is a huge compliment.
The album "Collide With The Sky" starts and does not let up or hiccup. Even if the styling of the tracks can be similar and even playing it safe at points (Selfish Machines had a poppy single "Bulletproof Love" which has been reskinned into "Props & Mayhem") it is hard to argue the album is solid on all fronts and should be thd standard for any up and coming bands. From technical anthems in "Hell Above" and "One Hundred Sleepless Nights" to softer songs such as "I'm Low On Gas" there is enough diversity to please anyone and everyone but the most die hard Sputnik Users that hate everything other people like. It's just damn good.