Review Summary: Black Veil Brides create an album which will please no one but their fan base while simultaneously attempting to set themselves up for Eurovision 2013 glory with typical bubblegum "metal"
For those that don’t know a thing about Black Veil Brides, all you know need to know is this: their debut single ‘Knives and Pens’ went viral around the emo-rock community circa 2008 and they spent most of 2009 trying desperately to not look like a Kiss tribute act (which they failed to do). The California rock band released their debut album We Stitch These Wounds around mid-2010. Since then they’ve released another album, Set the World on Fire and once again failed to avoid looking like Kiss. And here we are in early 2013 Black Veil Brides have recorded and released another album.
Now on first listen of this album it was genuinely bearable. Although as I listened further the layers began to peel back on the putrid creation that is “Wretched & Divine” The album suffers from four primary issues. 1) The concept of the album is poorly thought out. 2) The music is poorly executed and 3) The voice of Andy Biersack (formerly Andy Six) 4) The lyrics
The premise of this album follows a group of rebels known as “The Wild Ones” as they defend themselves against “F.E.A.R” (Awful name). I’m not sure how much time went in to coming up with that plot, but I’m pretty sure anybody over the age of 13 could do it within 15 minutes. The band puts this concept in front of us using a total of six interludes between songs.
The musicians in this band have always been the strong point and have definitely progressed, unfortunately they have done this by reusing the same choruses and stealing riffs and choruses from genuinely talented musicians. The opening track “I Am Bulletproof” is pretty solid instrumentally. There are some strong guitar and drum fills throughout. The title track almost fell into the trap of sounding incredibly generic, fortunately the very impressive drumming and power metal riffs save it. Once we get to the middle of this album we find a genericness which just manages to make all the songs sound the same. One of these tracks “We don’t Belong”( I can’t wait to talk about lyrics). sounds like something which would be heard in the Eurovision Song Contest with its catchy chorus. Shadows Die attempts to break free by including a few eerie sound effects in an attempt to diversify the music. It’s very charged and rattled with a giddy, nightmarish vibe but still lacking on heart, the big chorus an ineffective anchor for a deadpan and lifeless track. In the track “resurrect the sun” the violin seems out of tune, which almost fits the track but still comes across as awkward. Examples of blatant riping off come in the tracks “Days Are Numbered” where the riff is the similar as that of “ Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne and “In The End” where the second solo is stolen from “Carry On” by Avenged Sevenfold.
The vocalist of this band, Andy Biersack has aways been the downfall of this band. When they were a metalcore band, it was his screams now that the screams are gone and it is just clean vocals, his limited range is a detriment, bordering on monotonous at times. He voice has to be saved by the gang vocals or “Demon Army” which are laughably bad most of the time. I had high hopes for the track “Days Are Numbered” as it features Bert McCracken of “The Used”. Although it was one of the best tracks on the album, I was expecting more than fifteen seconds of Bert. Fans of the band will claim that the voice of Biersack fits the music. Although this is true, it is evident at numerous points throughout this record that someone with just a slightly better range would be able to make a drastic difference.
The lyrics, ohh the lyrics. Please give me a secong while I try to find the right word to describe them. Abysmal ?? no that’s not it. Atrotious maybe ??? No doesn’t seem big enough. Catastrophic that’s it. While Andy was writing the lyrics he whipped out “The Big Ol Book Of Emo Cliches” and flicked straight to the Best of.... section. He’s playing straight to the market which his band was created for . Lyrics for “We Don’t Belong”
“We Don’t Belong here
we don’t belong
it’s the anthem of the underground
so get back up when they push you down”
and New Years Day
“It’s New Years Day, So rise up from the ashes”
Wretched and Divine works for the fanbase which it was written for, although it is unlikely to attract any new fans. Unfortunately for the group, they were created and styled themselves to be hated. This means that they have essentially closed off anyone outside the emo and scene groups from enjoying it.
In The End