Review Summary: A fantastic debut.
Few bands in mainstream metal and hard rock get quite as much hate as Californian band Black Veil Brides; An outift notorious for their glam-rock inspired image that makes them appear overly feminine, and their supposed lack of musical talent. To date they have released three albums, each of which has garnered far more hate than it has love, with critics frequently citing the band as merely being a group that bases their sound around ripping off the bands they listen to whilst using tuneless vocals to craft some semi-catchy songs. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth, especially on their debut We Stitch These Wounds.
This album is one that makes great use of some interesting guitar riffs and lightning fast soloing from lead guitarist/co-song writer Jake Pitts. His solos rely heavily on a lot of three finger sweeps, whilst the riffs that this band uses are often fast paced and intense and quite intricate, although many people love to say that they just sound like carbon copies of every other metalcore band out there, only a little more flashy. On the other half of the creative force for this release is vocalist Andy Biersack (he and Pitts co-wrote every song here), who jumps between screaming and clean singing frequently and utilizes some very catchy vocal lines for the choruses. The other members of this band are the inaudible bassist Ashley Purdy, Sandra Alvarenga putting in a very strong vocal performance and rhythmist Jinxx, who is absolutely stellar on here, riffing like a true cunt throughout. The opening voice-over from Andy's grandfather makes it very clear that this album "is for the outcasts", and that should give a general idea as to the messages contained on We Stitch These Wounds. Each of the songs here are about standing up for yourself and not letting anyone walk all over you and all contain very strong moral messages, and the lyrics are quite well written to boot.
The songs on here are a very good collection, and stand out as the bands best works to date. The first proper song on here is the title track, one of three re-recordings for their debut album, alongside Knives And Pens and The Morticians Daughter. It opens up with a strong and well-paced riff with some great drumming that keeps it feeling intense, before Andy comes in, sounding quite strong. He has a low, gravelly voice, and makes good use of it on this release, delivering his positive messages with a lot of gusto. His screams are quite well done and sound very aggressive, bordering on terrifying, and actually sound emotional unlike many metalcore acts of the time (cough-bullet-cough). The guitars are always noodling around on this song and playing some catchy and enjoyable riffs that are quite creative and suit the nature of the rest of the release perfectly. Alongside the title track, other highlights would be The Morticians Daughter and Children Surrender. The former of the two is an acoustic song that picks up well from the riff-fest anti-self harm song that is Knives And Pens, and has an amazing vocal performance that is absolutely dripping with emotion. The latter of the two is located right near the start of the album, and continues the run of great heavy numbers that the title track and Beautiful Remains started. This song in particular boasts one of the better choruses on the album as well.
The only real problem that can be found with this is that by the end it starts to sound a little samey, which is the case with many metalcore albums. The breakdowns are less noticeable due to the band's obsession with using a solo over the top of them, but eventually they begin to seep through, despite being handled far better than most generic fruitcakecore bands these days. The soloing is very good and fast, with lots of fretwork that keeps up the intensity of the rest of the album, but even this can't make up for the fact that a breakdown is a breakdown no matter how well written, and is therefore guaranteed to detract a little from the album. This really isn't that much of a problem however and will only really show through after a few listens. Aside from this, I highly recommend Black Veil Brides' debut as it is a masterful display of perfectly written songs with some amazing riffing, incredible solos and fantastic solos, with Andy's angelic voice and monster screams.