Review Summary: Black Veil Brides step up their game for a bigger audience.
In their previous effort, Set the World on Fire, Black Veil Brides began to eschew their emo/post hardcore musical style for a more mainstream rock style. Now, with their new EP, Rebels, they go for a more mainstream rock style with a bit of hardcore and classic rock thrown in.
The EP opens with an original song, titled Coffin. It starts off with an eerie piano intro and then goes into a typical BVB guitar riff. Andy Biersack's singing has improved from his monotonous tone on their previous albums. He is hitting more notes and there is more energy in his singing. The chorus of Coffin is very powerful and catchy, and showcases Andy's vocal talents perfectly. After the second verse, the song leads into a basic breakdown. Andy's screams aren't fantastic, but it's definitely not bad. The breakdown transitions into a typical Black Veil Brides guitar solo, but lead guitarist Jake Pitts has stepped it up from their previous albums. He uses more slightly more advanced techniques and melodies instead of another speedy shredding solo that has come to be expected.
Black Veil Brides then cover two songs from previous decades, Billy Idol's Rebel Yell and Kiss' Unholy, featuring a guitar solo performed by Zakk Wylde. BVB do a great job at making these songs their own, with Andy's screams and Jake's guitar work thrown in that were not present on the original versions. The guitar solo in Rebel Yell is similar to that in Coffin, but it sounds better and more melodic. Unholy sounds like it came right from the 80's, except for the bits of screaming. Zakk Wylde's prolonged guitar solo is better than any of Jake Pitts' and it brings the emotion of the song to a whole new level.
An extended version of one of their previous music videos for the single Rebel Love Song, from their last album, closes the EP. It's nothing special, and it has cringe worthy acting, but it is an enjoyable watch and gives you an idea of what it's like to see BVB perform live.
Black Veil Brides' have become a respectable band in today's scene. While there is some things to work on for them, such as the vocals, they have crafted an enjoyable EP that will be enjoyed by many people who have previously bashed the band. I anticipate their next full length album to see if they live up to the hype they are bound to create with this EP.