Review Summary: Black Veil Brides, yet again, attempt their best impression of every glam rock band ever. With (very slightly) better results.
Black Veil Brides have long been one of the bands at the centre of the “scene” music taste along with bands such as Blood on the Dance Floor and Sleeping With Sirens. And, for this, they are often immediately lumped into the “bad music” category without a single listen and, after listening through their older albums, rightly so. So does this new self-titled LP re-establish the makeup-covered quintet as a worthy contribution towards the modern rock industry? Not really.
Black Veil Brides remain as painfully average as ever throughout the entire album. The key problem throughout their discography is that songs are interchangeable, they all sound the same and this album is no exception. Every song is a bland chug of guitars with Andy Biersack’s plain worn-out voice that never ever changes pitch over the top. A guitar solo that sounds like it could have come directly from your average Bon Jovi song is thrown in at some point in 10/11 songs. The band makes very slight effort to stray from this in Stolen Omen through the use of growled vocals but due to the inconsistency with the rest of the albums and the obvious inexperience Black Veil Brides have using these vocals it comes off as cheesy and forced. A horrific attempt is also made at a heart-felt ballad in Walk Away but it comes across so plastic and formulaic that it’s genuinely laughable. Lyricism, as usual, remains bland and thoughtless throughout the entire album. Backing vocals in the form of “oohs” and “ahhs” are constantly present, poor and often badly placed (with the exception of “Drag Me to the Grave” where I think they fit quite well and improved the atmosphere of the song)
However this album does come with a couple of personal improvements for Black Veil Brides. Whilst the band doesn’t have anything new or interesting to offer instrumentally, the ability to create ambiance using those instruments has drastically improved. A particular example of this is the guitar work in Goodbye Agony. Songs feel better structured throughout this album to so, although each segment in itself is boring, the songs still feel like they have genuine segments to them rather than a generic verse-chorus-verse style.
As far as I’m concerned this is the best album Black Veil Brides have ever released, but that definitely does not mean it’s a good album. The band seems comfortable staying exactly where they are in terms of maturity and musical progression. They sound exactly the same, but a little more polished and slightly more professional. Whether they’re happy with that is up to them but at the current rate they’re going I don’t expect them to be a particularly respected band in the music industry any time soon.