Review Summary: Black Veil Brides’s Frankenstein Monster.
Black Veil Brides teamed up with veteran producer John Feldmann for the second time, and in 2018, released a follow up concept record to their 2013 Magnum opus “Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones”. The follow up chapter of this Mad-Max dystopian future saga is titled “Vale” which forebodingly translates to “Farewell” in latin .
And it did indeed become a farewell of sorts, as Vale, unknown to fans at the time, was a closing chapter to the then-current era Of Black Veil Brides. Which, to be honest, if the listener was to pay attention to the bitter-sweet lyrics of closing track “Vale (This Is Where It Ends)” should have been no surprise. Frontman Biersack croons mournfully “I can’t put it back together, this is where it ends” and you can hear the burden and sadness in his voice.
After this album, Black veil Brides would experience a shift in the band's sound and indeed very line up, as long time bassist and back up vocalist ashley Purdy would be replaced, officially a mutual agreement between him and the band.
So how did the band Close the first era of Black Veil Brides?
The answer is; very well. The Hallmarks of BVB’s sound are all still here in spades, the gang vocals, the guitar solos, the melodic riffs and the occasional Violin here and there. But in truth, to date, this is BVB’s most experimental work, and sees them pushing even further into the foray of Pop Rock that they have been teasing ever since their debut album. Every song has the potential to be a toe tapping rocker to climb up the rock charts, the musicianship is tight as ever, and the song-writing is laser pointed to make the songs more accessible and catchy than they ever have been.
The Production is immaculate, every instrument and element is perfectly balanced, which at this point is to be expected whenever John feldmann puts his name to a Band’s body of work, for reference see the juxtaposition of Bass Guitar and electric Guitar on verse 2 of “The King Of Pain”. Andy Biersack’s Vocals showcase his widest range to date, and as always his lyrical prowess shine in spades.
“When we find what we need from these
Broken hearts and what was missing from the start
Speak the words of a God that
Refuse to lie to a believer then won't try
I want to give up as my vision fades
I'm left alone and now I'm blind
Don't let me go to the desert that I left
Behind with the ashes of a fate that died”
Is Vale A perfect record? Even as this website's resident BVB fanatic, I must say; no. At times the lyrics and song writing can feel a bit lazy. Tracks such as “Our Destiny” and “Ballad Of The Broken Hearts” feel a bit like Black Veil Brides Lite, and aren't particularly memorable in comparison to the albums much higher highs.
But the fact remains Black veil Brides through themselves into experimentation with this album head first, and surfaced with a solid Pop Metal album, a great addition to their discography, and perfectly bitter-sweet end to the first chapter in what promises to be a still bright and exciting career for such a young band.