Hollywood, California’s Black Veil Brides are without a doubt the scene’s latest stars. Following the example set by scores of previous scene staples (including Brokencyde, Millionaires, and Attack Attack!), Black Veil Brides’ popularity is largely contingent on a gimmick that typically overshadows that band’s actual musical capacity. Where Brokencyde had “crunkcore” and Attack Attack! had “crabcore,” the Brides are responsible for what can only be described as “glamcore.” Indeed, the group’s elaborate, KISS-invoking stage getup is more memorable than the music itself, and with good reason. On their second full-length, the band proves themselves to lack much of the songwriting ability that made bands like KISS great, instead presenting themselves as the bastard child of a drunken one-night stand between Nickelback and Avenged Sevenfold.
Indeed, perhaps the most noticeable weakness of Black Veil Brides’ music is their forced, contrived usage of certain religious (or rather, anti-religious) imagery. The band’s image and popularity is so based in their comparison to the glam and hard rock bands of yore that both the song titles and the music itself is oversaturated with images of fallen angels, rebellion, and a “new religion” (as can be seen in lead singer Andy Biersack’s bold proclomations of “setting this world on fire” in the song “New Religion”). The lack of sincerity is obvious in Biersack’s faux-tenor vocal range, causing softer tracks such as “Savior” to lack the emotional punch that typically makes up most of a ballad’s appeal. Indeed, the vocals are without a doubt the band’s Achilles heel. Not only does Biersack lack a mildly respectable vocal range (causing all verses and most choruses to sound monotonous, especially on tracks such as “God Bless You”), but he also comes off as a poor man’s M. Shadow. Finally, to rub salt into the listener’s wound, the overuse of gang vocals on the record (as seen in “Fallen Angels” and “Love Isn’t Always Fair”) makes an already vocally contrived record even more contrived.
Yet, for all the album’s (and, by extension, the band’s) weakness in the vocal sector, there is actual skill present in the band’s instrumentalists. Ridiculously named drummer CC Coma’s percussion hits provide a large hand in moving the album’s songs forward, and serve as the perfect base for Jake Pitts’ mind-bending guitar shredding (which can be appreciated throughout the record from the barn-burning “Rebel Love Song” to the slower “Savior” to the fist-pumping “Die For You.” Indeed, the instrumentalists even construct above average tracks on this record, and it is both their misfortune that Biersack’s voice drowns out their skill and the world’s misfortune that they waste their time on the lowliest of scene totem pole.
Overall, Set The World On Fire is not a good record; in fact, it is near terrible. While the band’s instrumentalists present a fairly worthwhile performance, it is overshadowed by Biersack’s pretentious, insincere, untalented vocal stylings. Yet, that is not to say that this record will not be a commercial success. Black Veil Brides’ hordes of fans will surely consume this record and attend Black Veil Brides’ shows the way scores of maggots feast upon the corpse of a pig, and a single review isn’t going to alter that fact. Indeed the commercial future is bright for Black Veil Brides, and this success will no doubt launch them so high, that they will be in the very heaven their angels fell from.
2. Set The World On Fire
3. Fallen Angels
4. Love Isn't Always Fair
5. God Bless You
6. Rebel Love Song
8. The Legacy
9. Die For You
11. Youth And Whiskey
Black Veil Brides is a hair metal influenced post-hardcore/metalcore band from Los Angeles, California, United States formed in 2007 by Andy Six.... read more