Black Veil Brides

Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones

Written by: PP on 21/01/2013 19:33:44

Black Veil Brides incite more discussion about their image, public statements, and their other antics than about their actual music. It's the new band that critics absolutely love to loathe because they make it so goddamn easy: their ridiculous glam outfits, their teenager-friendly cliché songwriting, and their radio friendly, pseudo-heavy soundscapes are all easy to pick apart by any experienced music listener. Yet they seem to turn all the criticism into inner strength, hence it's not surprising to find their third album "Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones" to be their most ambitious effort yet. It's what they like to call a 'rock opera' - a 19-track concept album (6 theatrical interludes) that pushes what is possible to do with glam metal to its outer limits before it all just starts sounding fucking stupid.

In practice, any post-hardcore elements that have been present on previous albums have now been effectively binned and replaced by an even stronger leaning on Avenged Sevenfold's back catalogue than in the past. Singer Andy Biersack's goth-inspired deep vocals have always resembled M. Shadows of said band, but here the rest of the band goes overboard as well, where especially the guitar solos and lead riffs reek of post-"City Of Evil" era Avenged Sevenfold. That's both good and bad; good because it's now more difficult to stage criticism towards lead guitarist Jake Pitts and his companion Jinxx, but bad, because any shades of originality the band may have had in the past are now exclusively in their image. And you could argue KISS did all that before them as well.

There's a few cringeworthy ballad songs with theatrical violins ("Lost It All", "Done For You") which don't really go anywhere, but at the same time, songs like "I Am Bulletproof" and "New Years Day" are undeniably catchy songs. Yes, they fit into the same category as Disturbed and Drowning Pool songs, maybe even Five Finger Death Punch, in that they don't exactly exhibit intellectual depth, but that doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable tracks. Surprisingly much so, even.

And therefore reviewing this album is a double-edged sword. It's still very, very transparent that everything about this band is aimed at making money and not music, yet there is real artistic ambition here. That it doesn't translate across into a great album speaks more about their songwriting capacity than anything else. Still, I'd be lying if this wasn't halfway catchy, and a good stepping stone album for young kids just getting into music. But let me just re-iterate: if as a mid 20s individual you enjoy this on any other level than a weird guilty pleasure, it may be time to take a few steps back and re-evaluate your existence in the music scene.

Download: I Am Bulletproof, New Years Day, In The End, We Don't Belong
For the fans of: Avenged Sevenfold, Fearless Vampire Killers, Escape The Fate
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.01.2013
Lava Records / Universal Republic

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