Monday, June 10, 2013

Album Review: "Wretched and Divine" by the Black Veil Brides

The Black Veil Brides (all men like Twisted Sister) have recently released the first part of a very ambitious project. This concept album will also be birthing a feature length film and a tour in support.

The Black Veil Brides' music has been all but unknown to me, though their name was not. Upon seeing photos of them in a recent Guitar World article, it was hard to even think about taking them seriously. They were dressed like Motley Crue circa 1984 and wore eye makeup like Alice Cooper.

This is not a good look and it's not one to get me interested in what you're doing as, frankly, it's too derivative. What caught my attention was their passion for what they are doing. They have taken a lot of grief for their stage personas, but Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue  has reached out to them (shocker right?) to tell them to keep on keeping on and it appears to be working.

When it comes to bands in stage getups, my common refrain is you can't hear the makeup on the record, and such is the case for Black Veil Brides, just as much as it is for Kiss.

Just on the above information, I picked up this album. Without knowing what to expect, what came out of the speakers was surprisingly pleasing! The Brides are a bit heavier than the Crue, a bit below Metallica in their heyday, but with crystal clear riffage. There is no mud on the tracks here.

Theirs was a dual guitar attack that would be the envy of most metal bands not named Iron Maiden or Slayer. Between slow melodic solos and sweep picked arpeggios, the boys were playing solos that could be the envy of the gods, but without ever overplaying the songs.

The story is that of a Mad Max style future where the tyrannical government is being overthrown by a group of rebels. Beyond the standard balladry of the concept album, the story is also helped along by PA addresses by the government (F.E.A.R.).

This album is heavy enough to keep headbangers going without ever going over the top with obnoxiously high gain sounds. The vocals are right in the pocket and the guitars are just a shade below magnificent.

This is a damned fine album.

Genre: Metal
Year: 2013

1) Exordium
2) I Am Bulletproof
3) New Years Day
4) F.E.A.R. Transmission 1: Stay Close
5) Wretched and Divine
6) We Don't Belong
7) F.E.A.R. Transmission 2: Trust
8) Devil's Choir
9) Resurrect The Sun
10) Overture
11) Shadows Die
12) Abeyance
13) Days Are Numbered
14) Done For You
15) Nobody's Hero
16) Lost It All
17) F.E.A.R. Transmission 3: As War Fades
18) In The End
19) F.E.A.R. Final Transmission

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