Pierce The Veil

Collide With The Sky

Written by: TL on 25/08/2012 18:43:17

When technical pop/punk/core quartet Pierce The Veil broke through with "A Flair For The Dramatic" back in 2007, they were a refreshing breath of fresh air into a stagnating 'emo/post-hardcore' scene, injecting artistic ambition and delicacy into a culture that was beginning to steer down the path of endless recycling of breakdowns and pseudo-metallic riffage. The result was as unique as it was exquisite so even while 2010's follow-up "Selfish Machines" had brighter colours, increased weight and plenty of recognisable hooks to go around, for all its quality it still felt like a more mundane record the longevity of which was more debatable.

This summer the band and its fans have arrived then, at the third effort "Collide With The Sky", which to my ear is a record attempting rather to focus and refine the direction of "Selfish Machines", more than one that sees Pierce The Veil step things a full pace forward. The sound is again a furious, hysterical and theatrical whirlwind of melodies from pop, beatdowns from metalcore and tempos from speedy punk, highlighted with frontman Vic Fuentes' characteristically sharp voice, moody electronics and frequent mini-soloing. The mixture is an unusual one even at its mellowest, and Fuentes' singing can get grating at time, but still, you'll be hard pressed to find bands that do anything close to what Pierce The Veil are doing.

Like its predecessor, "Collide With The Sky" stands up to closer scrutiny by combining Fuentes' omnipresent guitar flourishes with a bounty of skillfully penned refrains and interesting guest performances. Album high point "King For A Day" combines raging instrumentals with a chorus on which Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn absolutely kills it, showing himself to have one of few voices that actually works next to Fuentes' sharp croon. Comparatively letlive's Jason Butler's contribution to "Tangled In The Great Escape" never really reaches the same height, despite Butler delivering a performance every bit as vivid as we're used to on his own material. Meanwhile Pierce The Veil show that they can make do without guests, providing memorable moments both in wild tracks like "Bulls In The Bronx" - in which Fuentes shows some mariachi skills on Spanish guitar - and the rampaging and surprisingly sticky "The First Punch"; yet also in quieter numbers like "I'm Low On Gas And You Need A Jacket" and "Hold On Till May" both of which work out quite well.

Still, for all the appreciation I have for these qualities, I can't help but feel that the band is starting to stagnate a bit themselves. At fourteen tracks, I can barely remember half of the material when the record is over and that's despite having heard it at least a dozen times over the past few weeks. And just as it feels like the good songs are separated by lulls on the album, the good parts in those songs also tend to feel like they are separated by lulls within the song itself. For all their noticeable technical improvements then, Pierce The Veil still seem to be getting less and less emotionally captivating, moving further and further away from the enchanting peculiarities of their debut. On the bright side this direction probably sees them selling more singles, but it also means that "Collide With The Sky" at times feels more like overthought stylistical exercises rather than a cohesive work of emotive art. It's not bad, it's just not up to the lofty expectations Pierce The Veil have previously conjured up for themselves.

Download: King For A Day, Bulls In The Bronx, The First Punch, I'm Low On Gas And You Need A Jacket
For The Fans Of: Sleeping With Sirens, Alesana, The Fall Of Troy
Listen: facebook.com/PierceTheVeil

Release Date 17.07.2012

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