Black Veil Brides

Set The World On Fire

Written by: TL on 19/06/2011 23:07:13

Right, here's a conversation piece alright. Or wait, that's an understatement, because I don't think a band has caused such an uproar of internet blabla since the emergence of Brokencyde. That's one thing one must give to California's newest and currently most controversial quintet Black Veil Brides. They get people talking. On their side, they have a generation of teenagers to whom they are the voice and defense of a struggle to establish an alternative life-style. Against them, they have the coalition of internet elitists who cry "posers" and "sell-out" at the confrontation with the band's overblown glam image and corny music and lyricism.

Between the two camps, oceans of irony and ignorance is to be found. Starting with the young'ins, one's gotta smile at how they flock to have a band serenade individuality, only to then head to that band's concert smeared in war paint, eager to look as much like the band members as they can. That and the fact that, for all BVB's talk about rebellion and expressing oneself no matter the cost, their would-be breakthrough album "Set The World On Fire" is a somewhat shallow puddle of pompous mainstream metal, on which original ideas and depth of emotion are nowhere to be found.

That being said though, I think it's also only fair to turn towards all the internet hipsters and ask them to climb off their horses and gain some perspective, because talking strictly about the sonical experience provided by the 'Brides, one should easily be able to remember dumber and less listenable attempts at extorting the pocket-money from the easily impressionable. Oh look, I already mentioned Brokencyde, but that's almost too obvious. Fortunately, newer releases by the likes of Escape The Fate, Bullet For My Valentine, I Am Ghost and especially Aiden come to mind just as readily, and the only difference is that they have failed to kick up as much hype/hate as Black Veil Brides have.

The music indeed, is a similar helping of metal's more easily digestable clichés, riddled with Twilight-style lyricism and perfectly shaped in accordance with traditional song-structure. Front man Andy Biersack sings in a surprisingly low tone of voice, quite reminiscent of Ville Valo (HIM) and M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), cramming words like "die", "blood", "nightmare", "fire" etc. in where he can, likely trying to imbue the trivial subject matter with as much melodrama as possible.

What strikes me though, is how much worse things could still have been. We are spared almost entirely from cookie-cut breakdowns and stereo-typical screaming (and thank God for that, because the few included screams sound terrible), and while Biersack's wording isn't the most elegant, there's nothing too intellectually offensive about the whole notion of celebrating individuality in itself. Granted, it's hard even for the most open-minded person to not roll eyes at songs like "Youth And Whisky" and "Fallen Angel", but on the flipside, other numbers like opener "New Religion", "Rebel Love Song" and "Ritual" are far from entirely unenjoyable.

If you forget for a moment whatever your reaction is to the band and its OTT visual appearance, I think that's really the gist of the matter. That if you cut away the filler and the corniest miss-steps, a few of the songs on here are actually quite enjoyable for what they are. Make no mistake though, what they and Black Veil Brides are, are parts of what is obviously a deliberately thought out money-making machinery. My question only is, does the same not go for many of the other teenage-friendly bands mentioned in this review? I think it does, and with that in mind, I'd be doing Black Veil Brides an injustice if I was to say that their music is any more a travesty than for instance Escape The Fates' "Self-titled", or any of the latest four Aiden albums. One final note of comedy though: Andy Biersack is on record saying he believes this is the best album ever recorded. Oh the hilarity.


Download: New Religion, Set The World On Fire, Rebel Love Song, Ritual
For The Fans Of: Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, Escape The Fate, HIM

Release Date 14.06.2011
Lava/Universal Republic

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