BLACK VEIL BRIDES

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Reviews -

Vale

LAVA/REPUB­LIC Hol­ly­wood’s glam-styled rock­ers fill up on the pop and the pomp

un­for­tu­nately,

Vale is

not a con­cept al­bum about the Welsh val­leys, but it is a flam­boy­ant mix­ture of clas­sic Black Veil Brides and front­man Andy Bier­sack’s pop per­sona. The Last

One and Wake Up kick things off with some fist-pumping cho­ruses, plenty of ‘Woahs’ and ‘Heys’, and some flam­boy­ant gui­tar so­los, con­tin­u­ing the trend of the pur­pose­fully overblown pomp Black Veil Brides have cul­ti­vated. Andy might not be the most in­ven­tive lyri­cist – some of his rhyming cou­plets are fairly clichéd – but the pro­duc­tion, like the un­du­lat­ing strings in the back­ground of When They Call My Name, and a stut­ter­ing synth on Dead Man Walk­ing, makes the songs sound stir­ring de­spite their ap­par­ent lack of in­tro­spec­tion. Our Destiny, with its heav­ily mul­ti­tracked vo­cals, sounds like a re­ject from Andy’s The Shadow Side al­bum with some last-minute gui­tars thrown in, but there is a nod to Black Veil Brides’ ear­lier, more ag­gres­sive sound in My Vow. It would be a stretch to call it punk-in­flu­enced, but it’s fast, and con­tains more growls and grunts than the rest of the record.

Some tracks, like King Of Pain and Bal­lad Of The

Lonely Hearts, sound rushed, with melodies that should be rous­ing but don’t quite hit the mark, as if Andy was locked in a room and told he couldn’t come out un­til he’d writ­ten some big, boom­ing an­thems. It would be un­fair, though, to be­rate Black Veil Brides for not be­ing the most eru­dite or be­liev­able band out there, be­cause that’s not what they’re aim­ing for. They’ve al­ways been about sound­ing and look­ing bom­bas­tic, pay­ing homage to glam rock and mak­ing songs you can sing along to. In sum­mary: is this record fun to lis­ten to? It has its faults, but yes, yes it is.

FOR FANS OF: AVENGED SEV­EN­FOLD, MO­TION­LESS IN WHITE, SIXX:A.M.

THEA DE GALLIER

Black Veil Brides: no over­think­ing re­quired

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