Label: Lava/Universal Republic 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
Black Veil Brides came to my attention in an old-fashioned style - via a music TV channel. We were in Germany, taking a break in the hotel room, and there was Viva or some other similar channel on TV. Among the usual pop/r'n'b/chart stuff the Brides' "Rebel Love Song" video stood out like a sore thumb. The song was a great, catchy hard rocker and the band looked like a updated version of Mötley Crüe. The album went to the shopping list immediately.
Now the Brides have released their ambitious third album. "Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones" is a concept album about a group of rebels ("The Wild Ones") who are fighting an evil organization called "F.E.A.R.". In addition to the album, there's also a movie titled "Legion Of The Black", which is or was apparently available somewhere as a Pay-per-view movie. Watch out for a "deluxe edition" of the album with a DVD... or the other way around.
From their humble beginnings as a more of a screamo/emo band, BVB has evolved into a fine rock band with a keen sense of melody. There are really no traces of screamo-type of stuff left on this album, which is fine by me. The band themselves have said that this is their "punk album... Social Distortion meets Metallica",and maybe there's some truth in that. There's a bit of punk vibe in "I Am Bulletproof" - it reminds me distantly of Bad Religion and some of the guitar work has a slight Metallica vibe. Overall, this is a darker album than their previous one, but I'd also say that it's more melodic at the same time. The melodies and the hooks aren't necessarily the most obvious kind, more like sneaky ones you'll find yourself humming and wondering "where did that came from?". To name a couple, "Devil's Choir" and "Resurrect The Sun" have done that to me...
Apart from those "subtle" songs, there are some big and bold singalong anthems: "We Don't Belong" relies on the tried and trusted "Whoa Whoa Ohhs", while has some of those too and a children's choir to boot... not to mention one of this year's biggest choruses.
All in all, a fine album with an interesting storyline, yet the songs work as single pieces of music too.