Friday, August 19, 2011

Black Veil Brides - Set The World On Fire

Black Veil Brides
Set The World On Fire
Lava Records/Universal Republic Records/Universal Music Australia

After two fairly low key independent E.P. releases (2007’s ‘Sex & Hollywood’ and 2008’s ‘Never Give In’), Hollywood (California, U.S.) based outfit Black Veil Brides signed up with StandBy Records and released their debut full-length effort ‘We Stitch These Wounds’ in 2010 - which despite getting a mixed reception from the press, went on to become an overwhelming success in terms of sales and attracting a devoted following.
Twelve months on, and Black Veil Brides (Who comprise of vocalist/keyboardist Andy ‘Six’ Biersack, lead guitarist Jake Pitts, rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist Jeremy ‘Jinxx’ Ferguson, bassist/backing vocalist Ashley Purdy and new drummer Christian ‘CC’ Coma) are back with their sophomore effort ‘Set The World On Fire’ - their first effort for their new major label partners Lava Records.
In the lead up to the album’s release, Biersack claimed that the band’s latest release would reflect the growth they have made as song writers and musicians over the last twelve months. And in that respect, he wasn’t wrong. The metallic metalcore elements of their debut are all but stripped away on ‘Set The World On Fire’, with a greater emphasis placed on a melodic hard rock direction and greater use of clean vocals. But while the shift in direction sounds like a step in the right direction, ‘Set The World On Fire’ is an album that doesn’t quite live up to their larger than life image.
The opening track ‘New Religion’ is a fist pumping anthem that is full of energy, and showcases the guitarists in delivering some tight metallic riffs, and Coma’s powerful double-kick work on the kit. Sound wise, ‘New Religion’ has a fairly slick production, with the use of gang vocals and Biersack clean vocal approach adding a whole new melodic touch to the band’s former metalcore direction.
The title track ‘Set The World On Fire’ is a solid number that is easy on the ears with its polished choruses, shredding solos and punchy/driving drums, while the keyboard/gang vocal enhanced ‘Love Isn’t Always Fair’, the heavier and grittier ‘God Bless You’, ‘Legacy’ (Which is the second single/promotional video clip lifted from the album) and the huge anthem ‘Ritual’ (Which is sure to become a fan favourite) are the definitive highlights on the album.
Unfortunately, for all of the strong tracks the album boasts, the band have also managed to produce just as many fillers - some of which come across as predictable and cliché (The album’s first single ‘Fallen Angels’ is a prime example), lacking the required range needed from Biersack’s vocals to really lift the song above the ordinary (The ballad ‘Saviour’ comes to mind) and others just plain sound forgettable (‘Rebel Love Song’, ‘Die For You’ and ‘Youth And Whisky’).
If you look past the image, and judge Black Veil Brides purely on their music, ‘Set The World On Fire’ is a fairly mixed effort that has its fair share of hits balanced with as many misses.
In the end, ‘Set The World On Fire’ isn’t too demanding, and is a fun listen. The only downside is that it’s also forgettable in patches. Overall it’s a solid, but unremarkable effort from the modern day post-hardcore hard rockers.

For more information on Black Veil Brides, check out - http://www.bvbarmy.com/

© Justin Donnelly