Black Veil Brides just released their fourth album “Black Veil Brides IV” on October 24, 2014. As a loyal follower of the band, I was eager to pick up a copy on the day of its release. The band worked alongside producer Bob Rock to create a collection of music that is concentrated with fierce rock n roll anthems.
There is a lack of familiarity on this album for fans that still cling to "We Stitch These Wounds." They are no longer decked out in black face paint and Andy’s sharp screams are practically nonexistent. Reminiscing on BVB’s humble beginnings is fine, but perhaps their recent changes are for the best. Rather than being an emo band with a niche audience, they have embarked on the path to rock radio royalty. Their sound has consistently progressed with each release and perhaps they’ve reached their final destination and found their place. Although their image has altered over the years, the band’s core message has always remained the same: to encourage inner strength, morale, and courage.
Let’s take a closer look at each song in this track-by-track review.
1. Heart of Fire – Heart of Fire is a potent track to start off the album. Andy presents his reoccurring “fire” metaphor in these empowering lyrics. This song is meant to make listeners feel unstoppable, like a raging blaze. The lyrics are compelling and the instrumentals back up Andy's fiery spirit.
2. Faithless – Faithless starts with an intense introduction that leads you into one of the heaviest songs on IV. It is filled with aggressive shredding that will have you head banging in no time. Some parts are reminiscent of New Religion from the band’s second album Set The World On Fire. The potency of this track exudes the passion that Black Veil Brides have always possessed.
3. Devil In the Mirror – Something about this track seems uninspired. Andy’s vocals sound strained and the melody is not particularly enticing. The song isn’t bad, but in comparison to the rest of the album, it isn’t a standout. Despite that, I give major props to Jake and Jinxx for their jaw dropping guitar solo; that alone makes it worth listening to.
4. Goodbye Agony – The soft, eerie melodies during the first verse paired with Andy’s striking vocals instantly grabbed my attention; I was all ears from start to finish. The steady buildup to the chorus made it especially striking. This is the epitome of what every heart wrenching power ballad should be.
5. World Of Sacrifice – After one listen, I knew this would quickly become one of my favorite Black Veil Brides song. This is the most memorable chorus on this album and undoubtedly one of the best melodies they’ve ever conjured up. If you’re looking for the ultimate singalong-worthy anthem, this is it.
6. Last Rites – BVB is known for their dark, moody, and atmospheric style. Last Rites perfectly presents that aspect of their music. This track is unlike anything else the band has ever released. That is why I respect them so much – they continue to innovate while maintaining a consistent discography. I can depend on them to release solid music while continuing to mix it up. This is an excellent example of their brilliant evolution.
7. Stolen Omen - Andy’s roaring screams are back! For early BVB fans, this is what we’ve been waiting for. This is the track that will quickly appeal to their core fan base of teens whose other musical idols include Ronnie Radke, Danny Worsnop, and Austin Carlile. It still contains the rock radio core that is consistent throughout this release, but with a hint of their post-hardcore/scene roots.
8. Walk Away – Wretched and Divine had a lot of ballads. Luckily, they toned it down this time and only included one slow song on the track list. Walk Away mellows the mood in the midst of continuous fast-paced rock masterpieces. All I have to say about this one is: nothing beats a finale with a theatrical key change and an orchestra...it's epic!
9. Drag Me to the Grave - Drag Me to the Grave packs a punch from beginning to end. It opens with Andy yelling the track’s title followed by a revolutionary chant. He sounds like a heroic figure rather than a singer in a band. Then, the song suddenly ended with a quick cut to silence - the conclusion was sharp, yet satisfying. BVB successfully delivered the intense energy that they are known for!
10. The Shattered God - Similarly to The Legacy from Set The World On Fire, the drums and guitar stole the spotlight while Andy showcased his wide vocal range. BVB’s musical talent is remarkable and this song can easily prove any doubters otherwise.
11. Crown of Thorns – Crown of Thorns is a sensational way to end a strong collection of music. The chorus is one that will be stuck on replay in your head for days. This track embodies everything Black Veil Brides is about – inspiring lyrics and classic rock sensibilities.
Black Veil Brides IV brings the band back on track to where Set The World On Fire left off. In my opinion, Wretched And Divine album was a strange phase within their discography due to its overly intricate storyline. They slightly strayed off of their path with the effort to be experimental. Now, there aren't any frills or excessive embellishments (such as "fear transmissions"); IV is simple and to the point. It's rock music done right.
Black Veil Brides IV is available on iTunes and in stores. Pick up a copy now!
Watch our interview with Black Veil Brides: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FeVvzLadL4&list=UUFS_9AeIK7-Tia6U3cLO-XQ