Black Veil Brides

Set the World on Fire

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For Black Veil Brides' first outing with Universal Republic, they tone back the emo-punk dramatics, and let their ‘80s hair metal freak flag fly. As their look suggests, Mötley Crüe and Kiss are big influences, as is Metallica, and elements of these three bands are evident throughout Set the World on Fire. Vocalist Andy Six (now going by his surname Andy Biersack) still has an emo way of singing, but has replaced his squawky screamo choruses with a gruff, James Hetfield growl that he interjects throughout. The slick production of Josh Abraham (30 Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park) marks a big change from We Stitch These Wounds, with no screaming to be heard until the three-quarter mark in the power ballad “Savior” (which starts as a tender love song, complete with string arrangements, before bursting into screeches.) That’s practically the only sign of metalcore, though, and the rest of the album is instead indebted to speed metal and modern rock. Guitarists Jake Pitts and Jinxx are the showstealers here, riffing in constant harmony, and incorporating the speedy guitar pyrotechnics of similar-minded bands like Dragonforce and Escape the Fate while throwing in showy Zack Wilde pinch harmonics, and Yngwie Malmsteen sweeps. Double kick-drum verses along with "hey!" shouts and “whoa oh oh” battle cry hooks, are semi-fun throwbacks to the days when Anthrax and Skid Row reigned supreme and songs like “Fallen Angels,” "Rebel Love Song," and “Love Isn’t Always Fair” have potential crossover appeal to Active Rock fans, even if Black Veil Brides are far from breaking new ground with their studded cod pieces and geisha makeup.

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