Black Veil Brides

Black Veil Brides

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Arriving just one year after the band's ambitious 2013 concept album Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, Black Veil Brides' eponymous fourth long-player continues the Tinseltown rockers' evolution from faceless metalcore noisemakers to Sunset Strip-burning glam metal revivalists with a fetish for grandiose, turn of the century emo. Kicking off with the one-two punch of "Heart of Fire" and "Faithless," both of which (for better or for worse) make a solid bid for modern rock radio/WWE montage domination, the 11-track set follows no story line, opting instead for coverage of traditional hard rock tropes like unspecified suffering and fighting the man, peppered with numerous references to fire, blood, death, and the breaking of chains. Musically, BVB offers up a torrent of furious riffing, monster pick-slides, and meaty percussion that falls somewhere in between "Kickstart My Heart," Godsmack, and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica, with highlights arriving via the jaunty (rhythmically) death vocal-led "Stolen Omen," the anthemic, Iron Maiden-twin, lead-driven closer "Crown of Thorns," the propulsive, pseudo-industrial highway jam "Devil in the Mirror," and the aforementioned first single "Faithless," but for the most part the band's fourth fireworks display lacks a solid finale. Bereft of the narrative that helped propel their last outing, BVB spends most of its time throwing things into the air and hoping something sticks, and while it may be polished, sharply honed, and delivered with confidence, it lacks both the gravitas and the hooks to get under your skin, despite how very badly it wants to impress.

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