Black Veil Brides - Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones review


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Band: Black Veil Brides
Album: Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones
Release date: January 2013

01. Exordium
02. I Am Bulletproof
03. New Year's Day
04. F.E.A.R. Transmission 1: Stay Close
05. Wretched And Divine
06. We Don't Belong
07. F.E.A.R. Transmission 2: Trust
08. Devil's Choir
09. Resurrect The Sun
10. Overture
11. Shadows Die
12. Abeyance
13. Days Are Numbered [feat. Bert McCracken]
14. Done For You
15. Nobody's Hero
16. Lost It All [feat. Roberta Freeman and Juliet Simms]
17. F.E.A.R. Transmission 3: As War Fades
18. In The End
19. F.E.A.R. Final Transmission

Concept albums are funny things really; often set aside for 'serious' artists, you find them reserved for bands who are widely acknowledged to have a high degree of credibility. When it came out that Black Veil Brides had made their own one in Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones, I was a bit skeptical how a band as derided as they were/are could pull this off. Spoiler alert, it turns out they couldn't.

While Black Veil Brides fall into the category of teenager radio rock, the band are not a total write off, with Biersack and co able to write some catchy tunes at the very least. While I doubt they'll leave much of a lasting impression on music as a whole, on Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones they make a case for sounding alright in the moment. Perhaps used as a means to lend credibility to their careers, the band's choice of making a concept album was interesting to say the least.

As a concept album, Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones is a poor attempt at best; it is clunky and leaves itself with the choice to either weaken the song(s) and diminish track quality as a means of moving the narrative forward ("New Years Day" and "We Don't Belong"), or being too vague in concept so as to not hinder the song, thus muddying the plot as key points aren't clear ("Days Are Numbered"). The band try to rectify this through the use of intermissions called "Transmissions", which try to bridge these gaps in the story without being imposed into a track, but they are a cop out and admission the band couldn't work the concept into the songs themselves to try string the story together.

As an album sans the story? It's alright, for the most part it is inoffensive pop rock that occasionally catches your ear and makes you pay attention or tune out. Tracks like "Devil's Choir", "Shadows Die" and "Nobody's Hero" are decent enough, I found myself nodding along and having moments where I thought the band were onto something. The one track that I would take forward from this album is "In The End"; sure it's diabetes-inducing level of saccharine, but sometimes you want a hit of the sweet stuff. It is the addition of that track that will make you reconsider if the band are good when they keep to their lane; sure, pop rock might not be your cup of tea but at the same time for what it is, Black Veil Brides can do it well.

The production of the record is as to be as expected, sonically everything is clear and is placed where you would expect it to be in the mix, Feldmann does a good job. As a band Black Veil Brides are competent but never push themselves above the basics as musicians, so it is hard to really rate the band. They are able to throw in the odd fun line here and there but for the most part its bog-standard pop rock. The one exception I would make to this is Biersack; he does have a good voice and on occasion challenges himself ("Shadows Die") but for the most part he rests on his naturally strong voice, which is better than average, though I would like to see him do more with it to really excel.

I'm more amazed how this band qualifies as metal and is included on this site, aside from being an easy target to snipe at for people. For what it's worth, as easy as it is to snipe at the band, they aren't bereft of talent or good songs; Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones is a passable listen if you want to take a leave of absence from metal but only for a short detour.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Production: 7

Written by omne metallum | 28.07.2020


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