By: Ash Erasmus
Young, talented and perhaps too emotional for their age but Black Veil Brides have brought something different to the table with their new album Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones. With previous albums showcasing only the lead’s crystal clear vocals, the post-hardcore band grouped together and produced an album with a noticeable storyline and they have a movie to prove it.
The Story Until Now
Initally the band was formed by Andy Six (now Biersack), a 17 year old trying to live his dream and break away from societies norms in the only way that he knew how- through music. Forming a band from a bunch of friends, he wrote and composed songs through his developed alter-ego, Andy Six, that became everything he could not be i.e. tough and confident, a person who could stand up for those who could not stand up for themselves. The idea was to become a pillar for those struggling, to lean on. And it reflects in the music.
Making their debut in 2008 with their single Never Give In, the band generated a huge following due to their honest, relatable lyrics and unique look. Draped in black t-shirts, tattoos and a little too much eyeliner, the band became a prominant figure in rock and metal circles- often competing for top of the charts status. Yet the music was still immature, and reflected an angry teenager’s mind.
The first full album, We Stitch These Wounds, was released in 2010 and saw over 10 000 copies being sold in the first week, pushing the band to #36 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. It demarcated the first “mature” album for the band, with Andy Six dropping his alter ego in favour of his birth name Andy Biersack.
The new album: Wretched and Divine: The Story of The Wild Ones
This latest album has, however, been the most impressive out of the three that the band has released. And it stands for everything that the band originally set out to achieve in a more mature and controlled way.
With the album playing host to 19 tracks, listeners are treated to a wonderful array of instruments with Biersack treating us to several violin solos- a first for the band. Yet the lead is obviously not the only one with talent, and for a change, this album displays all of the members abilities.
With some insane guitar solos and great drumming, Black Veil Brides really comes together and puts forth an album that resonates with the soul. Singing about feelings of exclusion and worldly norms, the album is a mix of melodius, emotional tracks complimented by other, more harsh (yet less screamo) songs. Biersack’s vocal ability has been tested and not found wanting. Thrown in the mix are four recordings that tell a story in themselves, with the relevant songs before and after each “transmission”, they speak of not giving into fear- enhancing the band’s overall message.
What the band did beautifully though was incorporate the Wretched and Divine into a film titled “Legion of the Black.” Whilst not to everyone’s taste, the band members played host to this extended music video and set the scene for a tumultuous rollercoaster of emotion. Dressed from top to toe in black and set in a desert, the film tells the tale of a misunderstood girl who is sent to a mental asylum for not following societies ideals.
To quote Ashley, the bassist, “We carry a message of believing in yourself and letting no one tell you otherwise. We stand up for the underdog and the disenfranchised. Anything strange, odd, or unique… we embrace that. So basically standing up for yourself; have fun and live your life how you choose. You only have one life, make the most of it.”
They are a band with great motivation and being a personal favourite of mine, Black Veil Brides is definitely worth taking a listen to.