Right, so this is me (James) weighing in on the debate that splits our scene in two and really riles me up…
DISCLAIMER: no, I’m not a crazy fangirl with no sense; I am just a music fan that has an opinion and it is well-reasoned as you will tell.
If you’re unfamiliar with this the Black Veil Brides, here’s a few photos of them through their 4 phases:
I can understand people not liking the band in the first album era; they weren’t in a community and they were breaking out into a scene that didn’t exist in a cross between metalcore, hair metal and acoustic rock which led to a pretty weirdly mixed record that they advertised was “for fans of Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold” which was a pretty bizarre comparison yet was the closest they had to a like band. They were very much a bunch of misfits making music they liked while living in a van touring the US and that did show in some ways, but they pushed on with life.
Then they swapped the eyeliner-all-over look for a full-on, almost Kiss-style painted look with huge hair and a lot of catsuits and tight leather. This brought with it a far more melodic sound reminiscent in parts of 80s hair metal legends Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and Dokken, which earned them their first real following in the UK though didn’t allow them to fully break through in the US. The visual décor led to many people dismissing them as “another emo band” or “weird nutters” as I have heard people refer to them oh so many times and I suppose in that respect they didn’t necessarily make a choice that would make them any more popular while they were trying to find their feet in a re-establishing hair and glam metal market on both continents.
Ditching facepaint for warpaint marked the move from second to third album, and the introduction of the “BVB Army” name for the fanbase that meant an ever growing amount as the band went into production of a musical film titled Legion of the Black to accompany the release of the third album. This was their first major chart success as it hit the UK and US charts with pretty reasonable successes on both sides of the pond. This era came partially courtesy of legendary producer John Feldmann, who directed them into a more freely adapted musical style that led them to let out all their creativity in the form of a 22-song, double disc concept album following the Legion in an apocalyptic world, fighting against the church. While I understand how this could be controversial, this was taken to use against them by so many who just looked for another reason to hate them.
Employing master-metalhead Bob Rock for their self-titled album (commonly known as BVB IV) gave them their first undeniable credibility in the scene in both countries. The record took them even higher into the charts and gave them a more classic metal sounding instrumental in parts comparable to that of Metallica’s Black album in that it was polished in a very Bob Rock style, yet it was kept listenable to the mass market through Andy’s mainly melodic vocals (with the exception of Stolen Omen which was a mixture of processed whispers and shouts).
Now from the clips, they look to be delving even deeper into the realms of heavier music and they’re back in the studio with John Feldmann and genuinely I’m excited to see what this next record has in store for us, and if the last few eras have been anything to go by then a dramatic change will be hitting us as they release material from this record.
So before you go bashing this lot, they really aren’t that much different from classics like Motley Crue and Guns N Roses, just not quite as mental, and quite a lot more civilised and mature in a number of ways!