January 2018 marks the return of the Black Veil Brides a return that their legion of hard-core fans have been waiting for patiently for a long time as the band released their self-titled fourth studio album back in October 2014 an album which hit the top ten of the Billboard charts in America and was shortly followed up with a lengthy tour across the world yet in 2016 the band decided to take a short break so frontman Andy Black could focus on the release of his debut solo album ‘The Shadow Side’ and also a worldwide tour in support of the album which saw him play sold out shows across the UK and Europe as well as embarking on the whole American Vans Warped Tour throughout 2017, whilst also filming for his debut film American Satan which was released back in October.
The fifth Black Veil Brides album ‘Vale’ has been in the works since November 2015 but due to Andy Blacks other touring and work commitments it has taken a long time to complete and considering how busy he has been you start to wonder how the band actually found time to complete the album but they did and its release is a matter of days away, releasing this Friday the 12th January.
Back in December 2016 Black Veil Brides released the first single from ‘Vale’ called ‘The Outsider’ to give the fans a small feel of the album and also a little something to get them through the lengthy wait and then in September they premiered ‘My Vow’ which was followed up in November by ‘When They Call My Name’ and then ‘The Last One in December, a collection of songs which show how big yet diverse ‘Vale’ was gearing up to be.
When it comes to releasing albums the Black Veil Brides don’t disappoint and this time around they really are releasing their most diverse album to date with ‘Vale’, an album which features everything from fist in the air anthems, sing-a-long ballads, crunching guitar riffs, beautifully executed solos, banging drum beats, spoken word moments, violins and a solid vocal performance from Andy Black which really does show off how far he has come on vocally with a lot of his vocals on ‘Vale’ easily influenced by his own solo material.
‘Vale’ opens with ‘Incipiens Ad Finem’ which is a spoken word introduction to the album very similar to that of their third studio album ‘Wretched and Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones’, the only difference this time around is Andy Black covered these duties rather than William Control, seconds later the album fires up with its first proper track ‘The Last One’ a song which the band released as a single back in December and really shows off how far the Black Veil Brides have come on musically since they hit the music scene back in 2009. Instrumently the song is top notch, the riffs are outstanding and the drumming sets the chorus up perfectly which Andy Black executes to perfection with his big infectious vocals which seem to grow on each and every release.
‘Wake Up’ opens in a big fist in the air chant-a-long way full of huge Avenged Sevenfold style riffs as Jake Pitts and Jynx go all out with their duel guitar assault, the solo towards the middle of the song is executed to perfection and in such style, also Christian Coma also deserves an mention as his drumming throughout the song is outstanding and once again the vocal from Andy Black are huge and infectious.
‘When They Call My Name’ is a loved up rock ballad with beautifully written lyrics which are perfectly sung out by Andy Black as he sings out “I need you to tell me everything will be alright to chase away the voices in the night when they call my name have I gone insane?”, instrumentally the more laid back approach works really well with the nature of the song.
‘Dead Man Walking’ is a huge song which runs for just over 8minutes which is a first for the Black Veil Brides and features an epic guitar solo towards the middle of the song and comes to an end with beautifully sounding violins sounding so close to what the band did on their ‘Wretched And Divine: The story Of The Wild Ones’ album back in 2013.
‘Our Destiny’ sounds like a song which should have been featured on Andy Black’s solo album ‘The Shadow Side’ or even saved for his second solo studio album which he is currently working on, but then if that was the case the song would be lacking the epic guitar solos and gang vocals that come and go throughout the song.
‘The King Of Pain’ is a big sing-a-long song, ‘My Vow’ is a proper tub-thumper and easily the fastest and heaviest track on the album which a huge sing-a-long anthem featuring Andy Black on top form and gang vocals to back him up. ‘Ballad Of The Lonely Hearts’ stays true to its name and Is a beautiful ballad, the kind of song which is going to have the bands legion of fans holding their phones or lighters in the air at their lives shows to light up the sky.
The album comes to a close with the title track ‘Vale’, a song which shows off the soft side of Black Veil Brides as they proper tone things down and let the song build up over time until it hits its peak with a huge guitar solo and chorus.
The release of ‘Vale’ has been a long time coming and it has been worth the wait, it may not be the best Black Veil Brides album but it is easily the most diverse and the hardcore fans are going to love the album and the haters are going to continue to hate, yet with the release of ‘Vale’ the Black Veil Brides take that step closer to moving from Academy sized venues to headlining arenas across the world.
Review by Trigger