Label: Lava / Republic Records

Release Date: January 12, 2018

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Black Veil Brides is one of those musical guilty pleasures of mine that I indulge in randomly, but certainly whenever a new disc is on the horizon.  The latest – Vale – is no exception.  While the sound hasn’t morphed as much from the last release to this one, the songs are stronger and the band is comfortable with where their musical journey has taken them.  Disc opener “Incipiens Ad Finem” is a spoken piece that uses front man Andy Biersack’s baritone to help bridge the last couple releases to this one as well as leading the first half – Part I Ultimus.  “The Last One” kicks this one off musically and it does so in style and with power.  The drums are heavy-handed, the riffs are raging with thunderous bass underneath, and the lead and background vocals tie this track together perfectly.  “When They Call My Name” is a cool track that unfolds like a ballad… a much of a ballad as these guys play.  The lyrics are poignant and the musical accompaniment carries the track perfectly, especially with the crescendo driven chorus.  “Deadman Walking (Overture II)” builds on the discs other tracks and gives us some moments of anthemic stadium rock, some subdued rock vibes, and the orchestral piece that wraps the song is a really cool recap of the disc thus far.  The subtle changes from disc to disc (since Set The World On Fire) are the pieces that keep me coming back time and time again.  “The King Of Pain” starts off with a slightly different guitar sound and subdued vocals, but soon the rhythm section – bassist Ashley Purdy and drummer Christian Coma – kick in and give this song a heavy bottom end.  “Ballad Of The Lonely Hearts” helps tie together several tracks on this disc sonically – linking them together through common sounds and cadence, while the slight shift between verse and chorus as well as the bridge gives this song its own legs to stand on.

“Wake Up” is an anthemic track that would fit perfectly among other songs from their last couple discs and will blend well on the bands live set list.  The guitars are solid and the vocals drive the track while the rhythm section anchors the track.  The chorus is catchy and lends itself to a drawn out performance.  “The Outsider” opens with a searing guitar part from the tandem of Jinxx and Jake Pitts.  The chugging riff that kicks in and drives us toward the verse grabs you and swirls with the bottom end.  The chorus takes over and soon Biersack leads the charge of this song.  Be sure to listen through the bridge for the killer trade-off solo.  “Our Destiny” kicks off the second half of the disc – labeled Part II Extimum.  This track expands the vibe of the first half of the disc, while keeping the BVB sound intact.  The layered vocals and charging guitars drive the track and add punch.  “My Vow” is a solid BVB track that has the tempo and vocals of earlier tracks from their catalog meshed with the more mature sound they have cultivated over their last three releases.  The lyrics are true to the spirit and attitude the band and their fans seem to march to.  “Throw The First Stone” is one of the heavier tracks on the disc thanks to the droning bass lines, full drum breakdowns, chugging riffs, and the familiar vocals from Biersack.  The Purdy / Coma combination on the bottom end really lead the charge on this song.  Disc closer “Vale (This Is Where It Ends)” wraps this collection on a slower, more melancholic mood than most of the tracks this band has recorded, but it seems to fit the vibe of the disc and gives us one more look at one of the bands many facets.  This disc is another winner from the band and fits perfectly in my collection with their other releases!

Tracklisting: Incipiens Ad Finem – The Last One – Wake Up – When They Call My Name – The Outsider – Deadman Walking (Overture II) – Our Destiny – The King Of Pain – My Vow – Ballad Of The Lonely Hearts – Throw The First Stone – Vale (This Is Where It Ends)







Filed Under: CD Reviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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