Black Veil Brides – Set The World On Fire (2011)

Posted: June 12, 2011 in Music

(If you found your way here looking for a review of the band’s latest album, Wretched and Divine, visit our home page and look to the left.)


The buzz over Hollywood, California’s Black Veil Brides began shortly after the band released it’s first official single in 2009, titled “Knives and Pens.” The video received over 25 million views on YouTube, and elevated the band to superstardom before they even knew what hit them. With an unbelievable amount of hype behind them, the band was signed to StandBy Records and immediately began work on their 2010 release, We Stitch These Wounds.

The album sold and charted well world-wide, led to a couple of nice supporting slots on tours (most notably with The Murderdolls), and the highly-touted mention as one of Alternative Press Magazine’s “Bands To Watch For” in 2011. With all the pomp and circumstance surrounding these guys, you would think they were the most important band to come along since Led Zepplin. Unfortunately, you couldn’t be further from the truth.

We Stitch These Wounds was nothing special. In fact, I was surprised it had the impact it did, considering the sheer average-to-below-average aspect of it. The label supported it well, and the rock kids gobbled it up, but it set up one of the biggest love/hate battles amongst critics that I have ever witnessed. For every article claiming how much of a “breath of fresh air” the band was, there was a conflicting article chastising the bands “lack of originality.” For me, I didn’t really care one way or another, as the album was one of many completely forgettable albums of 2010.

Fast forward to 2011, and we have – less than 12 months after the debut – a new album from Black Veil Brides. Set The World On Fire is set for a June 14th release, and will be followed by a main stage appearance on this summer’s annual Van’s Warped Tour. The band even brought in legendary rocker Mick Mars (Motley Crue) for assistance on the lyrics. I was actually looking forward to it. After all, I figured that with all the line-up changes the band had experienced in their young career that they had finally settled on a cohesive unit. Add in to that an additional year of “rock star” experience, and surely there would be improvement from their debut.

Sadly, there is so much wrong with this album – and this band – that I can’t find anything good to say about either. In fact, instead of just skipping the whole review and tossing the album into my digital trash can, I was moved to explain to my readers why NOT to buy this album. If you are a fan of this band, the time to stop reading this review is now. You’ll find other, more favorable reviews that the band and label have paid people to write. This ain’t one of them. On that note, let’s get this bloodbath started…

Problem #1: Appearance
While it’s not unusual to carry a goth or glam rock image these days, these boys have found a way to combine the two to disastrous results. They credit Mick Mars for lyrics on the album, but I suspect his contribution was merely bringing over boxes of Nikki Sixx’s throw-away wardrobe from the 80s. Either that, or the band raided Alice Cooper’s make-up drawer after spending their per diem at Paul Stanley’s yard sale. Either way, it’s neither hip nor retro – it’s just plain bad. But never being one to wholly judge a book by its cover, we move on.

Problem #2: The Hype
The following Black Veil Brides has was amassed mostly through ONE SONG. “Knives and Pens” was a hit, without a doubt, but has been the best song the band has done since. They are still on the coattails of that song almost three years later, and frankly enough is enough.

Problem #3: The Support
Say what you want, but the media is making far more of this band than they deserve. The right people and sponsors along the way have glorified the group, but it all feels so forced. Sure, they may be a “band to watch” from a fashion aspect, (I noticed Hot Topic has lots of their shirts available) but it just doesn’t seem like anyone is actually listening to this band. For me, I find it similar in comparison to a chocolate-covered turd. It’s recognizable and looks like something special, but once you take the time to sink your teeth into, you realize it’s actually shit.

Problem #4: The Music Itself
I’ve been listening to music all my life, and completely understand how difficult it is to come up with something “new.” Almost everything in music – no matter the genre – is influenced by or borrowed from something in the past. But the line between “influence” and “sheer copying” is pretty defined, and Black Veil Brides have crossed it. They aren’t influenced by Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, and Stone Sour – they are flat out lifting their sound almost to the point of plagiarism. I haven’t seen such an amazing heist since the first Ocean’s 11 movie. Unlike Ocean’s 11, though, the band finds a way fuck up even the simplest of scams. Where the aforementioned bands continue to broaden their sound into new styles and improvements, this album comes across as pieces picked up off the cutting room floor in M. Shadows studio. It’s uninspired, it’s unoriginal, and it’s totally played out.

The Final Verdict:
It’s been done better – by better bands – and Black Veil Brides need to get called out for the fraud they are. The guitars are copycats, the bass is almost obsolete, and the vocalist is limited by one octave range and crippled by the most juvenile lyrics this side of Dr. Suess. Even the production prowess of Josh Abraham (Linkin Park, Soulfly, Static-X) can’t save this shinking ship. He put his touches on it the best he could, but even a shiny coat of paint couldn’t hide the flaws of construction.

The closest thing even resembling a strong point to this album is the drumming of newcomer Christian “CC” Coma, who was proficient through most of the album, and mildly impressive at times. Outside of his performance, there is nothing else on this train wreck to discuss.

Set The World On Fire will sell tons of albums, and the unimaginative fans will chew up every stinky bite – but it’s the complete antithesis of what metal needs right now. There are far too many bands out there that are amazing, yet don’t have a record deal or a means to get their music heard. Instead, we are force-fed crap like this while the true artists of the genre are getting snuffed out by the high-ups in the business in record numbers.

Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame, boys. You’ll be gone before I’ll even decide to care again. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the next time your fans will see you after this album will be when you are asking them if they “want fries with that”…

And the rock world will be all the better for it.


MySpace: Link | Wiki: Link

  1. seriously says:

    Yeah, fuck these guys.

  2. Does Mom still wash your clothes? says:

    So 40 thousand album sales verus one bitchy loser’s opinion???? I think I will buy the album and continue ot think of you as a loser.

    • randyr says:

      23,000 album sales, actually – but I never said it wouldn’t sell. Also, if you haven’t bought it yet, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

    • randyr says:

      And if you think my opinion is the only poor one of this album, you haven’t used Google to it’s full capacity. It’s getting shredded around the world this week – I just did it first.

  3. Dixie Sixx says:

    Do you kiss your mom with that mouth?! You bloddy bastard! U dont even deserve to talk bad, nor even critisise this band! Who the heck are u to say that? Who gives a fuck about you? When u will be that famous you can even write a story named ” im jelaous bastard”!

  4. Dixie Sixx says:

    And yeah, go heel yourself from jelaousy!

  5. randyr says:

    And spelling is not a factor here – so vent away!!!

  6. courtny says:

    really guys please stop this is the greatest band on earth

  7. greg says:

    i can see this your post was a year ago.,,.,and all i got to say is,.,look at them now.,.

    • randyr says:

      Golden Gods? Really. If you think those hold any merit, you must be 21 or under. The guitar performance on Lamb of God’s latest was a million times better. Read the internet. I can’t get upset that you love your Hot Topic, label-forced emo-metal.

  8. […] you haven’t read it, I would suggest a quick read here before reading the rest of this review – as it contains the history of the band, as well as […]

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