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We Stitch These Wounds is the debut studio album from the band Black Veil Brides. Realeased in July 2010 by Standby records. The album and bad were heavily promoted, and the resulting buzz is how I came to hear of them.
In HMV you will find the band listed under metal. They are most usually called metalcore (a sub genre of metal which combines elements from both extreme metal and hardcore punk) but I have also heard them described as post-hardcore, hard rock, dark rock and glam metal.
Similar bands, or ones who seem to have lent influence to Black Veil Brides would be Bullet for my Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Motley Crue and Kiss.
Whatever you want to label them as, their sound is quite heavy but at the same time polished.
The band hail from Hollywood and are fronted by lead singer Andy Sixx (or Andrew Biersack, I guess Andy Sixx sounds more rock and roll!). Other band members are;
* Ashley Purdy (backing vocals and bass)
* Christian "CC" Coma (drums) although Sandra Alveranga was the drummer for "We stitch these wounds".
* Jake Pitts (lead guitar)
* Jinxx (guitar and violin)
The band formed in 2006 and were originally known as simply "Brides", they have had some changes to their line up between then and "We stitch these wounds" being released. Their MySpace page and Youtube played a large roll in their rise to fame.The Black Veil Brides appear to have modelled their image after the band Kiss and with their unisex long styled hair, black make up, (usually) black clothing and metal accessories and finishing touches they look a bit like a monochrome visual kei band.
Their image fits their music very well and is appealing to the current "emo" or "scene" kids (one of these being my niece who likes this band though perhaps not as much as me).
I can't imagine anyone would describe this band as ground-breaking or particularly original but they certainly have a good sound and slide in perfectly alongside other metalcore bands.
The picture on the CD cover of We Stitch These Wounds features a photograph of Andy Sixx holding a piece of thread, the other end of which is stitched over a cut leading from his mouth up to his cheek. In the background there is what could be a feather with eyes in it.
In the top left corner of the picture is bronzed writing with the album and band name.
The CD cover is ok, not amazing but not terrible and it seems to fit well with the album title. I did have a little giggle when my daughter saw the CD lying around the house and told me "The girl on there looks very pretty".
There are a total of 12 tracks on this album and they are in order as follows;
* Outcasts, The (Call to Arms)
This first track is actually an introduction. It begins with spooky sounds that remind me of an old record and features a creepy, old sounding, almost robotic voice which tells us; "This record is for the outcasts, following a story of love, life and never giving in. We are the Black Veil Brides."
* We Stitch These Wounds
The second track is the title track of the album. The track was previously self realeased by the band, but changes (particularly in the lyrics) were made to the album version. It begins rather dramatically with guitar and drums and gradually breaks into a catchy song with some awesome guitar riffs that sounds a little angry, which it would being as lyrically it deals with heartbreak and lies. The song ends quite abruptly rather than fading out (as do most other songs on the album).
"With blood these lyrics came, your words ate right through me"
* Beautiful remains
This track starts in a similar way to "We Stitch These Wounds" and so it follows on from it well. Again, the track feels a little angry and features some brilliant guitar riffs. It is full of passion and energy. The singing switches between clear, well sung vocals and screaming, dark vocals. The lyrics suggest to me that the song is about lost love.
"This love will set you free from thoughts of yesterday, Now death has come to claim your beautiful remains"
* Children Surrender
Again, we are given a catchy song which is bursting with energy and passion. It completely fits the sound of the previous two songs and by this point in the album you can start to realise how well all of the tracks flow together. Upon first listening to this the lyrics might make you think of vampires, but as the band have been known to say that they do not write fantasy or things they have not experienced for themselves, so perhaps not. It is quite possible that the lyrics refer to being misfits and the stereotyping received from others.
"We're born into the night like children of the damned, our pain will shine a light to those who understand"
* Perfect Weapon
This track opens with screaming vocals saying "Go" (this word is then often repeated throughout the song), which then quickly fade into more great guitars that lead us into a song a little less melodic and catchy than the others. Once again the vocals switch between heavier screaming and more harmonious singing. Lyrically it deals with being picked on and wanting revenge.
"We are breathing, While you're sleeping, Go, (go!), And leave us alone"
* Knives and Pens
This is the first track I ever heard from Black Veil Brides and it is one of my favourites. This is another track that was previously self released by the band before being subject to some changes and being put into the album "We Stitch These Wounds". The song fades in from the abrupt silence left by "Perfect weapon" and quickly we hear the same fantastic guitar sounds that we have come to expect from the previous tracks. The main message of this song is to remain true to yourself and not give in.
"One final fight, for this tonight, Woah, with knives and pens we made our plight"
* Mortician's Daughter, The
This song is another of my favourites and of all the tracks this is one that would probably appeal to a wider audience. This is another track that was previously self released by the band and then changed slightly to become a part of this album. The song opens with an acoustic guitar and the whole track is bereft of the anger displayed in the other songs and instead full of love, soft sounds and beautiful harmonies. It is a nice, soft ballad that Andy Sixx wrote about his girlfriend (actress Scout Taylor Compton) who is the daughter of a mortician (yes girls, sorry, he is taken). This is the kind of song girl's dream someone will write for them some day. The track offers a nice little relief from the faster pace of the other songs on the album and fades out (though quickly) unlike the abrupt ending of the others.
"A fuss is made of miles and travels when roadways are but stones and gravel, a bleeding heart will conquer every touch"
* All Your Hate
This track brings us back to a faster pace again with plenty of energy. Again there is a contrast of singing and screaming mixed with plenty of guitars and some pretty good drumming. It is said that the lyrics refer to a falling out with a previous band member. Once again the song is bought to quite an abrupt end.
"We learn from all your hate, We are lost in your mistakes, Play our hymn for the brand new day, We burn, we learned"
* Heaven's Calling
The drums are quite noticeable at the start of this track. This song has a bit of anger and screaming, but seems to lack a little of the passion that some of the other songs have in abundance. The song is said to be about growing up in a Catholic area and being different and rebelling against what is expected rather than fitting in, the lyrics certainly seem to refer to religion though there are not so many words in the song when compared to others.
"Drive into the stake, secrets of his "compassion", A perfect escape, like hell you'll list your reasons"
* Never Give In
This song lacks a lot of the screaming that features in most of the album's tracks, although there is a little screaming and shouting going on in the background. The drums lend a nice steady beat throughout the track which almost gives a feel of marching. When it comes to meanings, the title of the track is self explanatory and the lyrics are basically saying to stay strong and keep going even when bad things happen. Although I personally feel that there are better tracks on the album, this one can be incredibly uplifting and carries a strong message.
"Never give in, Never back down, Never give in!"
* Sweet Blasphemy
This, the album's penultimate track, has some great "twiddly" guitar riffs and is another favourite of mine from this album. There is a reoccurring melody in this song that I'm sure I recognise from somewhere else, but I can't quite put my finger on where. The lyrics could be interoperated a few different ways, there certainly seems to be some blasphemy going on (as the title would suggest) and also perhaps the lyrics speak of being strong in yourself rather than following the crowd.
"You told the greatest stories, or love and bleeding crowns, But to the sick and hungry you cannot be found"
The final track starts off much softer than all of the other tracks; excluding The Mortician's Daughter. The song brings a beautiful close to the album. The song is said to be about Jake's (the guitarist's) mother being ill. The lyrics sound regretful and speak of braving a storm (one which it is suggested this person, who the song is about, will not live through). The song fades out into a silence which ends the album.
"These times in life we learn to try, with one intention, Of learning how and when we'll die, but we can't listen"
*********Price and availability*********
This album can currently be found in HMV with the price tag of £13 (with free delivery if you buy through their website). It can also be found on Amazon at £7.49 for a digital download of the album or from £5.93 for the CD with free super saver delivery.
This is a fairly average price for a CD album, HMV did previously sell this album cheaper than they do now though.
I very much like the Black Veil Brides and I hope that they are a band who stands the test of time, I'm sure they can do it if future releases match up to the standard set by this first one. They have a fantastic look and sound and yet as this is only their first album there is plenty of room for growth and progression in their music.
The tracks in this song all blend into one another seamlessly, I find it very enjoyable to listen to as a whole album (whereas often I pick just my favourite tracks from albums and rearrange them as I like them) because the songs fit together almost like pieces of a jigsaw. For this reason it is difficult to pick out weaker tracks because the whole album holds itself together so perfectly.
Lyrically the album on the whole deals with quite juvenile topics, which I like to think I'm still young enough to identify with and leaves plenty of space for the band to mature with time.
The band have managed to take parts of classical music (using violins) and great 80's glam rock (heavy power chords) and effectively meld them into a part of their more modern sound.
I find that Andy Sixx's beautifully smooth vocals give an amazingly interesting contrast to the heavy drums, guitar power chords and screaming.
Overall it's the guitars that really make this album great for me because I do love a good bit of guitar and this album has them in abundance from classic power chords to more complicated melodies.
While this album is not going to be suitable for those not into rock or metal, there are one or two songs that might be enjoyed by a mainstream audience. On the whole I can see a lot of people writing this off as "screamy shouty noise" (as my sister calls it), which is good for me as this is how many of my favourite songs are described by most of the people I know.
There is a second album from the Black Veil Brides, titled "Set the world on fire" it was released June 2011.
The third album, "Wretched and Divine: The Wild Ones" is due for release in 2013.
*********Would I recommend this album?*********
I would (and do!) recommend this album to anyone who will listen. Sadly, not everyone shares my taste in music though so obviously if you're more into JLS or Atomic Kitten and less into screaming black clad rock stars then this is not going to be for you.
Black Veil Brides are currently EVERYWHERE. Their look has given them notoriety and a huge fan base of young teenagers who want to be like them. Unfortunately the look has also gained them a fair bit of hatred from other bands and their fans who regard them as 'posers' and the costumes as a gimmick. This may be true, but it's worked and the difference in appearance from most bands stops their music from being forgotten among the mass of new bands.
So appearances aside what is the music like? After only seeing the band in magazines I had a sound in my head that was very emo, but after my first listen I was shocked to hear it's more of a modern, darker take on the golden age of 80s metal. Bands such as Motley Crue and Kiss have clearly influenced both the bands image and style, but the music has much darker themes. Instead of singing about partying and girls, the songs contain themes focusing on death and war.
Andy (Biersack - vocals) has a much deeper voice than I was expecting. There is a bit of screaming in the songs, but it's not all the time - there are still plenty of sung lyrics. Biersack is not as gravelly or aggressive as many metal singers. In a number of songs there are big sing-along choruses that will certainly go down well at festivals.
There is a very metal drum sound in the form of double bass and lots of great metal guitar riffs and some surprisingly enjoyable solos. Unlike a lot of metal albums, no song exceeds four and a half minutes.
If I had to compare them to another band I think Atreyu would be my closest match with a lot of elements reminiscent of Avenged Sevenfold. Spotify suggests Ronnie Radke's bands Escape the Fate and Falling in Reverse which I can hear at times, but BVB tend to be a bit heavier and more metal.
The track list is below. My highlights are Perfect Weapon and Knives and Pens, the latter of which is very catchy and seems to stay with me all day. The Mortician's Daughter is a nice acoustic song that really suits Andy's voice.
1. "The Outcasts (Call to Arms)"
2. "We Stitch These Wounds"
3. "Beautiful Remains"
4. "Children Surrender"
5. "Perfect Weapon"
6. "Knives and Pens"
7. "The Mortician's Daughter"
8. "All Your Hate"
9. "Heaven's Calling"
10. "Never Give In"
11. "Sweet Blasphemy"
Overall I really enjoy this album. I'm not sure how I feel about the image of the band, but they get a hard time for a talented young metal band and I think they deserve a bit more respect from the rock community. I don't true metal fans should look down on them quite as much as they do. I gave them a listen and was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it!
Black Veil Brides are a Hollywood based rock band. Their main style of music and dresscode is based on the big players in the 80's glam rock and metal bands, such as Kiss and Motley Crue. They also give the glam genre a metalcore bite, and musically sound similar to acts such as Avenged Sevenfold. They formed in Ohio in 2006 and received their 'Big Break' by postings tracks on social networks like MySpace and Youtube.
Their first album, "We Stitch These Wounds" was released in 2010. It received a very positive response when it was released, and sold almost 11,000 copies in its first week. The album itself is as dark and unorthodox as the bands attire. Each song featured is spiteful and aggressive, yet surprisingly catchy too. Songs like 'Perfect Weapon' and 'Knives and Pens' are catchy and bouncy, but still aggressive enough to make you stand up and listen.
Personally though, after a couple of listens of the album I found it all a bit samey. Bands like Avenged Sevenfold have been producing this genre of music for the last 10 years or so, and all Black Veil Brides really do is refresh it for a younger audience. Granted they're doing very well for themselves off the back of it, but its not original enough for me, really.
Maybe I'm just too old and don't 'get it'...
Black Veil Brides, a band from America that have recently hit the UK music scene with something that can only be described as a great success. This album, although not as popular or as successful as their 'Set the World on Fire' album, which followed this one, 'We Stitch These Wounds' was still a great hit, mainly in America, but it was this album that made me stop and tell myself 'I love this band'! Black Veil Brides are often recognised by their 'war-paint', which often resembles the make-up from the members of Kiss as they have a very glam-rock image, which may I say they all pull off exceptionally well.
'We Stitch These Wounds' was the bands very first studio released album, formally known as 'Alive & Burning', 3 of the songs present on this album were in fact self-released by the band, but the versions on the album were altered...which I will come to later! The band members present on this album were Andy Biersack (vocalist), Ashley Purdy (bassist), Jake Pitts (guitarist), Jinxx (rhythm guitarist, violinist) and Sandra Alvarenga (drummer). Unfortunately Sandra left the band after this album and was replaced by Christian Coma (who can be seen with the band on the 'Set the World on Fire' album).
1) The Outcasts (Call to Arms)
Although this is not really a 'song', it's a brilliant introduction to the band, and they album. "This record is for the outcasts, following our stories of love, life and never giving in. We are the Black Veil Brides". It's a great 'warm-up' to the album and gets you ready to listen to the coming album, already kind of knowing they type of band they are!
2) We Stitch These Wounds
This is one of the songs previously mentioned, a song that was in fact altered for the studio release. I must admit I personally prefer the original version (or 'alternative' version), mainly because, although it doesn't sound as great as this version, it's better...it may just be me. But back to the studio version...it starts with a heavy guitar riff, and slowly builds up to Andy's voice, which may I say, is to die for! It is such a great song, and such a great way to start an album...it has an awesome guitar solo from Jake Pitts, and they really set the bar high for the album from the off. I love the way Black Veil Brides mixes Andy's harmonic voice with his screaming, and I think the balance is perfect.
3) Beautiful Remains
A rather standard guitar solo...followed by an even more standard drum beat, it doesn't particularly leave you wanting more. As the song progresses though it proves that the beginning is a 'don't judge a book by its cover' moment as the song does pick up and is a lot better than you originally expect. It could be considered as one of the more boring songs off the album, and I wouldn't disagree but still Black Veil Brides did make a good song as it really isn't bad...
4) Children Surrender
An up-beat electric start to the song, and a very promising start, soon to be followed through by a great song. The lyrics of the song are very short...with it only having 5 sections (3 sections of which are just repeated) of the song it's kind of disappointing as they are usually great with their lyrics, but then again it's a relatively short song at 3minutes and 12seconds anyway, so it doesn't really leave much time as it is less than an average song time. Andy however, does manage to fit in his screaming, which he does so well, and I think it makes this song something, and regardless of the short time available they cram a lot of different styles in, making it a successful song!
5) Perfect Weapon
A very well known song by Black Veil Brides, arguably one of the most popular and it is quite obvious from the off why. Starting with a very long, deep scream...what a way to set off a great song! I think that as Perfect Weapon has such a strong start it would have linked in extremely well if it was track 2...which is kind of proven with their music video for it at just how well the two do link in together. The song itself in my opinion is one of their better ones...off of both of the albums not just this one. The riffs to start off with are brilliant and set the mood for the rest song, and in comes Andy's deep voice with a relatively slow verse, building up to a scream, which is still legible unlike some other screaming by other bands. The chorus is catchy, toe-tapping and relatively high pitched for what you'd expect of Andy. I think the way the verses are deep and the chorus is high is a great mixture and the balance is perfect.
6) Knives & Pens
Knives & Pens now, another track altered for the studio version. This song as been criticised a lot, mainly because it has very obvious similarities from the beginning of the song, with the riffs that feature at the beginning of 'Knives & Pens' and the riff at the beginning of 'Unholy Confessions' by Avenged Sevenfold. In my opinion, comparing the two songs, the Black Veil Brides riff is stronger than the Avenged Sevenfold one, not only is it faster but the drumming in the background is also stronger, and seems far more 'matching'. The song itself is a great one, the lyrics are average I suppose, good in parts, but lack meaning at others. I think that's the only thing that really lets this song down. Other than that I love it...and possibly one of my favourite by them!
7) The Mortician's Daughter
Now, a bit of trivia here for you, this song was actually written about/for the actress Scout Taylor-Compton, the reason being...she was Andy's girlfriend at the time. This song is very slow and beautifully acoustic, it shows off Andy's voice tremendously well...showing how 'husky' his voice is, and really just how talented he is. This song was the 3rd song to be altered for the studio release album...but both are just as good, although Andy's voice sounds a million times better on the studio release version. Such a beautiful love song that just shows Andy's love for Scout. It is also a very unconventional love song, mainly due to the dark lyrics, but beautiful and touching at the same time.
8) All Your Hate
A heavy, up-tempo start to the song, but it works well, the guitar, bass and drumming goes greatly together, and when Andy's voice makes its appearance it's sensational at how well it all goes together. The lyrics within the song show a sense of encouragement to the fans to do what they believe in and not give in to what others say about them, "We learn from all your hate", the majority of lyrics however are somewhat religious too...just to pick out a few: "words are holy", "hail Mary" and "when saints are glory I'll die". The song doesn't seem to be very religious in any way unless you do really focus on the lyrics. Part way through the song Andy shows his talent and shows his screaming, which yet again isn't illegible as you can perfectly hear what he's saying. The way in which this song is put together fully is great, and possibly one of my close favourites on the album.
9) Heavens Calling
A promising guitar riff and drums to start off with, a fast paced beginning which you just hope will follow throughout the whole song. Andy's voice, yet again, so harmonic and suits perfectly to the rest of the song. The only thing about the beginning few minutes of the song is that it is very repetitive, leaving you to disbelieve in them, however Andy shocks the system when you're expecting the same riff, the same sounding lyrics, the same tone of voice, when he screams, it's fantastic, and such a brilliant twist to the song. In my opinion it's not the best song on the album, and not even in the running for one of the best, but a good song all the same!
10) Never Give In
This is one of Black Veil Brides favourite songs, mentioned in many interviews. This song just shows how they like to give their fans support, with lyrics such as "Never give in, never back down". It starts with a beautiful riff by Jake, and it is quite a soothing one...shortly followed by Christian Comas drumming, which sets off a fast pace from the beginning, but the chorus changes the tone a bit as it is quite a slow one. The verses are deceiving, they seem slow, but they're not really, the flow of lyrics is great and yet again Black Veil Brides have excelled with matching Andy's voice to the guitar, bass and drums.
11) Sweet Blasphemy
It starts with a lovely guitar riff over some equally great drumming, it's quite a slow start to the song, and seems to follow through in the whole song. The verses seem faster than they are, and the chorus is a slow one. The lyrics are very 'motivational' and yet again show support to their fans, showing them to ignore the 'haters' and be strong and stay themselves "We are young and we are strong, through strength in self we become, something more than they could be, this is our sweet blasphemy". The one thing that annoys me about this song is the fact that there is only 2 verses, the rest of the song is just repeated bridges and chorus', other than that though it is a listenable song!
Such a beautiful start to the ending of an album...an acoustic start followed very shortly by the electric guitar which was composed so brilliantly. The lyrics seem very meaningful, almost a love song, "Through pain of heart or loss of mind, your burdens lifted" yet at the same time, the lyrics can also show support to the fans (which they do seem to do quite often), "You're not alone, and we'll brave this storm". The guitar solo within the song is fantastic; the timing of it all and when it comes into the song is just perfect. Black Veil Brides finished this album off wanting you to listen to more of their stuff, which I think is a great achievement for a relatively unknown band (well, at the release time of this album!).
With a total running time of 42minutes and 37seconds, this album shows very promising things to come for Black Veil Brides. All of the songs were written and composed by Andy Biersack himself, thus showing how talented and determined he is. The band, although pretty much unheard of when this album was released, show that they are going to stick around, with the lyrics and musical wonders they have produced you anticipate the next release from them, hoping that it will live up to their previous stuff.
I thoroughly recommend you listen to this album, if anything I recommend you listen to this album BEFORE you listen to the 'Set the World on Fire' album, mainly because this is the 'original' Black Veil Brides, not the 'mainstream' Black Veil Brides.