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We Stitch These Wounds
We Stitch These Wounds - Black Veil Brides
Member Name: ntg13
We Stitch These Wounds - Black Veil Brides
Advantages: tracks fit together well, great guitars, great vocals
Disadvantages: none unless you're not into this kind of music (then possibly everything)
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.
Summary: Well worth a listen.