A mysterious sound is heard, a mysterious voice is added. “And in the end we found our stage. We gave these words of strength. Worry not for what’s to come. Our Legion of the Black”. That’s the message Black Veil Brides new album ‘Vale’ opens with. A piano sound follows, drums kick in. This is the moment where the music is reaching deep within you. When the guitar kicks in, the typical Black Veil Brides formula for songs is heard. Put lead singer Andy Biersack’s voice on top of that and we’re rolling for the rest of the album.
Lead guitarist Jake Pitts in an interview with Robert Herrera:
‘We are trying to outdo ourselves and not putting out the exact same thing. You know, so many bands just play the same kind of riffs and breakdowns and everything, but it sounds the same. So we’re trying to create something that sounds different, even from what we’ve done, still not get to far of track and make fans be like ‘What are you doing?! I don’t like this anymore’. Try to keep the fans, getting a bigger fan base, but make everybody happy at the same time. So we try to mix it up with the heavier stuff, the ballads, the radio rock and just give the album a little bit of everything for somebody’.
The album received a lot of feedback with the message that it sounded the same. And it kind of does. That’s the Black Veil Brides formula you hear through the whole album. The biggest difference compared to their previous album ‘Wretched and Divine’, is that Vale doesn’t have a specific theme. It’s a hello/goodbye kind of thing.
‘The idea is that we have a narrative of these characters that we had on ‘Wretched and Divine’ and that’s coming to an end. It’s a nice way to put a bow to a story that we developed over the course of many years’.
– According to Andy in an interview with Hot Topic.
Even though it’s not that different, it’s definitely not a bad album. All the things that Jake said in the interview are in it. Some heavier stuff like ‘The Outsider’ and ‘My Vow’ and ballads like ‘When They Call My Name’ and ‘Vale’. But there’s one song in particular that got my attention, and that’s ‘Dead Man Walking’. This song has so much stuff hidden in between the spaces of the words. It gets you thinking. The song is about feeling lonely, about not being able to take things back what you’ve said or done. Even though you would want that.
“But we’re trying to change the world again, before we lose our heart”, is a reference toward the modern world. We forget more often that we have a heart of our own and that we don’t have to follow the masses. Also, the album cover shows a man on a cross in what looks like a “Vale of Death”, who is being ripped apart by human/bird hybrid statues. “They won’t be there to catch your fall”. In the background are mountains that have a burned glow to it. You know, that kind of red color a flame has when it burned everything in it’s range and is now slowly fading away. “But me, I feel alone living in a nightmare”.
What’s also very special in this song are the last 2 minutes. There’s a violin playing the parts of the melodies of the previous songs on the album. It’s very touching and in my opinion the most powerful song on the album. In an interview with Hot Topic, Andy said that ‘Dead Man Walking’ was written one day after the elections. One day after Trump became president.
‘It’s not a political statement. The things that happened in the world while we were making this record, changed the way that all of us felt about what was going on around us’.
Release date: January 12th, 2018
Label: Spinefarm Records
01 Incipiens Ad Finem
02 The Last One
03 Wake Up
04 When They Call My Name
05 The Outsider
06 Dead Man Walking
07 Our Destiny
08 The King of Pain
09 My Vow
10 Ballad of the Lonely Hearts
11 Throw the First Stone