A recording that redefines mediocrity

As it is with many artists that listeners love to hate, it’s often not until you attempt to absorb one of their albums as objectively as possible that you begin to realise just how spot on some of that criticism can be.

I discovered this many years ago when I actually listened to Nickelback’s ironically-titled Dark Horse album all the way through; the latest effort by Black Veil Brides is another example. While the jury appears to be still out as to whether this album is named Black Veil Brides IV, self-titled or simply IV like a pretentious and sorry nod to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, there is one thing that can’t be argued – this is a recording that redefines mediocrity. Two songs in and you already know how this album is going to go. Sticking with it all the way to the end requires the patience of a saint as with each track Black Veil Brides seem more and more determined to revisit themselves to the point where individual songs blur into the tedium of chugging riffs and Andy Biersack’s half-baked vocals.

IV is about the same length as the latest Foo Fighters album but seems to drag on for much, much longer, with Jinx and Jake Pitts’ guitar work providing the only evident highlights. The leads and some of the riffs are actually pretty good but even some of the most average bands have half-decent guitar players. Overall, IV just sounds like Avenged Sevenfold with sub-Trivium guitar solos. That makes it slightly better than the rest of their catalogue so far, but that’s not really saying a lot. This is an album strictly for fans, and without the story-building of previous albums, even they may not stay the course for long.

1. Heart of Fire
2. Faithless
3. Devil in the Mirror
4. Goodbye Agony
5. World of Sacrifice
6. Last Rites
7. Stolen Omen
8. Walk Away
9. Drag Me to the Grave
10. The Shattered God
11. Crown of Thorns