Formed in 2006 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Black Veil Brides started off as a melodic metalcore band but soon moved into the realm of hard rock and glam-driven heavy metal. The band’s current musical approach taps into a variety of musical genres, but it primarily remains a hard rock band with brilliant dashes of heavy metal. Black Veil Brides take inspiration from the golden age of glam metal, with bands such as Kiss and Motley Crue serving as primary influences in the band’s dress and appearance. They have released four full-length studio CDs, the latest of which is self-titled.
To close out their “Black Mass 2015 Tour,” Black Veil Brides elected their final performance be at the Wiltern Theater at their current home base in Los Angeles, California. To take advantage of the ravenous hometown crowd assembled that night, the band had the concert filmed in its entirety. On July 10, thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, fans around the world get a chance to experience the concert on DVD. Titled Alive and Burning, this DVD presents that band at the height of its prowess, growing ever-stronger as the result of a sold-out venue filled with rabid fans of all ages. The DVD will be available as a DVD or Blu-ray, as well as an iTunes download.
Alive and Burning is a stellar concert film, one that eschews the usual cut-to-interview format and instead presents a concert from start to encore. The film has strong editorial and directorship, focusing on all the band members, the audience, and the overall experience. The editing is tight and crisp, enabling the performances to come through with all their power.
As for the band itself, Black Veil Brides demonstrate that they have a winning approach to modern rock and heavy metal. Although clothed in glam-metal accoutrements, the band shows a musical diversity that will leave many fans impressed. Guitarists Jake Pitts and Jinxx tap into the winning realm of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal to set down some solid rhythm/lead structures worthy of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. The overall structure invites facets of driving hard rock, subtle elements of punk rock, and of course the swagger and melody of hardcore. Jinxx also throws in a violin solo that will leave some viewers breathless—yes, it’s that great and fun.
Lead vocalist Andy Biersack has some lungs, throwing down a hardened but melodic lead that he augments with hardcore and death-metal-like screams. Bassist Ashley Purdy throws down some solid low notes, but his backing vocals are a real standout, as they help counter the harsh croons of Biersack. Then there is drummer Christian “CC” Coma, whose percussive bursts really add power to the bands rhythm section.
As for the concert itself, the band puts on one hell of a show. All the band’s hits are on display, tapping into all four album releases. Expect to hear “Sweet Blasphemy” and “Knives and Pens” from the band’s debut We Stitch these Wounds, “Rebel Love Song” and “Fallen Angels” from the band’s second album Set the World on Fire, “I am Bulletproof” and “Wretched and Divine” from the band’s third album Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, and “Heart of Fire” and “Faithless” from the band’s self-titled “IV” CD. Encore songs include a cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” (a signature song that represents the band’s current musical approach) and of course “In the End.”
In addition to the concert film, Alive and Burning includes a short feature titled “Meet the Fans,” which shows the band during a signature session at Hot Topic. The usual eclectic mix of fans is on display, but the short also shows the dedication of the band to their fans, demonstrating why Black Veil Brides have accumulated more than four million fans on its Facebook page alone.
Smoking guitar licks, a pounding but catchy rhythm section, expressive lyrics with an overall positive vibe, and driving performances are all on display in Alive and Burning. Fans longing for modern rock and roll with no apologies should sample this DVD, and from there begin to explore the music of this hard-driving and fun band. Black Veil Brides are one of the reasons why modern rock still lives.