Five years after their introduction on the epic, enormously ambitious 'Wretched And Divine…' The Wild Ones return on Black Veil Brides' equally cinematic new record. A sprawling drama of pain, defiance and solidarity, it tackles everything from stomping, Metallica-esque festival anthems ('Throw The First Stone'), and signature John Feldmann-influenced 'whoa'-fests ('The Last One') to the eight-and-a-bit minute odyssey of 'Dead Man Walking'. There are strings, spoken word sections and sweeping solos, so while the themes and melodies may sound familiar, the overall tapestry rarely wears thin.
Picking up where 2013's Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones left off, Vale sees the goth-glam metal troupe once again reveling in the dark pageantry of rock & roll by way of a narrative-driven 12-song set that's generously stocked with fist-pumping singalong choruses, buttressed with wordless gang vocals and slick guitarmonies. Easily their most pop-oriented release to date, Vale finds Black Veil Brides completely jettisoning their metalcore past, and while they may have lost some bite in the transition, it kind of suits them. The band's 2014 eponymous fourth long-player, while not directly linked to the rock opera that preceded it, didn't deviate too far from its predecessor's overall message -- rise above, speak truth to power, I am sad, etc.