Having spent most of the last few years putting on a show that came across a little too GCSE Avenged Sevenfold for it’s own good, Black Veil Brides take to the stage at Brixton Academy at the start of their Black Mass tour in a fashion that they’ve threatened to for years.
Ploughing head first into new song Heart Of Fire, the uncertainty and lack of conviction that have plagued past shows have been decimated. In amongst a plethora of ramps, fire that blasts away like Satan after a vindaloo and a stack of Marshalls that would make Nigel Tuffnell blush, the members of BVB are finally the larger than life rockstars on stage and in the flesh that they’ve always believed they are in their head.
And here’s the thing. Quietly and under the radar, BVB have been amassing a serious arsenal of anthems. The first six songs are legitimately as impressive as anyone around you’ll find playing rock today. Seriously. Played to a rabid crowd who lap up every excess saturated riff, thunderous snare hit and full hearted fist pump all night long, it can’t help but impress the shit out of you. I Am Bulletproof is all stomp and with a chorus to die for, newie Faithless is not only the best song of the night, it’s the best song of their career and Knives And Pens has ruled since day one. See that parent over there in the Metallica shirt? They’ve seen it all and they know this is straight out of the very top draw. Biersack is a showman that has worked his ass off and grown into his master of ceremonies role over the years and leads this whole thing with table-topping rock star bravado. It helps that him unleashing a smile sends this crowd as nuts as any pyro blast too.
There are lulls as the band play new songs that are executed perfectly but, ultimately, people can’t lose their shit to songs they don’t know so it does take a little buzz out of proceedings. Rarities are unfurled with ranging results. From hitting with a spectacular Coffin and Sweet Blasphemy being a billion times more powerful than it’s meek recorded version to missing with the childish All Your Hate and pulling out a drum solo. Of all the killer things BVB bring back to life from the 80’s, drum solos are definitely something that can stay in the past.
Here’s a little inside track too. Andy blew his voice out in Cardiff the night before this show. In a world where bands will lie to your face use backing tracks to cover their imperfections come rain or shine and in sickness and in health, Biersack uses his full-voiced audience and his bandmates back him up with added vocals all evening and you’d never be able to tell that he’s struggling up there. I point this out because if you were of the impression that Black Veil Brides are not a “real band”, you can get fucked.
Ahead of releasing the best album of their career, Black Veil Brides have opened the Black Mass tour on fire. This is undoubtedly the hottest period of their half a decade at the top of the game and that makes for a hell of an exciting future. After threatening it since their inception, BVB finally look like the real deal. Look out world.