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Black Veil Brides – Rebels

Black Veil Brides – Rebels (2011, Universal Republic Records)

1. “Coffin” … 4:15
2. “Rebel Yell” … 4:38
3. “Unholy” … 3:25
4. “Rebel Love Song” [Extended Director’s Cut Music Video] … 6:50

Band:
Andy Biersack – Vocals
Jake Pitts – Guitar
Jinxx – Guitar
Ashley Purdy – Bass
Christian Coma – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Zakk Wylde – Guitar (“Rebel Yell”)

Just six months after releasing the glam/metalcore Set The World On Fire album, the Black Veil Brides are back with an iTunes exclusive EP featuring one new  original song, two covers and a music video. Truthfully, I couldn’t care less about the music video to “Rebel Love Song”. That seems like it would’ve been better suited to be included as a bonus on STWOF since that’s the album the song comes from.

I recently read excerpts of an interview with lead singer Andy Biersack who made it sound like BVB were looked to spread their wings beyond the metalcore scene. They don’t want to do anything fancy or “mature”, they just want to play & write fun rock songs. “More Motley Crue, less W.A.S.P.” is how Andy put it. “Coffin” will still appeal to their goth & emo Hot Topic fan-base but it’s definitely a song that shifts away from the metalcore sound into a regular ol’ modern metal sound that’s comparable to Avenged Sevenfold.

Just as Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows moved away from the awful screaming metalcore style of “singing”, Andy seems to be doing the same as well. He still screams but it’s not as abrasive as before and certainly sounds in place on Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” and KISS’ “Unholy”.

Yes, the ’80s influence is coming through even more. “Coffin” itself is a good song and stands up to the best from STWOF but if “fun” is what BVB is going for these days — then they’ve far beyond exceeded that with their covers of “Rebel Yell” (Zakk Wylde guests on this one) and “Unholy”. Their versions are great. A very powerful, heavy sound has been given to both and this especially suits “Unholy”.

I am very interested in seeing what is coming on the next album. I have a feeling that just like Avenged Sevenfold once these guys further break away from metalcore, they’re going to be one of the great modern metal bands.

http://www.bvbarmy.com
http://www.facebook.com/Blackveilbrides
http://twitter.com/#!/OfficialBVB

MONSTER BALLADS XMAS

Various Artists – Monster Ballads Xmas (2007, Razor & Tie Direct)

Track Listing:
1. “Jingle Bells” – Skid Row … 3:02
2. “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” – Winger … 4:06
3. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Jani Lane … 3:35
4. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” – Twisted Sister (w/ Lita Ford) … 4:09
5. “White Christmas” – Queensryche … 2:28
6. “Run Rudolph Run” – L.A. Guns … 3:10
7. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – FireHouse … 3:07
8. “Naughty Naughty Christmas” – Danger Danger … 4:56
9. “Blue Christmas” – Tom Keifer … 4:15
10. “Jingle Bell Rock” – Nelson … 2:52
11. “Silent Night” – Faster Pussycat … 4:13
12. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” – Dokken … 4:01
13. “Happy Holidays” – Enuff Z’Nuff … 4:23
14. “Winter Wonderland” – Stryper … 3:34
15. “Christmas Love” – Billy Idol … 3:57

Produced by: Michael Anderson & Beka Callaway

Another album in the long-running Monster series from Razor & Tie, this time with a Christmas theme, although calling it “Monster Ballads Xmas” doesn’t make much since because most of these songs are not ballads. Why not just “Monster Xmas“? Or get really old school with “Monsters of Rock Xmas“?

Anyway, I picked the year of it’s release at Target, of all places. It’s a decent release, though it pales in comparison to 2008’s excellent We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year from Armoury Records.

I don’t have to tell you that Faster Pussycat, as always with compilations and cover albums, sticks out like a sore thumb here with their more recent and improved industrial sound. Just an awful rendition of “Silent Night”. What is it with “Silent Night” getting so screwed up on these metal Xmas compilations? Queensryche does a pretty bad version of “White Christmas” as well. Geoff Tate’s voice sounds horrible here. Like someone trying to sound like Edguy’s Tobias Sammett but totally failing.

Dokken’s version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” is actually pretty funny to me because of the fact that it sounds EXACTLY like a Dokken song. They totally made it their own and you’d swear Don wrote the song himself.

Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French, certainly inspired by the Christmas spirit after the success of A Twisted Christmas, executive produced.

Highlights: “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, “Naught Naughty Christmas”, “Blue Christmas”, “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”, “Happy Holiday”

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