Black Veil Brides Credit: Jonathan Weiner

Fun game: make an 80s hard-rock/hair-metal/stadium-goth/early-thrash-metal playlist, sneak a track by LA’s contemporary Black Veil Brides onto it, and see if anyone notices. Bonus points if you pass it by anyone old enough to remember some of the junk-and-fire-everywhere hard-rock videos that looked like they were filmed in an unused corner of a Mad Max set and were de rigueur back in the day. We’re as far removed in time from the dawn of the styles of music BVB plays as the 60s were from the heyday of big bands—and like always, retro is up for grabs. BVB are the black-clad, completely earnest, note-perfect flip side of a coin with Steel Panther, both bands that take all the guilt out of the guilty pleasure. Hooks seem to drip out of front man Andy Biersack. He even has a whole other, poppier persona, Andy Black, as an outlet; Black’s solo debut, The Shadow Side, dropped in 2016, in between BVB releases, and Biersack also took some time to act in Ash Avildsen’s occult rock thriller American Satan, which came out last Halloween. BVB’s new album, Vale, follows the old pattern of increasing ambition—with more varieties of music and instrumental styles—while still giving the people what they want—this is very much a WYSIWYG band.   v

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