I am listening to the new Black Veil Brides album. So far I am five songs in and it is pretty good. Stand outs from the first five are the relentless “Faithless” and “World Of Sacrifice” while the ballad “Goodbye Agony” brings back memories of Bruce Dickinson’s “Tears Of The Dragon”. They are one band that gets a lot of hate from the metal elitists. They look like girls, so how can they be metal. They play commercial metal, so they can’t be metal. They follow fads so they are not genuine and therefore cannot be metal. I have read it all and I continue to laugh at the reasons people come up with for not liking the band.
However, they just keep on keeping on. Whatever boxes they need to tick on their world domination plan they are ticking. And they are doing it by focusing on their world. They understand the game that no one can be the biggest and best in everything. They’ve found their own thing that they stand for and they are working for the fans that stand with them. We all know that successful artists are NOT loved by everyone. Successful artists are hated as much as they are loved. It comes with the territory.
Five Finger Death Punch have connected with the blue-collar working class, the extreme sports and the military class.
Coheed and Cambria have connected with the comic book rock culture and fans that enjoy both narratives, heavy music and great storytelling.
Killswitch Engage with Jesse Leach on vocals are both political and entertaining at the same time.
Evergrey have connected with the people who don’t find the world as happy as social media makes it out to be.
Black Veil Brides have found a niche audience and that is their particular strength. The key for any artist is to ensure that the audience base is always added to or replenished by new fans or young fans. It’s like a ten-year cycle. AC/DC had an audience in the seventies, that got replenished in 1980 via “Back In Black” and by 1990, the audience base got replenished again via “The Razors Edge”. Dream Theater found an audience with “Images and Words”. That audience base got a boost almost 7 years later with “Metropolis Part 2”. The in the two thousands, “Train Of Thought” and “Systematic Chaos” brought in a metal audience while “Black Clouds and Silver Linings” and “Octavarium” saw a new progressive art rock fan base.
Being a metal/rock artist is not just about making music. It’s about a whole lifestyle that our favourite artists represent. Everything that Black Veil Brides does represents what their music represents. In This Moment is another artists that represents this lifestyle. They have both become the very thing that people associate with.
BVB are putting their own rock and metal concoction out there. It is a mixture of rock, metal, punk, pop, shred and thrash. They have dressed like goths, glam rockers, “Mad Max – Shout At The Devil” look and now they are dressed in metal black. That is where the backlash comes from. However they have their own style and following. And in a world that is moving to streaming services with each passing day, they still do decent sales numbers. They have defined their kingdom, their world, their space in the music business and now they are out to rule it. It’s never about the breaking into the mainstream. No metal/rock act has broken into the mainstream. The mainstream has come looking for them only when those acts have exploded all over the world.
Metallica, all but ignored by the mainstream became mainstream darlings after every circulation wanted them in their zine due to the massive Black album.
The take away in all this is to find your own world in the music business and dominate it. Your audience is the people who share the same tastes, values, attitude and lifestyle with you. When you know who those people are, you can travel around the world, because those people are everywhere, once you know who you are looking for.
And for the album, it is a solid listen.