Review BLACK VEIL BRIDES ‘The Phantom Tomorrow’

Commercial success is what Black Veil Brides for sure scored during the last years with chart entries in various countries, also Germany. The latest record ‘Vale’ is the peak moment of a constant growing popularity und the next record is supposed to continue the winning streak of the Californian quintet.

‘The Phantom Tomorrow’ is the title of album number six, penned by Black Veil Brides. It is based on a lyrical concept, based on an idea created by frontman Andy Biersack. Musically, the album can be described best as being a professional release. With Erik Ron (Godsmack, Bush) at the helm, ‘The Phantom Tomorrow’ is equipped with a vivid and dense sound. Groove is an existential asset for the Californian rockers and Ron provides this musical punch.

All this are great prerequisites for a good album and ‘The Phantom Tomorrow’ also doesn’t disappoint, at least if you love modern metal that is created for a wider audience. The thing is, that the sound of many of these modern metal-rooted bands is very similar, and it feels like some of them following a similar pattern of songwriting. Let me explain it through ‘Born Again’. The song has some heavier riffs and hooks work well too. Still there is the feeling of having heard these kind of songs more than once during the last years. Surprises and twists are what certainly isn’t in forefront. Instead, it is a melodic approach that plays safe and opens the music for fans that are usually not very interested in metal. This is per se nothing bad, it just doesn’t add the thrill to the album that you might want to have embedded. ‘Torch’ takes this aspect even one step further and the commercial aspect wins over development and twists. There is too much predictability and too little unexpected wow-moments.

What stands out is the thundering ‘Shadow Rise’ that at least adds a bit of heaviness to the mix, and even here you can observe that the band does not want to upset anyone. There is a real smasher though on this album. ‘Crimson Skies’, towards the end of the tracklist, shows that Black Veil Brides has the potential to add a solid punch to their songs, at least when they allow the guitars to roar loudly. Why not more often?

‘The Phantom Tomorrow’ is an album that is dressed for success and hereby will continue the remarkable achievement of the L.A.-based powerhouse. This album will not be a game-changer. Fans will love what they get offered and if you belong to the group of people that wasn’t interested in the sound of the quintet, also this album will not help to change your mind. Solid, in all meanings of the word.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. The Phantom Tomorrow (Intro)
  2. Scarlet Cross
  3. Born Again
  4. Blackbird
  5. Spectres (Interlude)
  6. Torch
  7. The Wicked One
  8. Shadow Rise
  9. Fields of Bone
  10. Crimson Skies
  11. Kill the Hero
  12. Fall Eternal

Label: Sumerian Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: October 29th, 2021

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