Sunday, 5 August 2012

Review: Vampires Everywhere! - Hellbound and Heartless

In a state of extreme boredom this week, I found myself reading an interview with the internet's sweethearts Black Veil Brides, in an attempt to see if Andy Biersack is sounding any less arrogant and like the leader of a weird cult these days. Failing that, one of the statements I couldn't help but note was a claim that since his band's rise to popularity, there has been a crop of bands that have come out with a similar sound, musical beliefs and appearance. And I think this is proved best by the band I examine right now, Vampires Everywhere!

If those of you are more on par with their film knowledge you may be aware of the studio known as The Asylum, that create poorly made films like Transmorphers and Pirates on a Dead Mans Chest whenever major blockbusters come out to cash in on those film's successes. Vampires Everywhere! is basically like The Asylum producing a band to cash in on the success of the Black Veil Brides and on their second album Hellbound and Heartless, the results are similar.

Now I know what you may be thinking if you happen to have read this blog more than once, which is rare. You may be wondering if maybe there was a post in which I wrote a list of lesser-known bands you should check out in which I featured Vampires Everywhere! Yes, there was. I'll admit. And now I'll admit, we all make mistakes. Having now experienced a full album, the innocence I had in regards the band has taken a major downfall.

 Can you really blame me? Hellbound and Heartless is simply a lackluster collection of bland pop-metal tunes where any chance of a solid original song is ruined by the horrendous production that turns the collection of charged up guitar works and swirling synthesizer backdrops into a clump of incomprehensible gargling, and not even in the pleasant My Bloody Valentine way. There's no moments in which these moments stand out, save for the odd hook which at best sounds like Murderdolls on a bad day.

The most amusing part of the album is the extent to which you can take so many songs of the album and mark out precisely which Marilyn Manson songs they're trying to rip off. Star of 666 sounds like an awkward mixture between Mechanical Animal's title track and Vodevil, Kiss of Death directly steals from The Beautiful People, Plastic is Posthuman and Unholy Eyes is Tourniquet. To top it off, the chorus of Beauty Queen among it's paper thin pop verses sounds like a battering of mOBSCENE. It is a disgrace to Manson fans worldwide.

With these dire shock rock (they demand that genre) tunes marked out to create an album that is built of total devastation, it's fitting that their icing on the cake should be something as infuriating as a fake-sounding gothic cover of Nirvana's Rape Me. With frontman Micheal Vampire trying to sound all tortured and in pain through rasping screams, the sense of suffering he tries to create is horribly forced. I would go as far as to say that this cover is a greater tarnish towards Nirvana's legacy than both Miley Cyrus and Take That's cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit combined. At least they weren't trying to sound genuinely tortured.

 I've heard people in the past talk about bands that like to overindulge in make up and put on a apparent dark demeanor having no place in a world of rock music where the Foo Fighters are the most celebrated band in the business. Normally, this is a point of criticism delivered towards the likes of Marilyn Manson  the Black Veil Brides, but I would say that having been totally impressed by what they have on offer musically, there's more than meets the eye to them and they definitely have their place in the realms of rock music. It's when they go on to inspire bands that only want to be recognised for their appearance to lure kids trying to be all dark and "emo" that their recognition becomes a problem, because if they're going to give cause for the rise of bands like Vampires Everywhere! then we're going to have a problem on our hands because the more bands we get that put more focus on their make up than music, the more that we're going to come to the stage in which the sound of mainstream rock with a metallic edge is going to be filled with the kind of terror that makes nu metal look truly respectable. Andy Biersack is right when he says that there's been an uprising of bands that have jumped on the success of the Black Veil Brides. And we don't need anymore. 

Vampires Everywhere!'s Hellbound and Heartless is out now via Hopeless.

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