Released: 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Black Veil Brides were formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2006. The hard rockin' five-piece currently residing in sunny Hollywood, California have four full-length albums under their belts as well as an EP. ALIVE & BURNING marks their first foray into Blu-Ray DVD territory.
ALIVE & BURNING was filmed in front of a sold-out audience (comprised mostly of screaming teenage girls) at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California during the band's inaugural Halloweekend event as part of their "Black Mass" tour. ALIVE & BURNING was directed by Casey Tebo whose previous credits include Aerosmith and features cover art from longtime BVB cover artist and collaborator Richard Villa.
The career spanning setlist includes their earlier material such as "Sweet Blasphemy" "Knives & Pens" "Fallen Angel" and "I Am Bulletproof" alongside more recent tracks like "Faithless" and "In The End" with a rebel-rousing Billy Idol cover of "Rebel Yell" and the Black Veil Brides' take on Danzig's "Mother" thrown in for good measure.
If you are somehow unfamiliar with Black Veil Brides (as I was before screening this) I would describe their sound as taking influence from melodic metal-core acts like Shadows Fall musically speaking and being vocally comparable to the mid-range crooners of top 40 modern rock. The band's imagery evokes the glam rockers of the 1980's but this band's sound is a far cry from "Talk Dirty To Me" or "Too Fast For Love" even though they cite KISS, W.A.S.P. & Motley Crue as their primary influences.
ALIVE & BURNING seems a bit lacking as far as bonus material or special features are concerned. The only additional content being a "Meet The Fans" short documentary of the band conducting a signing at a Hot Topic. Many young mallrat teenagers are showcased fawning over their heavily tattooed, eyeliner clad heroes (Who actually aren't that much older at the end of the day, lead singer Andy Biersack is twenty-four).
Sonically speaking, ALIVE & BURNING sounds about as polished and/or doctored as a live recording could be. One time I left the room to grab another beer and I wasn't sure if the DVD had somehow returned to the main menu as I was sure I was hearing a studio version of one of their songs, only to return to my living room to find the band still performing on-stage. Take that as you will as some listener's may prefer a rawer, wartier, off the cuff performance to those that only give their buy-in as a fan if the performance sounds as it does on the record.
All in all, I think this DVD serves as a welcomed addition for any die-hard collectors of the Black Veil Brides. This might also help familiarize yourself with the band's discography if you are a casual fan or newcomer to the band's music. There definitely could have been more content on the bonus side of things but being as this is the band's first professionally released DVD I think the live performance alone may be enough to satisfy the majority of their rabid teenage fanbase.