Review by: Allyssa Arens
Label: Sumerian Records
Release Date: October 29, 2021
Top Tracks: Scarlet Cross, The Wicked One, Shadows Rise, Crimson Skies, Fall Eternal
Black Veil Brides are back and better than ever on The Phantom Tomorrow, their first album of new material on Sumerian Records and their first full-length with new bass player Lonny Eagleton, who joined the band in late 2019 (not including last year’s Re-Stitch These Wounds, a re-recording of their 2010 debut We Stitch These Wounds). For some bands, lineup changes can cause tension, but on The Phantom Tomorrow, the band feels more cohesive and re-energized than ever, and they prove that although none of us wanted the COVID-19 pandemic to happen, the extra downtime that it provided was very fruitful for creative collaboration.
The Phantom Tomorrow sounds like a classic Black Veil Record in all the best ways, with the chugging guitar riffs, pounding drums, anthemic lyrics and singer Andy Biersack’s deep raspy vocals that have become part of their signature sound all present throughout. However, it also shows how much the band has grown in the past ten years. Andy’s vocals sound better than ever, as do the guitars from Jake Pitts and Jinxx, and CC’s drumming is phenomenal as well. Standout moments include lead single “Scarlet Cross”, “The Wicked One” and “Kill the Hero” which both have a darker and more ominous tone, and album closer “Fall Eternal”, the one ballad of the album.
Fans of Jinxx’s violin playing on earlier records such as 2013’s Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones will also be pleased, as this record has a much more orchestral feel not seen since then, other than some occasional violin that appeared on 2018’s Vale, which definitely works to its advantage. “Shadows Rise” is even a callback to 2013’s “Shadows Die”, and it is stunning. While I do not think the band has ever put out a “bad” album, concept records that allow them to go big and bold while incorporating Jinxx’s classical training are their strong suits.
As a longtime Black Veil Brides fan, the album doesn’t sound drastically different from their past efforts, but it doesn’t need to. It’s a solid rock album that stays true to the Black Veil Brides sound while adding in some additional electronic elements on tracks such as “Torch”, and by showcasing the overall maturity of the band. The Phantom Tomorrow is a must-listen for any hard rock fan.
Black Veil Brides – The Phantom Tomorrow tracklist:
- The Phantom Tomorrow (Introduction)
- Scarlet Cross
- Born Again
- Spectres (Interlude)
- The Wicked One
- Shadows Rise
- Fields of Bone
- Crimson Skies
- Kill the Hero
- Fall Eternal