ALBUM REVIEW: Pierce The Veil – Misadventures

There comes a certain kind of cult status when a band teases an album for close to half a decade, especially when you’re Pierce the Veil and you managed to cement your position in the post-hardcore scene with two albums that had teenagers salivating over their sweeping melodies and easy-listening breakdowns.  Fans have been clamouring for a new Pierce the Veil album ever since they realised that most post-hardcore bands with a teen fan base were capable of churning out new albums once every two years. Also, the subtle references to new material in interviews did not help to quell what eventually became a burning desire, mixed with some melodramatic resentment, for new music from and his raggedy band of well-groomed misfits.

Much has changed in the past four years. The post-hardcore scene into which Pierce the Veil released Collide the Sky has undergone a complete facelift. Good looks, hopeless romanticism and being associated with Kellin Quinn doesn’t get you very far in the current musical climate. There is a prerequisite of musical substance before one can even be regarded as successful. A prerequisite that Pierce the Veil has already met when considering the brilliance of their previous three albums but the question is whether Misadventures shall live up to the expectation created by four years of waiting.

The answer to that is a rather faltering yes. As a whole, Misadventures is a good album. It is underpinned by a sweeping melody that will whisk you from song to song as the Fuentes delves into dark, introspective themes that concern themselves with the nature of relationships and the pressures of being in a popular band. Intricate and complex guitar work is featured throughout album – a rather unique attributed as many bands tend to use bland and generic guitar riffs produced to match their specific and supposedly unique sound. Each song is infused with just enough aggression and breakdowns to prove that the band has not forgotten their roots in the past four years. “Phantom Power and Ludicrous Speed” sees Fuentes’s piercingly beautiful vocals punctuated by the violent barks of Jaime Preciado accompanied by erratic and mosh-heavy breakdowns. “Sambuka” sees the band toying with something that can be compared to how much of their previous album was structured as the heavy metalcore elements melt seamlessly into the angst-ridden ballad-like post-hardcore elements.

However, the standout moments are not the songs that return to their roots but rather the ones that see the band ascending to much greater heights and aspiring to be more than just another teen favourite. “Floral and Fading” pushes the band out of their comfort zone and into uncharted waters for the band. It sees them dabbling in the gritty yet anthemic world of alternative rock – something that often goes tragically wrong for post-hardcore bands (see Sleeping With Sirens’s most recent album). This foray, on the other hand, goes tragically right as Pierce The Veil deliver a song that is fraught with powerful melody, chunky bass riffs and intricate guitar licks that curl themselves so neatly around Fuentes’s superb vocals. Songs like these are likely to propel the band out of the niche that has been carved out for them and into rock stardom.

The only issue is that Misadventures is a faltering success as opposed to an outright success. The faltering moment comes from realising that Pierce the Veil has been working on this album for roughly two years, yet they have not served up their very best work. It is songs like ‘Gold Metal Ribbon” that the flaws begin to show as the band tries too hard to cycle between an emo ballad and vitriol-laden metalcore song. It is a tiresome and tedious song that breaks the melodic flow of the album, but at the same time makes one realise that although the album is meant to much darker and introspective – it could benefit from one or two bouncier and more aggressive songs to break the monotonous barrage of ballads.

Misadventures is a good album, but its failings, while few in quantity, are severe enough to make it pale in comparison to their previous albums. However, if ballad-laden pot-hardcore tempered by metalcore and alternative rock is your thing then this shall not disappoint.


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