With dark lyrics and sounds that pierce even the deepest, most closed-up parts of your heart, California-based band Pierce the Veil has done it again. They released a killer third album titled Collide with the Sky in July of 2012. It had been highly anticipated by fans of the post-hardcore genre, which is a type of metal music that is laced with more melodic tunes. The excitement for the album was only heightened when the band announced that it would feature a collaboration with Sleeping with Sirens vocalist Kellin Quinn. With Collide with the Sky, Pierce the Veil assured fans that their success will not be short-lived.
The first song in the twelve-track list is “May These Noises Startle You In Your Sleep Tonight.” It is instrumentally bare compared to other songs and lasts for little more than a minute and a half. However, lead singer Vic Fuentes’s voice is tinged with raw emotion.
It sets the evocative mood for the rest of the album. The pace picks up as the song ends, but – and this is the cool part – instead of it closing abruptly and another song beginning after an awkward silence, Fuentes screams a note that transitions smoothly into the next track, “Hell Above.”
The best-known and best-selling song on Collide with the Sky is “King for a Day” featuring Kellin Quinn, which has recently been certified gold. It opens with a soft, lulling guitar beat, and is immediately contrasted by harsh but ultimately true lyrics about suicide. It flows into a more melodic tone as Fuentes and Quinn sing alternating verses. The drums and guitars are the obvious backbone to the song. Drummer Mike Fuentes and guitarist Tony Perry provide a rhythm that listeners will not be able to resist headbanging to. One of the greatest things about this single is how Quinn is apparent throughout the whole song, not just for one verse. The meaning behind the song is very relatable as well. In an interview with absolutepunk.net, Fuentes shared, “The song is about being pushed to your breaking point; or whatever it is in your life that’s really weighing you down….”
Two additional songs that are really standout are “Bulls in the Bronx” and “A Match Into Water.” The stories behind these tracks are incredible. “Bulls in the Bronx” is one of the heavier songs on the album, and Jaime Preciado really demonstrates why he deserved to win Alternative Press’s award for Best Bassist. Written with the suicide of one of the band’s Australian fans in mind, the song starts fast-paced but gradually calms down as the band’s Hispanic roots show through on the Spanish guitar. The dedication of the song is very noticeable when Fuentes croons, “And I don’t wanna wait for the down-set date/’Cause I would rather end it all tonight.” The latter song, “A Match Into Water,” is charged with electrifying punk vibes, but this is not the only reason as to why it is standout. This song was written for one of Fuentes’s ex-girlfriends who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully, she has overcome it, but the theme and backstory are powerfully prevalent in a song that literally screams to be heard.
“Props & Mayhem” is the point where the album begins to slow down and soften in tone. Here, in the second half, listeners will find songs like “Tangled in the Great Escape” (featuring Jason Butler of letlive.) and “Stained Glass Eyes and Colorful Tears,” which are a bit too slow for my liking. However, Fuentes’s passion is the highlight of the entire album, dominating each song in a way that makes listeners feel as if they are experiencing the same things as him.
The album ends with one of my favorite songs, “Hold On Till May.” This song is gorgeous, sound-wise. Fuentes steps away from his infusion of singing, screamo (a subgenre of emo music that involves screaming vocals), and seemingly abstract lyrics. Instead, he swaps them out for a gentler tone and lyrics such as “See, you’re just wasted and thinking ’bout the past again/Darling, you’ll be okay.” “Hold On Till May” is the last of the songs featuring guest singers, and Lindsey Stamey of Oh No Fiasco! absolutely kills it. Even though her voice is heard for only one verse, it is hauntingly beautiful. She sounds faded and far away, but this adds to the miserable perfection of the song. Her soulful voice gets stuck in listeners’ heads and stays there, even long after both the song and album have drawn to a close.
In the six years since Pierce the Veil was formed, their success was never quite as celebrated as when Collide with the a Sky was released. This is understandable, of course, since none of their previous albums were as heartfelt and mature in lyrics as this one. Instead of colliding with the sky, collide with your nearest music store and be washed away into the brutally honest world of Pierce the Veil.
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