Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Album Review

The five guys who form L.A.'s glam-rock-metal outfit Black Veil Brides look like they've just stepped out of a DeLorean that zoomed off the chronological grid sometime in late 1986. Black leather? Check. Makeup? Check. Bandanas? Check. Fluffed and primped blow-dried hair? Yep, check on that one too. And a casual listen does nothing to dispel the sense that the Brides took the exit ramp marked "Extreme Metal Mayhem" in the '80s and are only now getting back on the highway, sporting a searing yet melodic rock sound that splits the difference between vintage Mötley Crüe and Avenged Sevenfold.

So we know what to expect, right? Piles of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, right? Fingers extended in a "devil's horns" salute?

Actually, not so much. None of those things turn up in Black Veil Brides' third effort, the 19-track concept album Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones. Instead, we get a surprisingly detailed—if often spiritually disoriented—story about a group of freedom-fighting rebels doing battle against a corrupt, totalitarian regime known as F.E.A.R.

This is the kind of concept we've seen from the likes of MuseMy Chemical Romance and  Green Day in the last few years. Unlike those peers, however, Black Veil Brides' take on this theme explores a wide variety of spiritual ideas, some of which parallel a Christian understanding of spiritual truth.

Some of which definitely do not.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

The Brides imagine themselves as a group of revolutionary rogues called the Wild Ones resisting F.E.A.R.'s dictatorial and spiritually abusive regime. Many songs involve heroism and sacrifice on behalf of those the band hopes to free from F.E.A.R.'s thrall. On album opener "I Am Bulletproof," for instance, we hear, "Got something to live for, I know that I won't surrender/A warrior of youth." "New Year's Day" proclaims, "So rise from the ashes/Faith will find a way—like lightning crashes." "Wretched and Divine" includes more of the same: "Fearless, fight until we die/ … We live for the broken hearts." "Nobody's Hero" tells us, "I'll die fighting, inside me there's a fire that burns."

From a spiritual perspective, there are various references to heaven, hell, the devil, our need for salvation, a longing for God and the belief that another life awaits after this one. "The devil filled our minds with sadness," bellows "I Am Bulletproof," and a similar reference pops up on "New Year's Day." On "Resurrect the Sun," the band mingles the ideas of battle and resurrection ("These saints within us can bring this moment back to life/And my heart's held high, with this battle cry I'll march on/On the horizon we will/Resurrect the Sun").

Album closer "In the End" asks, "In the end, as you fade into the night/Who will tell the story of your life?" Amid doubt, it still suggests a life after this one ("In the end, as my soul's laid to rest/What is left of my body?/Or am I just a shell?/ … I will live again/Who we are isn't how we live/We are more than just our bodies"). It proffers a hope that creates courage in battle ("'Cause it's the end and I'm not afraid/I'm not afraid to die").

Two tracks reference sin as a negative thing. "In the End" says, "Born a saint, but with every sin I still want to be holy." And on "Resurrect the Sun," we hear, "The years of my sinning teach to show a heartless feeling of pain and regret."

"Days Are Numbered" rightly recognizes that "everybody wants eternal life" and the spoken track "Abeyance" longs for God ("That my whole being cries out for a God, I cannot forget") …

Objectionable Content

… even as those tracks, respectively, wrongly conclude that no one can discern how to achieve heaven and proclaim the Wild Ones' atheism ("That God does not exist, I cannot deny").

F.E.A.R. is repeatedly characterized as an abusive church. And to the extent that this organization is mistreating and misleading those it rules to keep them in bondage, resistance can be seen a good thing, not sacrilegious. That said, we still hear lines many will hear as a repudiation of Christianity. These are from "Shadows Die": "Tear down the cross, splinters and shards remembered/This Trojan horse rode to the land we enter/ … A church of lies/Can't tell me what is right." On "Devil's Choir," these lyrics: "Raise another broken glass to failure/A simple promise of a crimson savior." The song also seems to characterize those who resist F.E.A.R. as part of "the devil's choir." "Lost It All" implies that the rebels' victory involves overthrowing religious belief ("With these hands I shook the heavens to the ground/I laid the gods to rest").

Album opener "Exordium" is another spoken-word piece that initially seems to echo some of Jesus' teaching but which eventually proclaims a spiritual reality that's closer to pantheism. "The kingdom of God is inside you, all around you," we hear. "Not in a mansion of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood, and God is there. Lift a stone, and you will find God." "We Don't Belong" suggests that the rebels are repelled by both heaven and hell ("The gates of heaven were locked and shut/The pits of hell, they were all filled up and I fear/I don't belong here").

Among other disturbing images of skulls and the like, a drawing in the liner notes depicts a full-frontal nude demonic-looking female being.

Summary Advisory

Clearly Black Veil Brides is not your average hair metal band—never mind that its look would have been considered almost generic back in '86. There's a lot to digest here. And a lot of it is a confounding, at times confusing mixture of spiritual ideas that affirms eternity, sacrifice and holiness one moment and calls into question the very existence of God the next.

Frontman Andy Biersack writes of that tension, "The origin of the [band's] name comes from my childhood fascination with Roman Catholicism and the dark imagery that it evokes (i.e. sacred heart, stigmata, etc.) The term black veil bride comes from the church. When a Nun has her coronation, she is marrying God and they literally have a ceremony in which she wears a black veil because she is giving up the cardinal pleasures of life. I thought this worked well for a heavy band as the strong dichotomy between a bunch of guys dressed in all black and general lack of 'holy-ness' claiming such a strong image seemed to be evocative and sexy to me."

And that explains more about this music than perhaps even Biersack himself understands.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!