The Black Parade isn’t dead: My Chemical Romance’s return

Lilli Greco, Reporter

     March 22, 2013 was the official breakup of American Rock band My Chemical Romance. And for six years, the band was six feet under, with only rumors of a revival spread around by fans as a last resort. So when a reunion show was announced to take place on December 20, 2019, fans were rejoicing. 

     My Chemical Romance faced a lot of criticism, specifically from parents of early 2000’s teens, for influencing their children negatively. Taking a look at the visuals the band uses and the styles of the fans it reaches, concern is understandable. Across their albums, strong and graphic imagery of skeletons, pale wraith-like people and a heaping of blood. Their fans are usually self described as emo, goth or punk. Even their song titles, such as, You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison and Vampire Money have a certain unsettling tone. 

     Despite these outright off-putting features, if you take a closer look at what the band actually writes about and stands for, it contradicts their alternative appearance and imagery. Looking at the lyrics to some of their songs, uplifting messages about fighting back and standing up for yourself are sung against heavy guitars and wild drumming. In Famous Last Words, the chorus, “I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone.” speaks about carrying on and working forward. In their most famous song, Welcome to the Black Parade, “We’ll carry on.” is repeated throughout the music. 

     The actual sound itself isn’t for everyone. It’s heavy with violent guitar solos and drumming. The vocals are only mostly understandable, and sometimes dissolve into screeching and crying. While the sound may be unsettling to some, there is no doubt that the music carries emotion and communicates feelings well. The lyrics themselves vary from more vague and poetic songs to very blunt and clear meanings. Each album that the band released had a central message that the songs all relate to as well – for example, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge was about just that, revenge, and Danger Days was about using art as a weapon against the enemy.

     With the recent reunion and a teaser for a new… something (teaser videos show an idea of some sort of witchcraft theme with summoning sigils and Oujia boards), and a reunion tour in the making (or it would have been, anyway) My Chemical Romance is all set to jump back into the alternative scene.

     Even at the breakup in 2013, frontman Gerard Way said that “…it’s not a band, it’s an idea.” It was never about becoming an outcast or a rebel, it was about gathering those people and lost teenagers together and showing them that there is still good in the world through something that they would actually listen to.