What a ride Bullet For My Valentine (BFMV) have been on thus far, having gone from being part of a newly anointed ‘New Big 4 of Thrash’, and heralded in the same breaths of Metal’s greatest bands upon the release of their debut album The Poison (Visible Noise) to the flip side of the real lows felt after the release of their fourth record Temper, Temper (RCA) which saw creative levels dip to point where many wrote the band off completely. They attempted a return with 2015’s Venom (RCA) and seemed to be slowly kicking in the Metal cogs into motion again and saw a kind of spluttering rebirth. Continue reading
Renowned Japanese recording artist Hotei has released a video for his track with Iggy Pop from last years Strangers album (Spinefarm). You can see the video for ‘Walking Through The Night’ below: Continue reading
It’s have to believe Bullet For My Valentine are five albums into their career so far. Striking hard with The Poison (visible Noise/Trustkill) ten years ago, the band broke big at the time when neo-thrash wasn’t a dirty word and mixing metalcore with heavier music was just becoming a super-popular thing. BFMV rode that wave and now have legion of dedicated fans that have stayed the course with the band. Always a little more sure and sharp than most of their peers, the band has mainly stayed true to their thrash roots and never let a good melody stand in the way a heavy song. However, on their new album Venom (RCA), they seemed to have lost that bite that made them stand out so much before.
Following the intro track ‘V’, the album kicks off in earnest with ‘No Way Out’, a fast riffer. Right off the bat you hear front man Matt Tuck’s strong lead vocals carrying the tune. Tuck has always been a solid screamer and singer, but there seemed to be little grit left to his delivery. Next track ‘Army Of Noise’ is a step up. More in the classic BFMV vein, it has the right mix of heavy and catchy. ‘Worthless’ is another good track with more fun gang vocals. And that is also the problem. The tracks all seem to follow the problematic formula of being almost syrupy in the verses. There is little variation from the album overall, beyond the tropes of modern metal the band has already used in their better known work. To my ears this gets old after a few tracks. I’m all for bands experimenting and changing this smacks of a set-back. A few songs are flat-out bad, such as the title track. Some of the remaining cuts like ‘Pariah’ are pretty solid, especially the lead guitar work, but not what I had hoped for. This comes after I felt that 2013’s Temper Temper album was also disappointing.
One good thing about this band is they will give themselves a chance at redemption down the road. With their past writing chops to lean on and their electric live shows sure to keep them a headline name, that means they can overcome this blip in a few years with a much better album.