Songs available for a listen sample on the bands web-site:
Some general impressions
I don't know about you folks, but I have not heard a notch about this band. Well, not until recently reading about them on my favorite online Music portal. There it read: "Fans of the slightly harder songs by Thrice, Funeral For A Friend or From Autumn To Ashes will probably like this band from Wales." Three bands I like pretty much in one sentence to describe this band... That got my attention.
So here I am, with the debut EP by the band. What you're dealing with here is a kicking bastard of Metalcore, (and today so called) Emo, Emo-Core, flavoured with some guitar solos here and there. I can understand why the folks on 'the island' think this is the next big thing. Overall, that is nothing new to deal with. Neither the fact that the band is getting hyped as the next big thing (see Funeral for a Friend or Lostprophets) nor the type of music they play. Still, the songs are played well and show a lot of potential for the future IMO. The guitar work is solid and you can hear here and there where the inspirations came from. Obviously the band likes metal bands like Iron maiden, Metallica and the like. Though you can hear the inspiration here and there, it does not sound like a rip off of these bands, Like it is in such music, tha bass stands a bit in the background. But what is played fits great, and supports the overall song. The drummer does a great job as well, thumbs up for that too. :) The vocals range from clear vocals to screamed and shouted ones. If it is all done by the singer, I don't know. It does not clearly state that anywhere. Either way, if it's done by one or two folks, it sounds good.
The music itself is very riff driven, which get's clear on every song. From straight melodic work like on 'Cries in Vain', over the clean intro of 'Curses' to the almost typical Hardcore style guitar riffs on 'Hand of Blood'. Which is ok, but the other instruments kinda drown regarding what they do. The bass is limited to root notes, and so far I have not found a point in a song where he breaks out a bit, and maybe adds a fill here or there. On some songs it would really add something to the overall feeling of the song IMO. Still it stays good work.
What I really like about the album:
The vocal work is nice, screamed vocals and clean vocals are combined in a great way. The blending of clean to screamed vocals on the verse of 'Hand of Blood', or the Chorus of 'Just another Star' are great examples for that. The small parts of multi-voiced choruses and vocals are nice as well, but are at a good level with where they are put. On 'Just another Star' that's almost too much, but ok. Can't complain about the guitars. Good stuff
What was not so good:
Like I mentioned above, the bass could do more. There are spots where I think small bass fills would really add to the songs. Apart from that I could not think about anything really negative. Well, maybe the playtime, as this EP is over too fast. The material is great, and after about 20 minutes when the CD finishes, you're kinda standing in air. The last song pushes ou forward, and than you're just left there hanging.
If you're up to stuff like From Autumn to Ashes or Thrice, flavoured with some 'old school' metal influences, you should check these guys out. It's not the re-invention of the wheel, but who needs that anyway? Bullet for my Valentine serve you a nice mix of Metalcore, Emo and Emocore on a level that can compete with a lot of bands that are big in these genres. At least IMO. Even with the mentioned flaws, this band shows potential. And a lot of it.
Generally, I would give this album a 3 or 3.5, but as it is possible to gather people with it (some of my friends, that are absolutely not into my emo/emocore/Metalcore really enjoy this record) and to intruduce them to that kind of music, I'll give it a:
a solid 4/5 :thumb: