Review Summary: A great album, filled with excellent solos and amazing drums. Its a little heavier, but not as much as I would like it to be.
Bullet for My Valentine- Scream Aim Fire
Ah, Bullet for My Valentine, one of the most controversial metal bands ever to emerge in the modern era. This band seems to be a love or hate band; for me, personally, I think their great and very talented musicians. Anyways, when Bullet first started they were originally called Jeff Killed John. During this time they were mainly doing covers of famous metal bands that influenced them, such as Metallica, Pantera, and Iron Maiden.
After awhile they began to work on their own music, and eventually released and EP after changing their name to Bullet for My Valentine. Then they released a so-called album named Hand of Blood, which consisted of only five songs, so it puzzles me why it’s considered a full album. In 2005 Bullet proceeded to release their REAL debut album, called The Poison. This album gained them quite a fanbase, and propelled them into the world of music, making them famous very quickly.
Now, in 2008, Bullet is releasing their sophomore effort, called Scream Aim Fire. They have promised us multiple times in their recent interviews that this album would be much faster and heavier than The Poison, but have they achieved such a promise? For the most part they have, at least on the songs that are heavier, because now they feature multiple slower songs. But, gratefully, most of these compositions don’t drag the album down.
This album is definitely leaning more towards the thrash metal genre than the metalcore genre (I’m actually scared to say that, cause I know I might get flamed). Anyways Scream Aim Fire is definitely a bit heavier than The Poison; songs like “Waking the Demon,” “End of Days,” and the title track demonstrate this faster paced music that Bullet for My Valentine have created.
It seems that most of the metal community despises this album, and I just don’t understand why. It’s definitely not the most original album, but it’s definitely not a horrible album by any means, lest we forget St. Anger people. I mean the instruments overall are much better than The Poison; the lyrics, in my opinion (me being a gamer), are much better than their debut album. The drummer, Michael Thomas, has greatly increased his speed, complexity, and focus while playing the drums.
Right when the album sets off his newly found skills are immediately shown: the title track begins with a fast snare and bass drum combination, creating a great opening for the album. The guitars then kick in with a catchy melody, then followed by Matt Tuck cutting in with his newly found voice. Well I shouldn’t say “found,” as these new vocals weren’t really done forcefully (not that their bad or anything).
See when Bullet was touring for The Poison Matt, unfortunately, popped a blood vessel in his throat screaming. He then had to get a painful surgery done on his throat, ruining his ability to scream for long periods of time, thus changing the bands vocal style slightly. No longer will you hear a constant barrage of screaming, as Matt cannot do it anymore. Actually the closest I heard him coming to constant screaming on this album was “Waking the Demon.”
Although his vocals have changed, I still think their very good (raises flame shield again). His voice just fits the new, more metal sound much better; this helped me enjoy the album much more so I didn’t really mind the new style. Actually I think the screams on this album sound much better: less whiney and annoying, and more heavy and thought-through.
Another notable improvement is the wonderful guitar work, with guitar solos littered throughout the entire album, most of them being good. A noticeable solo would be the one that is present in the third single, “Waking the Demon.” It is fast, hard-hitting, and very well done making for a nice experience. I would definitely consider “Waking the Demon” to be the best of the album, as it presents many good qualities including great guitars, excellent drums, and good song composition.
Very surprisingly, I could actually hear the bass guitar in this album, while it is nothing amazing; Jason James has definitely improved since their debut. This is something that helped me enjoy the album, because it seems that these days many metal albums rarely include the quality that makes it possible to hear the bass. This just proves that the band spent essential time producing the album’s overall quality and crisp sound.
This album seems to be a combination of heavy and softer affairs, making for a listenable experience. Examples of these softer songs include “Hearts Burst Into Fire” (a spectacular track) and “Forever and Always” (a not so spectacular track that drags on for a very long time). The album also consists of the heavier songs noted before, with surprisingly fast riffs and guitar solos that leave me wondering how the hell Bullet has improved so much instrumentally since their last album.
While this album is often heavier than The Poison, it’s almost as if the softer songs balance the two albums out in terms of heaviness. This is ok, as I am happy that Bullet has experimented with softer compositions; then Tuck gets to show off his excellent singing voice, though very British, but very good.
Overall this album is great; a constant display of superior guitar work that had me impressed the whole way through. The fast-pased drums just make you wanna stand up and hit something as hard as you can. I suggest any fan of Bullet for My Valentine pick this one up, or any fan of metal at all, because it showcases what is great about metal.
+The guitar work has greatly improved.
+Michael Thomas is a newly found beast drummer.
+Good song composition.
+”Waking the Demon”
-Some people may not enjoy Matt’s new vocals.
-“Forever and Always”
-No real other cons, just nitpicks.
Top Five Tracks:
1. “Waking the Demon”
2. “Take It Out On Me”
3. “Hearts Burst Into Fire”
4. “Scream Aim Fire”