Review Summary: Bullet For My Valentine step into 2010 making some new fans, while disappointing a larger portion of metalists. Can Bullet For My Valentine find a balance between melody, aggression and commerciability with their third effort?
Each band anybody will listen to has their own signature sound , sometimes you may not know how to describe it but that sound is always there throughout the music, Bullet For My Valentine have this effect, you may be able to describe aspects of their music but you will also find others with the same form or recipe. For listeners they will find this album far more enjoyable with no prior BFMV song experience as Fever touches a fan base of a more commercial level. The vocals have lost a greater majority of its screaming, and the clean vocals are steadily improving making this style of music more accessible to listeners more accustomed to a softer style of metal or classic rock (most of which would find at least something they like within this album). When Fever is placed next to their other works long-time fans may find themselves disappointed with the new musical direction from album to album it can still be realised as the standard Bullet For My Valentine recipe just with subtle to not so subtle changes, the transition from The Poison to Scream Aim Fire display a change in writing style the tracks matured, while the tracks in Fever show a commercial growth using a higher level of catchy, memorable vocal lines. The question for the listener remains “Is this a step for a better Bullet For My Valentine?” The answer depends entirely on the preferences of the listener.
Fever starts strongly with opening track ‘Your Betrayal’ with a very tasteful marching snare and bass drum rhythm combined with the effect of the in time guitar work and bass guitar lines, from this introduction most would have high hopes for the entire of this album, however the usual flaws for Bullet For My Valentine remain; mainly the sometimes corny and cliché lyrical lines. This may not be entirely seen as a negative feature of the album but after hearing four or five tracks it becomes a little tiring for the listener.
As usual listeners can expect various levels of guitar techniques and extensive levels of guitar ‘wankery’ with guitar solos a plenty; the bands guitar based fans will have plenty to look forward to. The bass guitar however tends to hug the main lines of the albums tracks. The drumming may not overly standout on the album but the various fills, and technical ability should be looked over again before being dismissed, while not overly technical they remain the most consistent feature of Bullet For My Valentines sound.
Down points of this album include the use of ‘filler’ tracks such as “Alone” and “A Place Where You Belong”. These tracks don’t have the same impact of the other tracks on Fever and listeners may feel like they’ve heard some of the musical ideas and themes before and tracks may feel like they start to blend. If these songs however are played separately or in a shuffled order they may turn into a satisfying listen.
Fever while not overly technical and whilst not entirely special displays music that is both heavy enough to appease its metalcore fans and also light enough to attract a different kind of fan base (mainly a traditional rock/hard rock fan base) or as an album to act as a stepping stone into the metal genre.
To say Fever is the same old Bullet For My Valentine would be incorrect as no two BFMV albums have been written the same way, however from a first listen it can simply be said with a small amount of excitement: This is Bullet For My Valentine’s third album.
Highlights Include: Your Betrayal, The Last Fight, Dignity, Pretty On The Outside,