Review Summary: This album is better than its predecessors. That doesn't make it good.
First of all, I'd like to make a note. with most bands, I consider being "polished" a bad thing. My definition of polished, however, is bands who cannot sing or play guitar to save their lives and sequence and autotune everything. Bullet for my Valentine takes polished in a different way. 4 very capable musicians are getting the best tone possible from their instruments and using their production capabilities to make each section shine.
Compared to previous albums, this album's riffs are alot simpler and there are fewer guitar solos, but that simplicity allows them to be more raw with the message they're conveying and focusing on tying in with eachother's instruments and the vocals extremely well. On every album from the bullet EP up until Scream Aim Fire the members seemed to be doing their own separate renditions of the song while the singer belted over it, a habit which they've broken this time around. Another plus for me on this album is the vocal harmonies. They are only ever 2 parts at most, but they're used effectively and just where they're needed.
Another thing many will find on fever is that the band has matured greatly. Rather than talking about sneaking into a cheating girlfriend's apartment and killing her and the other man for revenge (Room 409, tisk tisk) they send a more positive message that there's hope up ahead and in one of the more hardcore songs (the title track, Fever) he even talks about what a strip club (You're what I want, you're what I need, so come and take my money). Most of the lyrics aren't even about women, but internal struggle (The Last Fight) and figuring out who you really are, and not caring what others think (Dignity).
This Album's worst track is easily Breaking Out, Breaking Down. It has no flow, no purpose on this album and frankly no place on this album. The writing is weak and repetitive, lacking enough emotion to sway me. the only part I like is the verse where it gets heavy and introduces a little screaming, but then it goes right back to a near-pop experience. Honestly, it sounds like avenged sevenfold a little. If I liked Metal Pop I'd listen to avenged sevenfold, but I don't, and this song should have just been left out, including the little part at the end where they attempt to soften up and be sensitive and use acoustic guitars. It just doesn't work.
The Star Track on this album is your betrayal. There are about 4 different sections that are reused and they are all very simple but amazing. the vocals once again tie everything together with a kind of melodic colourfulness (is that even a word) That I haven't heard in a long time.
All in all, this album has alot of Juicy Melodies (best way to describe it), but falls short as a metal album and will not convert anyone to bullet or satisfy any current fans. I only checked this album out because A. I was a high school bullet fan from their first album, B. Because out of the five horrible albums I got for Christmas (Nightmare-Avenged Sevenfold, Self-Titled-Avenged Sevenfold, ***in' A - Anal Cunt (not actually that bad compared to sevenfold), and Death Magnetic - Metallica, along with this album, this was the least ***ty.
Overall, I like this band because they can represent their music live. it is not overlayered or overproduced. but it is still nothing we haven't heard before.