Review Summary: Bullet For My Valentine's second LP didn't live up to the expected standards. However, it was not a complete failure.
After such a promising leap into the metal industry with Bullet for My Valentines debut album -the Poison- their new release was waited upon in high anticipation. To many fans of their predecessing album, Scream Aim Fire was a letdown. Their original melodic metalcore elements vanished instantly in Scream Aim Fire, which was replaced with a Pop/Rock influenced tracklist. Besides the albums few standout tracks it is a mediocre album in light of The Poison's success.
The first song on the album Scream Aim Fire
symbolizes BFMV's progression from unique metal to generic metalcore. Matt Tuck's singing is fairly awful, and the pop based chorus is the beginning of the doo-doo that more than half of this album is. The combination of screaming and singing on the Poison mixed nicely, the tones of Jay and Matt combining perfectly. Aside from Tuck's occasional scream, the clean vocals are lame and lack the 'oomph' that they contained in the Poison which ends up with parts of Scream Aim Fire being as dull as dishwater. Riffs, although present, have nothing on the guitar brilliance that occurs in songs such present on BFMV’s first album. It’s as if BFMV
are aiming for catchy guitar duets that you'd in find in some of a pop rock bands heavier work.
The reason that this album is able to scrape a decent rating is due to its three stand-out songs. Waking the Demon
is by far the greatest song on the album, it's unforgettable riff helping The Poison fans reminisce about the good old days. The screamed vocals are certainly above par with the rest of the album along with the guitar duets that battle throughout the chorus, bridge and solo. Other notable tracks include the softer Deliver us From Evil
which is arguably the most successful power ballad that they have produced. Although it does contain those pop/rock roots, it is still a solid song compared to the mediocrity that is Scream Aim Fire. Another attempted ballad Hearts Burst into Fire
is pulled off rather successfully. Yet the chorus falls behind the extremely catchy chorus. End of Days is not dissimilar to Waking the Demon, although it lacks the charm Waking the Demon contains.
The lyrics used in the tracks (although the Poison was not much better) seem meaningless garble about death, war and destruction. If there is not a subliminal message hidden very
deeply in the lyrical garbage it sounds as though BFMV are trying to appeal to teenagers love of 'violence'. The drumming in Scream Aim Fire
was fairly generic and the double pedal wasn't used too much at all when it was possibly needed to add an extra punch to a song here or there.
An example of an astoundingly boring song is Forever and Always
. An awful attempt at getting dueling guitars to sound sincere, this song is the low-light of the album. Matt Tuck's vocals sound whiny and the occasional scream does not add to the supposedly sincere atmosphere. Eye of the Storm
is similar in the sense that it is bland and lacks flavour, like a chocolate cake without sugar.
After all the battering I have given this album, it is not as bad as a follow-up album to a superb breakout can be. Scream Aim Fire
has it's highs and lows although it is dominated by the lower points of the album. It was a step away from the Poison, and a step towards a generic metal genre. Waking the Demon is above standard, yet the rest of the album is par.
Deliver Us From Evil
Waking the Demon
End of Days
Hearts Burst into Fire