Bullet for My Valentine
Scream, Aim, Fire


2.0
poor

Review

by Minus. USER (5 Reviews)
December 31st, 2012 | 68 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Terrible lyrics and mediocre instrumentation is the theme of this poorly executed disaster.

The U.K.'s Bullet For My Valentine have never been a truly great band. Everybody knows that they were a Johnny-come-lately to the 21st Century's exploding metalcore scene if there ever was one, and most would agree that even if they weren't, they still wouldn't rank among modern metal's elite. However, they HAVE always had the potential to be great! Although somewhat lacking, 2006's debut, "The Poison," was catchy, well-produced, confident-sounding, and a showcase for their ample and exceptional instrumental prowess. Unfortunately, the follow-up, 2008's "Scream Aim Fire," because it does not cash in on that first album's promise. It makes for a maddening listen, too, because no matter how many times it is spun, the listener is left wanting. Indeed, this is one step not in the right direction -- and not even just a sidestep, but a full-fledged step backwards for the band.

BFMV stray away from the path that a lot of metalcore bands take by drawing influence from brutal melodic death metal acts such as At The Gates, Arch Enemy, and The Black Dahlia Murder; instead, they lean more towards the likes of Soilwork, recent In Flames, and Killswitch Engage. Thus, their sound on this is quite a bit more melodic. No, no, there's nothing inherently wrong with this; and there are even some advantages that come with it. For example, this record features neat guitar harmonies, better and more technical guitar solos, and much more prominently audible and muscular bass lines. But on the downside, the great, blistering double bass onslaughts, careening shred sections, guttural vocals, punishing breakdowns, and meaty rhythms that were a big part in making "The Poison" so enjoyable are completely absent. There are a lot fewer memorable guitar licks as well. As a result, "Scream Aim Fire" sounds watered down and sluggish; and when compared to most of the rest of the metalcore fare on the market, and it often borders on being almost TOO melodic. And this fact is made even more disappointing when considering all of its pre-release (and, in retrospect, falsified) hype: frontman Matthew Tuck promised the new material would be a lot heavier and more aggressive.

Yes, there is a hot guitar lick, well-written melody, and infectious chorus or two be found here. But the at over 52 minutes in length, these eleven tracks could stand to be more compact. Plus, the songs themselves are very hit-or-miss, thus making it a bit of a chore to sit through the album in full. On the plus side, excellent tracks like "Waking The Demon" and "Last To Know" overflow with memorable guitar chops. The former is a blistering and propulsive number with dueling, streamlined chainsaw guitar attacks, amazing riffage (including some that is, hands down, the best Bullet For My Valentine have written to date), drumming, bubbling bass lines, deft drumming, pounding rhythms and a climatic and well-placed breakdown; whereas the latter is probably the set's thrashiest and most technical piece. It is propelled by dizzying guitar whirlwinds. Elsewhere, the fiery, thrashy, and hard-grooving "Eye Of The Storm" is strictly decent, as are the heavy and hard-rockin'-yet-simultaneously-melodic "End Of Days," and the pleasant-enough, strong hook-laden, arena-ready closing ballad, "Forever And Always."

But there are several mediocre or throwaway tracks present here, as well. Tracks like the title song, "Disappear" (which sports a great, ripping guitar solo), and the overlong and clearly My Chemical Romance-indebted "Deliver Us From Evil" are listenable. Yet, they should be chalked up as average-at-best because they all have generic melodic choruses, and none of them are particularly deep or meaningful, and none of them really bring anything new to the table. The radio-readiness of them is also quite annoying. And now, on to the ballads. As the album's first love song, the cliche-titled "Hearts Burst Into Fire" can claim to have some guitar crunch, good, steady bass work, and gorgeous melodic solos and harmonies throughout; but those good aspects are counterbalanced with plodding tempos, lifeless momentum, cheesy lyrics, and syrupy, over-processed vocals. Lastly, BFMV have got to get over making songs like "Take It Out On Me" and "Say Goodnight," two pieces of positively reeky, modern rock balladry which practically have "filler" and "tailor made for radio play" written all over them. No kidding, if it weren't for the intro of "Say Goodnight," which has acoustic guitars that evoke Pantera's "Cemetery Gates," these two tunes would be completely skippable. And some of their lyrics -- i.e. "I would sacrifice the world, just to be with you". They are so painfully sappy, they may make you want to blow your nose on a pancake.

To be fair, "Scream Aim Fire" isn't a terrible or completely unlistenable album by any means. It just lacks too much inspiration, consistency, cohesion, "meat," timelessness, depth, and backbone to be a very good one. And to their credit, it appears that Bullet For My Valentine had good intentions which was to outgrow the plain old "metalcore" label and become more of a traditional metal band. Even so, "SAF" is still just another metalcore release, and a very mediocre, bland, and unoriginal one, at that.


user ratings (1658)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin (3.5)
    A fun dose of metalcore that sadly has too many flaws to ignore....

    Ben. K (3)
    Bullet For My Valentine's second LP didn't live up to the expected standards. However, it ...

    Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (3)
    Are Bullet For My Valentine growing up? Or are they trying for a new direction?...

    Chris Gaduzo (2)
    When this album came out, i read an interview where Matt Tuck said "we could have easily m...

  • Kyle (3.5)
    A great album, filled with excellent solos and amazing drums. Its a little heavier, but no...

    Michael Roberts (3)
    Great, good, bad and ugly all describe Scream, Aim, Fire as just about the only thing with...

    Tom (3)
    Amazing guitar, terrible lyrics. This album has both good and bad...and some very bad....

    VicariousIntent (2)
    BFMV produces a predictable, repetitive and boring release with more wrongs then rights....

  • Greg Viessman (3)
    Bullet for My Valentine have grown as songwriters in the two years since The Poison, and I...


Comments:Add a Comment 
FrozenVain
December 31st 2012


2483 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review and I agree! This album is pretty assy.



BlackLlama
December 31st 2012


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't quite put this into the "poor" category. I still throw this on for a couple of tunes now and again. Well written review though!

Vakarian12
December 31st 2012


3925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

still a great album. Lots of fun

Owantjaaaa
December 31st 2012


3405 Comments


KILL YOUR ENEMIES

Digging: Sick/Tired - Dissolution

bach
December 31st 2012


13151 Comments


Pos'd. I think I have a stronger sense of distaste for BFMV more than bands such as Asking Alexandria and Attack Attack. At least they're laughably bad. This band just epitomizes Banality, Mediocrity, and just plain boring.

Digging: Mirroring - Foreign Body

Minus.
December 31st 2012


2680 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I tried really hard to get into this. I even re-listened to this in different time periods over the last few years just to see if it might catch on with me. Maybe i was being a bit harsh with the 2 rating, but the melodies and lyrics just dont work for me. Everything on this album feels so contrived and awkward.

BillTheButcher
December 31st 2012


289 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

agree agree agree. wasted potential.

Vakarian12
December 31st 2012


3925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'this isn't anywhere near as bad as people claim. bullet are so underrated in my opinion-i loved fever and this is decent, cant get into the poison too much'

pretty much my thoughts on the band. They have some really enjoyable and catchy songs. Things aren't looking good for their new album though

RiffOClock
December 31st 2012


1051 Comments


my tearz dont fall



THEY >.>

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 31st 2012


21607 Comments


shit

Digging: Foxes in Fiction - Ontario Gothic

RiffOClock
December 31st 2012


1051 Comments


thats one interpretation!

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 31st 2012


21607 Comments


indeed

ffs
December 31st 2012


4884 Comments


just how many hearts do you have matthew tuck. and how many of them are on fire

bach
December 31st 2012


13151 Comments


Ur tears dun fall
dey crash round meh


RiffOClock
December 31st 2012


1051 Comments


hur conshuns kawlz

FrozenVain
December 31st 2012


2483 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"I tried really hard to get into this."

This is not really hard "to get into"...it's just bad.

DrGonzo1937
December 31st 2012


6848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Band is balls.

Digging: Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor

ChopSuey
December 31st 2012


2392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This got old really quick

BlackLlama
December 31st 2012


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think the biggest issue with BFMV is that they started out strong. Their EP and The Poison were both really good (imho) and then they went on a downward bender from there. I think it was getting rid of their original bassist (and screamer) that did them in.

bach
December 31st 2012


13151 Comments


In their defense, that EP is the best thing they've ever done.



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