Review Summary: After suffering from a horrible Fever, Bullet comes back rather strong.
The last time Bullet For My Valentine was doing anything worthy of note, it was 2010 and common metalcore fans were all kinds of pissed off about the last of screaming and increased hard rock feel Fever
. Well now it's 2013 and whatever fans Bullet gained from the previous release along with the ones who stayed loyal to the band through change have had plenty of time to digest it. This has been effective, because the disdain of Fever
is much out of the minds of them. That's not to say the critics on our beloved Sputnik have forgotten or come to terms with how awful it was, and certainly not that they'd be any more forgiving about the long waited-for 4th album, Temper Temper
So obviously Bullet For My Valentine doesn't have a reputation of overwhelming originality, or has had any notable ingenuity in the past. They've stuck to the ho-hum formula of metal riffs and more definitively their melodic guitar work on top of basic metal bass and decent drumming heralded by the ever-recognizable singing and screams early on from singer Matt Tuck and the occasional supporting cast of Padge and Jason James. I can tell you right now, if you expect the split between singing and screaming along with the metalcore sound unforgettably represented by "Hand of Blood", "Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow", and "Last to Know", don't listen to this album. Bullet For My Valentine has completed the transformation processed through the works of Scream Aim Fire
. Do not fear however, for what Temper Temper
has to offer even surprised me upon first listen.
Off the bat, the album begins with a few songs to get the blood pumping. No cheesy introduction track, instead gets down to a catchy verse and an overall exciting if basic song structure in "Breaking Point". You'll notice the song formula throughout the album to be consistently basic, but refreshing. The guitar work in "Truth Hurts" creates a very classic Bullet song, and extremely catchy. And as the album progresses more soft and melancholy tracks present themselves almost to a boring point. None are too bad, but the quicker paced tracks leave the listener wanting more than the slow ones do.
At another point of consistency is Tuck's vocals. The lack of screams that plagued the 3rd album no longer are an issue here. His vocal range is more creative, fun, and much more suitable for each individual song. The layered singing/screaming is very interesting, and makes each song a lot more enjoyable. The standouts of the album remain the same as previous releases have: with riffs and melodies conquering the sound of the band and the bass and drums taking the comfortable backseat, yet never should be underestimated. Michael 'Moose' Thomas is a talented drummer that takes full advantage of his ambidextrous drumming ability for nice fills and creative concoction of groovy drum beats. This aspect of him as always been so, he hasn't seemed to evolve too much over the years. Bassist Jason James contributes probably for all of the screams, or most. His bass parts are simplistic and catchy, but nothing especially great. Him and Thomas create a good rhythm section for the album.
Fit Temper Temper
into your musical library as a hard rock fan, but not as a metalhead. The thrashing metalcore sound of Bullet For My Valentine is all but gone in pure form, among the mix of hard rock and old school heavy metal influence accumulated over the years. The change is for the better, however, since they can now make music that metal lovers critics might
enjoy (using the word critic can never guarantee that you guys would like anything) and so could a fan of completely different tunes or even older rockers too. Bullet's 4th release has it's ups and downs, some killer songs, catchy riffs, and fun choruses, but also some annoying filler, recycled riffs, and notoriously stupid lyrics for the most part, yet overall they have succeeding in surprising many with an exciting maturity out of cringeworthy Fever
Listen to: Truth Hurts, Temper Temper, Dirty Little Secret, Tears Don't Fall (Part 2), and Livin' Life (On the Edge of a Knife)