Review Summary: The outlook remains the same.
This Welsh metalcore act have had a pretty steady career so far under their belts. From the critically acclaimed debut The Poison
, Bullet For My Valentine have received praise as well as their share of negative feedback especially in terms of the sophomore Scream Aim Fire
. Temper Temper
is indeed a lift from their last effort almost three years ago giving life to the clichéd lyrics and overbearing nature of some rather “corny” rhyming patterns. At times the music is ridiculously repetitive, recycling lyrical content, phrases and unfortunately instrumental work, but this is okay as long as it doesn’t become all the too samey on the listener. One example of this recycled soundscape comes in the form of the title track but this effect is offset by a clever and subtle use of crescendo and decrescendo work, allowing the hook lines to be the focal point of the songs climax and for the most part engaging the listener. This formulaic structuring has been a major part in Bullet For My Valentine’s writing style for years, at no point and during no album does Bullet For My Valentine stray away from this trait. It seems that what has been brought from the previous record, Fever
in a majority sense, is predictability; which isn’t altogether a negative trait but can become tiring for the listener rather quick if given the chance. Built from one album to the next this predictability may not be a bad thing but it doesn’t help in achieving a flawless result combining a crystal clear production with some woeful lyric sheets.
At times the record hints at a sound similar to that of the debut, The Poison
, however when they appear the effect is short lived crashing head long into a mountainside. Temper Temper
has more-or-less built off the foundations of Fever
promoting that this band has regressed, without filling the need to go back to a basic soundscape. Tracks like “P.O.W.” come close to a debut sound but the semi-ballad falls short of a making the right impression with energy or bounce – something that The Poison
did well. Nevertheless, Bullet For My Valentine have firmed up their sound with Temper Temper
and despite all the negativity is isn’t actually that
bad. Numerous hook lines accent the band’s ability to craft songs on simplistic ideas maintaining one theme throughout any specific track showing as song-writers they can at least nail the basics. It’s also commendable to note that Temper Temper
is void of those (so-called) ‘hideous’ break-downs, instead focusing on a formulaic “verse, chorus, insert hook, verse, chorus, possible guitar solo” structure. In fact when the solos appear, they’re slack, unenjoyable and the only purpose they have is filling up twenty seconds of track time, rather than showing off the technical ability of the musician and providing a flamboyant listen.
On repeated listens the result becomes worse, let’s get this straight the album itself is not bad
per se, but it’s not great either. Alternatively it sits squarely in the middle making the most of the hook lines and clinically cliché lyrics as it can, recycling instrumental sections (listen to the introductory lead in ‘Dead To The World’ it sounds familiar, because it comes right from the sophomore record) combined with the usual ”hope is now lost, there’s no hope for tomorrow”/”shackled in chains, I can’t break free”
lyric sheet and the question could be raised – Is Bullet For My Valentine predicting their own musical demise? Considering the band’s commercial, friendly viability the answer is probably not.
overall, lacks a lot of the promise the debut had but shows the band coming full circle on commercial success, not in the sense that their sound has returned to that of The Poison
but rather in a way that on the back of Fever
the sound has achieved what it could in radio metal viability. Bullet For My Valentine has achieved a small success with their latest release but at the cost of decent and thoughtful song-writing. There was little chance of Bullet For My Valentine changing things up with their fourth studio album and whether it was hoped for or not by the metal community, fact is it didn’t happen and that hurts the record’s quality. On the back of Fever
, Bullet For My Valentine are neither improving on their formula, nor are they regressing. The band show just how comfortable they are in releasing this highly cliché, predictable mainstream ‘metal’.