Review Summary: An album with very little of note, other than a couple of goodish tunes. Don't believe the hype.
I'm picturing myself ten years from now. I don't know where I'll be, what I'll be doing or what the world will be like. But there is one thing above all others I'm pretty certain of. I won't be seeing anything of Bullet For My Valentine and it won't be through lack of trying. There is a very good reason for this. How can you hope for longevity if all you are doing is the same as what has gone before?
Bullet For My Valentine are riding on the same wave that has carried Trivium into the top ten album charts. Helped by being plastered on the front covers of most mainstream metal magazines with ambitious quotes such as 'We are going to change british music,' BFMV can owe much of their success down to media support. They certainly can't owe it to the music they are producing.
The intro is probably the most interesting track on the album. Considering it relies on the same refrain throughout and a pretty good solo shows how boring the rest of the album is. At least it shows some ambition though.
There is little else on the album which shows similar. The intro to Her Voice Resides might have well been taken off a Killswitch album. Tears Don't Fall sticks so closely to the power ballad blueprint that it might have well been constructed in an industry workshop. As for the metal single, All These Things I Hate is custom built for this. Really, for a band to have such a pretentious and ambitious media presence, they really need music that could send this message on its own. These songs just aren't up to it.
What's more, the sound of the album isn't that great. The production is very watered down, but the worst part is Tucks vocals. His screams feel pretty empty, but when it comes to his clean singing voice, someone has made a grave grave the mistake. Whose idea was it to put a flanger like effect over it, effectively robbing what is an ok voice of any presence at all.
Not that what he's singing is worthy of note. The melodies are not exactly world beaters, but the lyrics are some of the worst I've heard. Hit the floor is beyond juvenile, 4 Words to Choke Upon is self validating and short sighted (where are you now?) and the rest are a collection of adolescent cliches.
That said, not everything on the album is deserving of a 2 rating. 4 Words to Choke Upon is a pretty solid affair, with its chiming lead guitar and interesting riffs. The riff to Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow is technically pretty impressive, even if the rest of the song doesn't match up. And one cannot fault the bands technical ability, they can certainly play. In fact, whilst Matt Tuck cannot hold a candle to James Hetfield vocally, his rhythm chops are very impressive considering.
Technical prowess however is pointless if the medium you use to demostrated it is convuluted, cliched and boring. And while this album is not the worst of all time, it is a very poor CD, with far too many criticisms for the few redeeming features to outweigh. Don't believe the hype, because unless they improve drastically, in ten years Bullet for My Valentine will be long forgotten and replaced by some new soon to be also rans.