Bullet For My Valentine
Venom


2.0
poor

Review

by Benjamin Kuettel STAFF
August 14th, 2015 | 189 replies


Release Date: 08/14/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Less commercial drivel, more a tepid exercise in stagnation.

Bullet for my Valentine have had a difficult time finding their place lately. Recent releases have regressed their sound to the point of an all-time low on the desperate attempt at mainstream rock appeal in Temper Temper. Realizing what a failure this was, Matt Tuck promised fans that the follow-up would be a return-to-roots deal. Knowing they may disappoint by taking risks, Tuck is sticking to what he knows on Venom. Their steady ascension to radio friendly heavy rock is put through a modern thrash metal coating. Venom essentially relies on self-plagiarism and zero risk taking whatsoever in order to cling desperately to what little of their fanbase remains. This is Bullet Lite, just as shallow and stagnant as Temper Temper, only this time with some faster tempos and more harsh vocals.

Nearly every song on Venom begins the same way: a fast and simple guitar riff, Matt Tuck screaming, similar drumbeat, standard structure, and a decent solo to cap it off. Eventually the album realizes it can only milk this monotonous formula for so long, and the last few songs try to change things up. “The Harder The Heart (The Harder It Breaks)," “Skin,” and “Hell or High Water” feature slower tempos and employ the more melodic side of their songwriting from early material. Even these minimal changes of pace heavily rely on past successes. “The Harder The Heart” sounds remarkably similar to “Bittersweet Memories” from Fever. Both have mid-tempo, chord-based songwriting and emotional subject matter, as well as similar lead guitar. While lacking a pathetic attempt at replicating a past hit (“Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2)"” Really"), Venom still relies on their long-standing reliance on watered down thrash riffs and poppy choruses with abysmal lyrics. These qualities are most apparent in the album’s first half. Songs like “No Way Out,” “Army of Noise,” "Worthless," and "Broken," essentially rip off the singles from Bullet’s neo-thrash hit Scream Aim Fire from 2008.

While the more emotional and melodious aspects of Bullet's earlier material are minimal, they do occasionally appear throughout. Looking back with the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia, these qualities embody youthful energy among metalcore’s massive popularity at the time. Times have changed however, and Bullet for my Valentine have failed to change with them. Band members in their mid-to-late 30s playing a watered-down version of their own original sound, singing about the same youthful subject matter as always, is just getting depressing. Anyone looking for an enjoyable, modern metal album can find it done much better by many other bands. Every riff, every chorus on Venom has been played hundreds of times before on numerous albums, some of them by Bullet themselves. Seeing such monotony and lack of creativity yet again is a sure sign that their once strong brand of modern metal needs a major overhaul. While lacking the worst offenses of Temper Temper, Venom is still a failed exercise in mainstream metal. It serves to plainly expose Bullet for My Valentine's refusal to progress or broaden their identity in any way, shape or form.



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user ratings (429)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (2.5)
Putting Part Of The Song Titles In Brackets (In An Attempt To Emphasize The Meaning)...

BHAR (3.5)
So what happens when a band learns from their mistakes and reedems itself? Well, you can ask Bullet ...

Shamus248 (2.5)
It wears off on you after the first listen....


Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2015


18245 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Thanks a lot to Arcade for proofreading



This was between a 2 and 2.5, but this album was the most underwhelming and boring listening experience in quite a while, so 2 it is.

Digging: Our Oceans - Our Oceans

MoosechriS
August 14th 2015


6353 Comments


Gave up with these guys after fever, probably wont be checking this out based on the review. Good write up though dude. Pos'd

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
August 14th 2015


25081 Comments


I'm actually looking forward to hearing this.

Digging: Secret Band - LP2

Artuma
August 14th 2015


30349 Comments


"emo aspects of Bullet's earlier material"

Digging: Low - Double Negative

Snake.
August 14th 2015


21573 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The Harder The Heart (The Harder It Breaks)






smfh when will this band ever learn?

herrlosse
August 14th 2015


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wow, I think that is an articulate but pretty unnecessarily harsh review.



Granted I'm only on the first listen but I'm reasonably pleased with it considering the other shite similar bands are coming out with (BMTH, Asking Alex..)

oisincoleman64
August 14th 2015


2260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm having fun with this album so far but yeah nothing too interesting

TooManyFriends
August 14th 2015


3016 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this is trash guys ok good stuff now you can move on with your lives nothin to see here

InFlamesWeThrash666
August 14th 2015


8841 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Skin is kinda catchy

Digging: Numenorean - Adore

Tunaboy45
August 14th 2015


16734 Comments


Shame they became so dull

Digging: PUP - Morbid Stuff

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2015


10552 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I kinda question the "emo influence" you mention but good review regardless



sounds like this is shooting for the same goal as the new miss may it but is probably even worse

Tunaboy45
August 14th 2015


16734 Comments


@Arcade they were never the most exciting band in the world but at least tracks like "Scream Aim Fire" and "Tears Don't Fall" had some punch behind them.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2015


18245 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Agreed tuna, a few tunes on Fever as well in my opinion.



Thanks for the kind words everyone. In terms of the usage of "emo" in the review, I always saw their stuff before Scream... being a combination of melodic metalcore, thrash, and emo. Those albums definitely sound similar to some screamo stuff I've heard, but if everyone thinks I'm completely wrong here then I'll change it.

Artuma
August 14th 2015


30349 Comments


you are completely wrong with that

Ocean of Noise
August 15th 2015


10601 Comments


yea this band isn't really emo, they're more just really poppy

Digging: Buckethead - Trace Candle

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2015


18245 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I guess it's a matter of opinion but there was probably more pop than emo if I remember correctly, fixed.

Sinternet
August 15th 2015


19099 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I wasn't expecting much and I'm still disappointed

Digging: Marina - LOVE

Ikarus14
August 15th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Surprise surprise...



The Poison was a decent album and everything, but everything after that is totally forgettable.

Tunaboy45
August 15th 2015


16734 Comments


But in terms of dull modern metal, I'd take these over FFDP any day.

Sinternet
August 15th 2015


19099 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I hope I'm never in a situation in which I have to choose between the two.



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