originally posted on Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Heavy metal band Bullet For My Valentine have gone through so much scrutiny since they first started recording music. A lot of people love what they are doing and the music that they make, while others are quick to judge for less than justified reasons. In actuality, BFMV are one of few metal bands around that under no circumstance try to follow what everyone else is doing, and for that they are among the best metal bands currently making music. With their latest release, Temper Temper which was released in February of 2013, BFMV further exemplify that they do things by their own rules, and for the first time since their debut they sound completely comfortable with what they are doing.
When the band released their first album, The Poison in 2005, they were a part of the still relatively new “Metalcore” movement, yet they still stood out over most bands for featuring more clean vocals than most metalcore bands out at the time. The typical metalcore song would feature mostly guttural vocals, saving clean vocals for just choruses or in some cases only bridges. BFMV however chose a simpler approach, as portrayed in songs such as 4 Words (To Choke Upon), which featured more of a call and answer/scream and sing approach to its verses and choruses. This right away differentiated the band with all other popular acts coming out at the time and in turn was why certain people refused to become fans. With the release of their next album, 2008’s Scream Aim Fire, the band kept the screaming but used it a lot less than the previous album, trying to stray away from such a title as metalcore and concentrate on being a metal band, the same was done on the next album, 2010’s Fever. While both of those albums are great, and feature instant metal classics, there always seemed to be a certain amount of discomfort in the sound, almost sounding like they didn’t know their place.
The band comes full circle with Temper Temper, taking out even more screaming vocals and making what resembles more of a Thrash Metal album rather than a Metalcore album. The band makes it sound like this is what they’ve wanted to do for years and sound like they feel there is no pressure to please anyone but themselves.
Though the album features little screaming, it opens with a heck of a wail in opening track, Breaking Point. The track is a perfect album opener; it is as metal as any band should be with its sound, very catchy vocals by Matt Tuck, trashing good drumming by Michael “Moose” Thomas, a terrific guitar solo by the ever improving Michael “Padge” Paget and does feature some screaming by bass player Jason “Jay” James. The same criterion is followed in the next track, Truth Hurts, which is another fine metal track. Other good heavy tracks off of the album include Leech, Riot,Saints & Sinners and Livin’ Life (On The Edge Of The Knife).
The band chose a curious song to be the first single from the album, as most bands tend to be doing lately. The song, which is the title track, features Matt Tuck not singing, nor screaming, but rather aggressively speaking out lyrics in the point of view from someone with a bad temper. The song stands as a really good metal tune, but shouldn’t have been the first song released from the album. The first single should always be the first song people should hear off of an album to judge how good it will be, while this song should be among the last songs people should hear off of the album for it is the least significant song off of the album.
The album redeems itself by going straight to one of the best songs off of the album; P.O.W. (Prisoner of War) which is a slow paced heavy song. The song is a good example of how the band is far more comfortable than they have ever been because it is different from any song they have ever recorded.Dirty Little Secret is similar, only with a thrashy fast paced intro and a heavier chorus than P.O.W. Dead To The World is the most melodic track off of the album, and is also the slowest paced song, setting a great emotional mood for the album, and then, in true Metallica form, ends far heavier than it began.
Riot, the second single from the album, is a much smarter choice for a single. It is consistently the fastest song on the album, and features all any metal fan would need; strong vocals, heavy music and chants that can get a crowd shouting “woah”.
When long time fans of the band look at the track list of the album, 100% of their eyes will be drawn towards the song titled Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2), a “sequel” to the bands undisputed biggest song. It follows the same formula as the first Tears Don’t Fall in style by having a soft delayed guitar riff and soft vocals, which leads to Jay screaming a pre-chorus which leads to a cleanly sung chorus, and ultimately leads to a full out heavy fucking metal instrumental bridge. As great as the song is, it is understandable miles away from coming anywhere near the original song. It is better than other bands attempts at sequels to their past hits (like Metallica attempting not one but two sequels to The Unforgiven).
In a modern metal world where all or almost all newer acts coming out unoriginally rely on guttural vocals to make a name for themselves, Bullet For My Valentine are trying everything they can to show they can do much more than just that to make music. They are one of very, very few current metal bands to rely on mostly clean vocals, similar to the golden age of heavy metal with bands such as Judas Priestand Iron Maiden. Understandably so they have decades to go before truly being able to be compared to metal royalty such as Priest or Maiden. However, they should still be applauded for being able to release an album as terrific as Temper Temper while avoiding as best as they can the clichés of modern metal.
“Dirty Little Secret” – As per usual, the highlight should be the track that features elements of every song all in one little ditty. Dirty Little secret is not the fastest paced song on the album, but it is too heavy to be one of the slower paced songs on the album. The songs chorus and bridge show the listener that this is without a doubt a heavy metal song. The songs verses and guitar solo may not scream “heavy metal” but they do show how the band knows how to write a song, and this song is musically among the best songs the band has ever written.
8.5 (Out of 10)
|“Dirty Little Secret”||4:55|
|“Dead to the World”||5:15|
|“Saints & Sinners”||3:29|
|“Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2)”||5:38|
|“Livin’ Life (On the Edge of a Knife)”||4:01|