Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine – Back With Venom

There was a time not that long ago when we thought that Bullet For My Valentine were going to kick on to become one of the most important rock bands on the planet.  Described variously as hard rock, heavy metal or metal core, this was a band who were Kerrang’s best British Band three times and who won the best live band award in 2010.  Their 2008 album Scream Aim Fire was an absolute monster of an album, 2010’s Fever didn’t quite hit the heights of its predecessor.

Then what happened?  Well frankly Bullet For My Valentine lost focus, drifted into side projects and in 2013 pushed out Temper Temper an album that even die-hard fans would accept was at best mediocre.  Fast forward to 2015 and Bullet For My Valentine are back with a new offering – Venom.  The question is does Venom mark a return to form or is this the poison that will send them to the hidden hell of rock obscurity?

The Guardian, that well known bastion of quality writing on the metal genre, damns Venom with faint praise.  Dom Lawson says that Venom “does at least suggest that frontman Matt Tuck has embraced heavy metal in its bombastic entirety again.”  Lawson continues “where Venom does succeed is in the ferocity of its heavier moments, which while seldom straying from entry-level metalcore and thrash cliches, do at least sound like the work of a band who like metal enough to stop ruining it.”

Lawson does have a point.  Check out “Pariah”  the guitar wok is exemplary, heavy pulsing and threatening but you can barely hear the bass guitar in the mix and the lyrics rend towards the cliched.   Check out the video for “You Want A Battle” it shows huge promise, heavy guitar and Tuck’s screamed lyrics suggest some real energy and Venom, but what’s with the schoolboy choir?  Seriously!

The Evening Standard, like the Guardian sees Venom as a mixed bag.  John Aizlewood that Bullet For My Valentine “sound rejuvenated: howling, super-fast, riff-laden guitars thrash it out with Matthew Tuck’s hollered vocals and his emotionally repressed lyrics. It packs a punch, although Tuck’s bizarre insistence that anything resembling melody be removed is predictably self-defeating.”

Venom does mark something of a return to form for Bullet For My Valentine.  There are moments of real promise, ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Broken’ pack serious punch, they are heavy, meaty and aggressive, played with both energy and pace.  I really liked the album but I must say that it does have something of the feel of a band desperately trying to recover past glories rather than moving forward.

I will be seeing Bullet For My Valentine live in a small venue in October.  I will be interested to see how the new songs translate to the live arena. Perhaps by then Venom will have ingrained itself more deeply into my psyche, we shall see.

~

Bullet for my Valentine are on the internet here.  They are on Facebook and they Tweet as @BFMVOfficial 

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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

2 thoughts on “Bullet For My Valentine – Back With Venom

  1. northernoutlaw

    I thought BFMV would be a main stage Download headliner by now . It’s a shame they couldn’t make that push into the big league as festival headliner/arena fillers in rock/heavy metal are getting rare and very old .

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    Reply
    1. The Sound of Summer Post author

      I totally agree. The problem seems to be that record companies only seem to want to invest in ‘safe & bland’ pop acts so no rock bands are really building a huge fan base. I would love to see this change but sadly I doubt that it will.

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      Reply

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