Bullet For My Valentine

Fever

Written by: AP on 23/08/2010 20:42:02

Another outstanding major review your way comes, the do-or-die third album from Welsh - once metalcore, now heavy metal - vulgarisers Bullet For My Valentine. On their quest to becoming the best band in the world, Matthew Tuck and his crew have shown no shame in deriving their attitude and, to some extent, sound from the bands that inspired, and later took them under their wings on massive worldwide tours that saw the Welshmen perform before stadium crowds, including of course an appearance on the revered Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival. Naturally this all lead to disaster two years ago, when the band scrapped the material they had written for what was to be a follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album, "The Poison", and unleashed upon us "Scream, Aim, Fire", a hopeless clash of personalities full of shameless idolatry. Astoundingly, despite crushing reviews, this stunt earned the band an even greater following, and Bullet For My Valentine can now safely call themselves one of the biggest bands in the United Kingdom.

As such, most people have eventually grown accustomed to Bullet For My Valentine's new image and embraced the near-Biblical proportions of their newest songs. These songs have been collected under the title "Fever", which, against all odds, averts the predicted catastrophe, and offers instead a battery of enormous stadium-rocking anthems. All signs of "The Poison" that might have persisted on "Scream, Aim, Fire" have finally been eradicated and replaced with gargantuan choruses, which actually serves the band well now that there is some dynamicity present in the songs. Listening to songs like "Your Betrayal", the title track, "The Last Fight", "Pleasure and Pain", "Alone" and "Begging For Mercy", it is easy to imagine Wembley Stadium roaring along to their tailormade hooks, and if you're willing to accept such brazen exploitations of what makes music memorable, then "Fever" isn't actually all too punishing an affair.

Instrumentally the album begs no complaints, with misters Matthew Tuck and Michael Paget providing metallic melodies and shredding prowess a-plenty - from lingering acoustic arrangements and epic powerchord structures to thrashy riffage and blistering guitar solos - and misters Jason James and Michael Thomas laying down solid, if unsurprising rhythm sections to ensure that the headbangers among the angsty teens receive their fair share of thick punch. Lyrically, however, the album is expectedly on par with bands like Five Finger Death Punch, as articulate texts have been punched aside in favor of hard-hitting rallying calls and an all-too-serious heavy metal attitude. At least Tuck has managed to improve his singing so that such stupor sounds at least moderately acceptable, and James' piercing screams are, as usual, a nice redeeming touch in many of the songs.

Indeed, while the prevailing attribute in "Fever" is without a doubt its overt poppiness, there is also a surprising amount of extremity available in faster-paced songs like "Your Betrayal", "The Last Fight", "Dignity", "Begging For Mercy" and "Pretty on the Outside", reminding us that even though Bullet For My Valentine have sold out, they refuse to surrender their metal roots to become merely a hard rock band as one Avenged Sevenfold has done. In that respect "Fever" could be placed somewhere in between "The Poison" and "Scream, Aim, Fire" - pretty enough for the ladies and for those just getting into metal, but still heavy enough to satisfy more experienced listeners and remaining hardcore fans whom "Scream, Aim, Fire" failed to frighten.

Download: Your Betrayal, Fever, The Last Fight, Begging For Mercy, Pretty on the Outside
For the fans of: Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, Glamour Of The Kill, Trivium
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.04.2010
Columbia

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