Review : Bullet For My Valentine - Fever
RocksoundIf you’re a Bullet fan this is going to blow your mind. Covered with all the big choruses and catchy riffs that made Bullet For My Valentine a force from inception, ‘Fever’ is constantly on a melody-heavy crusade for anthems. Always willing to provide their faithful with hooks large enough to threaten arenas, the Welsh quartet have not only kept the form, they’ve unashamedly embraced it.
Although there’s less thrash content than previous album ‘Scream Aim Fire’, the band do retain the aggression that pleased fans from that outing. Tracks such as ‘Your Betrayal’ and ‘The Last Fight’ demonstrate as much from the outset, presenting fast-paced passages before parrying the momentum into upswings of melody. Elsewhere, tracks like ‘Dignity’ and ‘Alone’ lean more towards the choruses of clean-cut epics.
Despite there being some talk that ‘Fever’ would be devoid of easy-consume ballads, both ‘A Place Where You Belong’ and ‘Bittersweet Memories’ are likely to tempt lighters aloft. While each one has the necessary touches of power that make them metallically acceptable, certainly the prior track is still a little more Whitesnake than some fans might prefer.
Signature harmonies, both guitar and vocal, have accented all Bullet For My Valentine albums inside their relatively short career. These cues are provided in sizeable volume on ‘Fever’ and are the elements that will give Bullet fans a frequently occurring reference point from which to navigate. For some they will be a necessary device, as this third full-length has virtually no trace of the band’s metalcore past. Instead a classic metal approach to structure and sensibility has become more prominent. Along with other examples, ‘Pleasure And Pain’ withholds any hardcore posturing while evoking sentimental, Iron Maiden-esque leads and tried and tested progressions.
Although the back-glance is highly commendable and provides an effective dynamic, it’s a mindset that instigates ‘Fever’’s greatest flaw. In Bullet’s quest for inoffensive giant-generating content they have provoked songs that while enjoyable are unchallenging. Though super-size hooks are infectious, they’re also incredibly predictable and there are more than a handful of moments inside ‘Fever’ where sections can be foreseen near chord-for-chord. Though unlikely to phase many followers, other listeners may have appreciated greater depth.
Perhaps working with decidedly mainstream producer Don Gilmore (Avril Lavigne, Linkin Park) has been a little transparent but the collaboration has still produced the desired results. You get the feeling that although there are fewer nods to their thrash-favouring past, Bullet For My Valentine are being more honest than ever in creating a melodically-based record that still provides moments of heavy.
While this is ultimately the same Bullet For My Valentine, the band are unavoidably more hook-centric than ever before. However, there’s still not a single track here that would create an unpleasant contrast if dropped into any previous record. ‘Fever’ is unlikely to win Bullet For My Valentine more respect amongst their peers, but this could be the album to persuade non-believers....full text
AllmusicWelsh thrash/metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine sold a lot of records out of the gate with their 2006 album The Poison, blending old-school metal riffing and emo lyrical content in a manner similar to Stateside peers like Atreyu. On their second album, 2008's Scream Aim Fire, they evolved into a much more aggressive and assured metal act, going a little easier on the overwrought diary-entry lyrics in favor of Trivium-style anthems like "Eye of the Storm" and "Waking the Demon." On their third disc, they consolidate their style and split the difference between their two previous discs, offering ultra-clean singing and overwrought lost-love lyrics atop a bed of gated and triggered drums, staccato guitar riffing, and arena-friendly soloing. Having apparently overcome the throat problems that plagued him around the time of Scream Aim Fire, Matt Tuck's vocals are powerful and committed, whether on heavy tracks like "Your Betrayal" or ballads like "Bittersweet Memories." This isn't a pathbreaking album by a band with any chance at reshaping their genre in their image; it's a solid disc by a group that knows its own strengths....full text
BbcBullet for My Valentine are the biggest British metal band since Iron Maiden. That’s a statement that (still) rankles the more pernickety metal fan, who continues to claim that, because BFMV focus on huge tunes (and have a penchant for syrupy ballads) rather than huge lyrics, and have meticulously straightened hair that’s more salon than sweatbox, they lack credibility. It’s just not true. They simply have more strings to their bow than the average metal band, hence their sure and steady rise to the top.
2008’s Scream Aim Fire, the band’s second long-player, went top five in both the UK and US upon release, and for its follow-up heavyweight producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne) has been brought in to create an album that will become ubiquitous. BFMV are aiming for world domination, and with Fever they may well achieve it.
The military drumming of Your Betrayal opens the album with infantry intensity and then some wonderfully crisp riffing gives way to Matt Tuck whispering about insanity and such. This approach is maintained throughout the rolling, pogo-friendly title-track and the fantastically frantic The Last Fight. The three make for a brilliant opening trio.
Tuck is still an awful lyricist, though. This is as true a statement as the opening sentence, and it’s the other, less-appealing side of the BFMV coin. All the songs feature rhyming couplets of lost love at every turn, and repeated refrains that are inescapably, pitifully self-loathing. Luckily, irksome lyrics are always followed up by stunning riffs, and it’s this method that ensures that every song is simple enough to be memorable – arguably all that counts in a rise to stardom.
Maybe as an acknowledgement of their critics, there’s only one real ballad to be found on Fever – but Bittersweet Memories, with lyrics of childish despair and forlorn desire, is the weakest track here. The brightest standout is Alone, which rocks to a rampaging riff that courses all the way to its core – it’s sure to give any listener shivers, such is its magnitude....full text
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