Well, this is a turn up for the books. We usually listen carefully, nod and smile as bands tell us in various interviews that their next album will be much better, much heavier, the best thing we’ve ever done etc.
Then the album drops and you’re left thinking “Is this the same album they were talking about?”
With ‘Venom’ Bullet For My Valentine have delivered on most of their promises. This album is infinitely better than the average at best ‘Temper Temper’
In fact, they could have released an album of b-sides and it would have surpassed that last album. ‘Venom’ is a more aggressive and rounded record and up there with the first couple of albums from Matt Tuck and co. It has some really good big metal anthems and it just seems as though Bullet have a bit of fire in their belly again.
All in perspective of course, BFMV aren’t going to out thrash Slayer any time soon, but this is a definite metal album nonetheless. If it’s thrash you’re after then ‘Broken’ might just be the thrashiest thing they’ve ever done however. A brief but solid indicator that this band are embracing the heavy side of things again.
The opening atmospherics of ‘V’ make way for a bombastic start to proceedings with ‘No Way Out’ which is the finest chunk of metal these lads have turned out since ‘Scream, Aim, Fire’; it has a galloping riff and towering chorus that will surely be the opener for the upcoming tour this autumn.
‘Army Of Noise’ keeps the momentum going, Bullet are rollicking along like a band with an unexpected second wind. They’ve had a few problems in camp over the last few years; which they’ve largely kept very close to their chests. A weight has been lifted somewhere though; this almost sounds like they’ve rewound the clock and said “What if we’d have done this instead?”
It’s all unmistakably Bullet. Although Tuck’s vocals have plenty of erm… venom in them, for the first time in a while, it’s still simplistic pop vocals and rhyming. Similarly, the music is route one accessible heavy metal. Bullet will still be dismissed by the hardcore metal fans and smeared with the Emo tag…
But, most of these songs are ridiculously huge. Worthy of filling arenas… ‘You Want A Battle…’ and such like will put Bullet For My Valentine firmly back on the path to filling the big sheds and headlining festivals. We can’t see anyone standing in their way…