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When your last two albums have received a poor reception and you find yourself making your way down festival line-ups when you're used to performing high on the bill, what do you do? You go back to where you started; and that's exactly what Welsh rockers Bullet For My Valentine have done with their fifth studio album 'Venom'.
One and a half minutes of anticipation is what opening track 'V' creates. There's not really a lot happening, except an ounce of demonic noise, so this is the perfect opening to an album. 'No Way Out' is thundering, with a typically loud Bullet chorus, double kick drums and heavy guitars; exactly what we were hoping to hear from the band. Back to their roots as if their last two albums never happened, the true Bullet For My Valentine are back. It is quite easy to see why this was chosen as a radio track, but that doesn't take away from the pure musicality of the song. The rest of the album follows in the same manner. Thunderous, powerful, screaming and roaring, this is true head-bang glory. 'Worthless' is raw and passionate, with some meaningful lyrics intertwined with deafening goodness all rolled into one.
The echoic vocal introduction to 'You Want A Battle (Here's A War)' followed by the growling screams of Matthew Tuck gives off a true sense of war and battles with the rawness of the lyrics. 'Venom' opens with a simple drum beat, which was unexpected amongst the rest of the tracks, starting heavy with ear-splitting guitar riffs and Tuck's growling screams. The lyrics 'I'm giving up, I'm never looking back' and 'I don't want another taste of your venom' are relatively basic metaphors for the band, and sound like something that could be placed straight into their 2005 album 'Poison'. But after 'Venom', the rest of the album just seems to roll by with you not really having to pay much attention.
Continue reading: Bullet For My Valentine - Venom Album Review
Plus, Bullet For My Valentine have a new video and Muse imitate Queen's party antics, in our weekly round-up...
A Week In Albums... Vampire Weekend have been getting some much deserved props for their comeback LP, Modern Vampires Of The City and our man Jim Pusey was more than happy to join in the chorus of praise. Marking the group's second US Billboard number one charting album to-date - not to mention their best selling first week effort - Modern Vampires... looks like it's only going to set the indie rockers onto greater things. Pusey commented: "While it's an album that may struggle to repeat the phenomenal commercial success of Vampire Weekend's debut, I'd argue in the long run there's more to love on Modern Vampires. It's not just because the band's affection for New York seeps through every pore of the record, but also because sonically it's a far more interesting album. If this is indeed the end to a trilogy of records, Vampire Weekend have set themselves an extremely high bar to reach for the next chapter of their career."
Collaborator-happy party bringers Major Lazer have returned with a new album in the form of Free The Universe. A record that does little to change the act's sound, it doesn't necessarily need to, says Andy Peterson, with the array of people brought on board, including - there he is again - Ezra from Vampire Weekend, Peaches and Wyclef Jean, meant to enhance the party not the sound evolution. Peterson writes, "At times it's fair criticism that the formula isn't saying anything new, but the main objective here is far less about innovation but instead about being what it is; a no-nonsense party record made to be turned up to eleven and put on after twelve. Righteous."
Teen rockers the world over will be overjoyed to learn that Bullet For My Valentine are releasing their fourth studio album. The Welsh band are arguably one of the most successful metal bands of their generation, though they may not be winning over too many new fans with Temper Temper. The band decided to write the album in the recording studio, rather than taking pre-written songs with them, as they had done before. The result, however, has fallen flat, for many critics. It seems that the rage and fiery emotion you’d expect (especially with song titles such as ‘Breaking Point’ and ‘Riot’) isn’t quite as prominent as we have come to expect.
Their last two albums, Scream Aim Fire (2008) and Fever (2010) were both top five hits in the US and in the UK and its likely that the band’s fiercely loyal, young contingent of fans will stand by them, regardless of the opinions printed in UK papers such as The Guardian.
Holy Fire is the third album from Foals and if the lead single ‘Inhaler’ is anything to go by, it will almost inevitably build the fanbase that they have cemented for themselves with their first two albums, Antidotes and Total Life Forever. The Oxford-born band have retained their experimental, post-rock tendencies, yet their songs now have a serious air of ambition about them.
Reviews thus far have been positive, with The Guardian’s Michael Hann describing it as “an album by a British guitar band who want to win a huge audience without writing chantalongs for the drinkers’ crowd, or lowest-emotional-common-denominator piano ballads.” High praise indeed and backed up by a solid 9/10 from NME’s reviewer, who gives Yannis’ new ‘feelings laid bare’ approach a thumbs up.
Bullet For My Valentine
Scream Aim Fire
And lo did the masses pray unto the gods of metal. The gods, although fickle, did indeed answer the prayers, and Scream Aim Fire was birthed upon the world. And it was a blessed child for it did totally rock.
Metalcore as a genre is riddled with pretence, bullshit and laughably affected behaviour. Most of this seems to be driven by Americans who spend more time on their hairstyles than their music. It's refreshing then that Bullet For My Valentine manage to come rocking out of Wales to deliver a kick to the teeth of mediocrity.
This ticks all the boxes of a classic metal record and then draws a few more boxes onto the questionnaire. And then it ticks them too. This is the perfect blend of old and new metal, simultaneously pushing the envelope yet wearing its influences and heart on its sleeve.
Take the best bits of Iron Maiden, Metallica, and even lost legends such as Annihilator and filter them through the genius minds of youth and you get this joyous romp through the exuberances of fists in the air rock. Truly a classic.
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