One of the brightest lights of the new wave of metal bands is the Welsh outfit Bullet for My Valentine. With a sound that borrows from a variety of areas including hardcore and screamo but steeped in traditional metal, the band sounds very fresh and have crafted a killer of a record. Bullet (vocalist & guitarist Matt Tuck, drummer Moose Thomas, bassist Jay James and guitarist Padge) may be young upstarts but they have a sound that is not wet behind the ears.
Opening with an off-setting string-driven intro leading to a pensive guitar riff, it’s as though the sky is darkening and the storm clouds are drawing near. A sharp-edged guitar cuts through the calm like an early Skid Row track before giving way to the first song “Her Voice Resides”. The rush of energy that accompanies this song is refreshing. Tuck alternates his vocal lines with both a screamo whine and clean vocals to great results. Harkening back to the days of the guitar solo, the boys accommodate with a blazing spot which is perfect to these welcoming ears.
“4 Words (To Choke Upon) continues the blitzkrieg with a fury that recalls early Maiden but with far more melody than that metal giant ever mustered. Perhaps the best cut on this record (although with this many winners it’s hard to pick) is “Tears Don’t Fall”. The vocals are just awesome and the melodic structure of this song just makes your ears get up and dance. The very Maiden-like guitars (whom Bullet is now on tour with) power “Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow”. It’s not just all mayhem however. “All These Things I Hate” has a phenomenal verse/chorus combo that really shows off Tuck’s vocals.
I’m not going to describe every single song because they’re all terrific. This is a band that has it all. Lots of crunch, great vocals and a superior ability to write songs. All the material hangs together nicely with the same kind of DNA but they’re not cookie cutter selections of each other. For aggressive, melodic metal, you can do no better this year than “The Poison”.
(Sony Music provided this review copy of Bullet For My Valentine to me free of charge)