Bullet For My Valentine – Temper Temper (2013)

Posted: February 1, 2013 in Music

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So here we are entering February. The groundhog has seen his shadow while my resolution to exercise more, drink less, and live better has already gone up in whiskey-fueled flames. The store aisles are filled with corny greeting cards, heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates (of which I always seem to get the ones loaded with toothpaste), and other pretentious fare commemorating quite possibly the stupidest holiday on the calendar – Valentine’s Day.

Making a big ruckus over loving someone seems a bit contrived. After all, I love myself EVERY day (sometimes twice), and surely don’t need a holiday to remind me to do so.

If the overkill of pink and lavender decor had any redeeming value this year, it at least reminded me that the month was going to bring one positive thing – that being the latest release from England’s Bullet For My Valentine.

With three commercially successful albums already in their pockets, the foursome are ready to unleash Temper Temper to the masses on February 12th. The release is gathering a ton of hype, as the band has rocketed to the front of the metalcore scene over the last six years with their unique style and sound.

I refuse to buy into hype the same way I refuse to buy flowers for my wife (I’m more of a substance type of guy) and honestly, I felt the band’s last album Fever lacked a bit. While music rags everywhere have been calling Temper Temper one of the “most anticipated releases of the year”, I’m sticking to my tried-and-true method of listening first / praising later.

In fact, BFMV (as the kids like to call them) are in a precarious state with me. I loved their swagger when they first hit the scene, but felt like they had tapered off a bit with each release since. The new album had me (possibly unfairly) putting the band at the unfortunate “shit-or-get-off-the-pot” crossroads that so many groups come to. Granted, I’m a selfish soul that expects greatness at all times from the bands I listen to, but the reality holds true that most of the records that come out these days fall into the category of “average” in a scene that is becoming diluted a lot faster than it is becoming great.

Don’t get me wrong, the band still has plenty going for it. Lead singer Matt Tuck has one of the best combinations of clean, melodic vocals coupled with hair-raising screams of anyone in hard rock and heavy metal these days. Mix that in with immense skill from his band mates (Micheal Paget/guitar, Moose Thomas/drums, and Jason James/bass), and it’s easy to see why the band has garnered the attention it has. So how on earth – with so much in their favor – could Temper Temper possibly suck?

738130_10151397371470505_717700480_oPart of BFMV’s allure over the years has been the bands ability to write songs with mainstream rock sensibility, and serve them with a dipping sauce of heavy metal. The combination was genius, as it made them radio-friendly while still maintaining some “heavy” credibility. For many fans, the band served as a “gateway drug” of sorts that tempted them away from such bands as My Chemical Romance and 30 Seconds To Mars and brought them closer to acts such as Iron Maiden, Metallica and Trivium.

This time around, though, most of the tracks have the heavy metal sauce slathered on thick, leaving little doubt as to what you are sinking your teeth into- and it’s the recipe this author was waiting for. Sure, you are still going to get a couple of softer tracks (“POW”, “Dead To The World”), a weak link in the chain (The inexplicable sequel to the band’s hit “Tears Don’t Fall” off of the 2005 album The Poison) – but the rest is nothing short of impressive.

“Leech” and “Riot” (the first single off the album) are foot-stomping rock radio anthems that are sure to sell enough copies of Temper Temper to pay the bills, while the rest of the album (most notably the album’s opening cut “Breaking Point”) is simply a shred-tastic wet dream of monster guitar hooks, bone-shaking drum beats, and – dare I say – the perfect balance of hard rock and heavy metal. While I doubted the band’s sincerity in the past, it appears as though the energy, effort, and focus have returned – and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

With Fever Fever, Bullet For My Valentine have not only pulled back Cupid’s bow and shot an arrow straight through the heart of the  metalcore scene – they’ve left an exit wound big enough to fit your fist through.

8.5/10

Tracklist:

1. Breaking Point
2. Truth Hurts
3. Temper Temper
4. Pow
5. Dirty Little Secret
6. Leech
7. Dead To The World
8. Riot
9. Saints n Sinners
10. Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2)
11. Livin Life (On The Edge of A Knife)

Buy at Amazon

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