Bullet For My Valentine certainly are a band of two halves. On the one hand, they’re a hugely successful band, flying the flag for modern British metal. Their talent and determination seeing them sell millions of albums and playing to arenas all over the world.
On the other hand, they’re a frustrating band and it becomes increasingly obvious that they aren’t reaching their full potential.
Their fourth album, ‘Temper Temper’ only highlights these points. It’s an album of both promise and disappointment.
The first songs released from the album, the title track ‘Temper Temper’ and ‘Riot’, while catchy, are surely among the weakest songs ever produced by the Welsh metallers. Both are typical rock songs, with obvious pop hooks, which, while not a far cry from Bullet’s previous efforts, are mediocre at best.
‘Leech’ falls perfectly into this category as well; it’s repetitive and immature nature thwarting any efforts the band has to reach new heights, with its lacklustre lyrics, which has often been the story for Bullet Throughout their career, they’ve certainly been held back by their inability to write lyrics that contain any real passion or creativity. Juvenile at times, it’s difficult to take ‘Leech’ and indeed, a lot of the album seriously. And it shows us that, while a successful band, Bullet is still musically and lyrically inferior to most of their peers.
It’s not all bad though, ‘P.O.W.’ and ‘Dirty Little Secret’ remind us of Bullet’s abilities musically, even if the lyrics still aren’t quite there.
The first slows down the pace, with a haunting melody throughout; the song delivers on every level and brings a little more excitement and passion to the album, making it one of the band’s brighter moments, while the latter song is arguably the best one on the entire album. Its inventive vocals, emotive guitars and layered riffs all combine to create a truly memorable and catchy track.
‘Dead To The World’ is typical but poignant Bullet ballad, guitars intertwining throughout and emotion clearly evident. The pace builds, as this turns into a great track with a dark guitar solo to see it out.
While ‘Livin’ Life (On The Edge Of A Knife)’ packs a great punch and with its energy and great riffs, it is clearly a song destined for the mosh pit.
Many may have questioned the band’s decision to create a sequel to their best-loved song, ‘Tear’s Don’t Fall’, which saw them take off in 2005. While some may have cringed at the thought, the good news is that they handle this task very well. Of course, it’s got nothing on the original (sequels rarely do), but the song itself is a brilliant one, taking all the intensity and drive of the original and mixing it up with new ideas, to create a great sequel that most fans will be happy with.
In short, if you wanted to show someone who doesn’t understand Bullet’s success, the reason why they are so successful, then this probably wouldn’t be the album you would turn to.
The lack of imagination and evolution holds them back and with other British bands looking to follow in their footsteps, Bullet really to step things up from here on out, if they wish to remain the kings of modern metal.
- Amy Parker