Wednesday, 13 February 2013

ALBUM REVIEW; TEMPER TEMPER by Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine
Temper Temper

Disappointingly generic, uninspired and frankly dull in places, Bullet's 4th LP falls completely flat. 

Way back when, when BFMV were relative newbies, in the era traversing first two albums The Poison and Scream, Aim, Fire, they were hailed as the future of British metal. And this expectation was not unreasonable, with tracks like Tears Don't Fall, that to this day endures as a brilliant embodiment of emotive metal, Scream, Aim, Fire and Waking The Demon. Yet 3rd album Fever made no impression on me after a few listens, and therefore many hopes were held for album #4. Oh, how those hopes have been dashed. Sorry chaps, it's awful. Once the future of British metal, they're now almost a parody of the genre.

The word 'uninspired' works as a theme for this album, for veins of un-inspiration run throughout it. Before the opening bars of track 1 start, a quizzical and skeptical eyebrow must be raised at the track names. I have to wonder if there's an 'Angsty Pre-Teen Metalhead Song Name Handbook' - if such a thing existed, it would explain such heard-it-all-before titles such as Truth Hurts, Dead To The World, Dirty Little Secret and Livin' Life (On The Edge Of A Knife) (and yes, that's Livin', not Living). 

It doesn't get much better on the lyrical front lines either. I physically facepalmed during the first line of Leech, at the sentence "Hey, leech! No longer will you suck my blood", then again during Dead To The World at "hope is now lost; lost without hope". Just 2 examples of the frustratingly obvious 'lyricism' present in Temper Temper. And another irritating recurrence is Matt Tuck's constant re-use of the same lines within songs. I'm not saying repeating is a bad thing, otherwise I'd like 0% of music, but here it feels like filler because they couldn't be arsed to think of a different rhyme. Oh, and stop repeating the song title followed by "whooah-ohhhh-whoaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh". Once again, over-done. Done to death. The album's lowlight Riot combines these factors, and is in fact a microcosm of why the album is so bad. The chorus is "RIOT! Whoah-ohhh-oohhhhh". That's it. Then there are lines like "here come the sirens, here comes the law; run from the sirens, run from the law", of course punctuated by some whoah-ing. 

The other side of Riot, completing the microcosm, is the musical side of it. Underlined by a boring repetitive open-C chug with some infrequent twiddling, all of which is loyally followed by sheep-like drum/bass lines that do nothing more than replicate the basic rhythms. Which is a pattern across the whole album. There are one or two attempts to do something new, most notably from the ever-so-slightly djent-influenced Truth Hurts, yet even that fails by being too off-beat for it's own good and becoming simply clumsy. The only other bit that remains for me to pick up on is the physical vocals. Unfortunately, they are also awful. There's a pretty even 3-way mix of vocal stylings; screams, singing, and weird semi-talky stuff. The screams, to their credit, are ok, but they've been far superior; the singing is dire through being off-key and weak; and the weird semi-talky stuff tries to be moody's just weird semi-talky stuff at the end of the day. And I actually laughed during Truth Hurts at Matt Tuck's attempt at a falsetto. Was someone squeezing his vegetables in the studio?

The only redeeming qualities in Temper Temper are the solos. Guitarist Padge is the only source of interesting material in the album, yet it almost seems that his 4-5 solos are a desperate attempt to keep a bit of real metal in what is otherwise a mass-produced instant-ready-meal of a metal record. And recycling Tears Don't Fall is the final nail in this album's coffin. There is a staggering lack of imagination present here, and I have to ask; Have you forgotten what metal is, Bullet? Because this ain't it. You seriously need to spend some time revisiting your roots.

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