WELSH metal heads Bullet For My Valentine stormed the metal core music scene in the early 2000’s with their debut album ‘Poison’ being met with a widely positive reception as the genre hit an all-time high in popularity. 10 years later and with album number five ‘Venom’ hitting the shelves soon, Quays News entertainment reporter Nathan Smith has already had a listen!

When people mention Bullet For My Valentine in passing conversation, the connotations of a clichéd ‘screamo’ band can easily spring to mind. Although this may be true today in 2015, once upon a time the Welsh quartet were met with high praise for freshly adding to a vastly growing genre of numetal in which screaming, heavy guitar riffs and insane solos where widely regarded as fresh and cutting edge, adding to its ever-growing popularity. Their first album ‘Poison’ laid the groundwork for a trademark band in the industry.

Fast forward 10 years and BFMV are looking for ideas for their fifth album.

Ideas seem to be a grasp in which the band seem to have loosened as most bands look to move forward, they instead opt to name the album with an almost identical synonym of its debut album, a decision in which once listened to the album, comes off as more idea lacklusting rather than nostalgic or a clever reflective nod.

‘Venom’ includes 15 tracks in which die-hard fans may just be given the biggest treat of their lives as most tracks follow the same structure and this gives the feel of the same song being repeated over and over.

The album is not however all doom and gloom as tracks such as ‘You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War)’ and ‘No Way Out’ show positive glimpses of a new direction.

Although not much of a new direction, the tracks still show that both the genre and band are not just noise and can in fact produce meaningful moshful tracks of long-hared head banging metal defiance that many have grown to enjoy.

However any chance of these tracks maintaining an influence or tone on the rest of the album is cut short from the 13 other cliché riddled tracks.

Although riddled with clichés, it is not to say it is without its creative technicalities. The guitar riffs are as meaty as ever, the lyrics are still meaningful and connect with the target demographic on the emotional spectrum of an intellectual blend of anger and acceptance. The solos are tasty and worked into the songs at a natural progression and do not sound forced, plus the trademark screaming is used accurately for emphasis and actually adds to the tracks where it is wanted and needed.

Overall, a disappointing effort from Bullet For My Valentine’s latest album ‘Venom’ as the tired routine of the structure of their songs bring an overload of nostalgia to the band that held so much potential 10 years ago.

Consistency is not an issue as the majority of tracks are mirror reflections of each other, however fans should listen out for tracks such as ‘No Way Out’ and ‘You Want a War (Here’s a Battle) as these are just screaming out for a WWE wrestler entrance track. ‘Venom’ is less of a snake’s deadly bite, and more of a bees slight sting.

By: Nathan Smith

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