Metal-core UK sensations Bullet For My Valentine have returned with their highly anticipated sophomore full length release Scream Aim Fire. After already leaving an impressive mark after their debut The Poison, the foursome is back with a heavier sound with hopes of capturing the attention of many and proving to the rest that they are in fact a band to look out for in 2008.
The band formed in the late 90’s in South Wales as a college cover band but thanks to the lack of finances the band took a twist in their direction and Bullet For My Valentine was created. After playing shows in hopes of grabbing the attention of a record deal, Roadrunner Records stepped up with an offer but was rejected and Sony BMG signed the band to a five record deal . With their debut release selling over one million copies worldwide the band toured constantly and graced the covers of many magazines including Kerrang! and even Revolver. It seemed like this band was the golden child and they could not be stopped. If only it were that easy.
Bullet For My Valentine had a rough experience on a Rob Zombie tour in 2006 leading them to be dismissed from the tour. Where many other seasoned bands saw it as an inexperienced band not meeting up with the heavyweight’s expectations, it was more of a band not wanting to overcharge their fans and not being treated like the rest. To make matters worse the lead singer Matthew Tuck caught a mean case of laryngitis later that year and the band was forced to cancel shows in order for him to heal. These small detours did not distract the band one bit. Once Matthew Tuck healed the band was back in the studio to create Scream Aim Fire.
As soon as the CD starts the title track "Scream Aim Fire" almost pushes you out of your chair. It is a heavy track and really declares this band is not slowing down one bit. The drums are powerful and guitar solos are simply gratifying almost recalling past metal bands such as Pantera and Machine Head. I can honestly say this is one of my favorite tracks off this CD and I have a feeling I am not going to be the only one who digs it.
“Hearts Burst Into Fire” calms down the metal-core for a moment to remind you the guys in the band are musicians and not just heavy metal warriors. This rock ballad reminds me of all the hair-bands of the past that wanted to show you a softer side to their hard exterior. The song, calling upon the way the band feels when they come home after a long time away, will be getting a lot of airplay this year.
“Waking The Demon” replaces the soft ballad feel you were just left with to a mix of pure metal fury with harmonizing vocals backing the screaming. This is almost of a melodic thrash metal song and was very interesting to listen to. This is the heaviest track on this album by far.
“Disappear” sounds like it was taken off their previous release The Poison as did “Deliver Us From Evil. Neither song was intolerable but it did seem two steps behind some of the other tracks on this CD. Most tracks on Scream Aim Fire seem so much fuller and involved over The Poison but regardless, I loved their debut album so I still enjoyed them.
As much as I hate to say this, “Take It Out On Me” sounds a lot like Avenged Sevenfold. I am not saying that Bullet For My Valentine are copycats by any means. Both bands are on completely different levels and unique in their own styles. This song merely reminded me of the American metal (pop) band mostly due to the singing and guitar riffs.
Make sure you take your lighters out for “Say Goodnight”, another rock balled. I was really worried, when I heard this song, that the guys stepped a little too far out of their terrain but midway through the song they redeemed themselves making for a great track to sit back and listen to.
Catchy choruses, intense vocals, solos galore, and crazy tempos are what Bullet For My Valentine is all about. They could care less about their image or commercializing the band’s sound. Their attitude alone will help grab that spotlight this band so willingly deserves. In support of their new release the band will be showcased on the Taste Of Chaos tour this year.
Expect big things from Bullet For My Valentine in 2008 as Scream Aim Fire will smack you in the face and steal your attention. It seems as if the band has taken a more mature approach musically but has not forgotten about the metal-core. Some fans may think differently after hearing Scream Aim Fire but I have become a bigger fan.
Fans of metal bands from today (Killswitch Engage, Eighteen Visions, Avenged Sevenfold) and yesterday (Metallica, Testament, Pantera) should at least give this UK band a chance. Try not to judge them immediately though, with as much as they have put into this CD they deserve the attention they crave.