Welsh metallers Bullet For My Valentine will release Fever April 27. The new album is a wildly anticipated follow-up to the 2008 release Scream Aim Fire. Fever has 11 tracks:
01. Your Betrayal
03. The Last Fight
04. A Place Where You Belong
05. Pleasure And Pain
07. Breaking Out Breaking Down
08. Bittersweet Memories
10. Begging For Mercy
11. Pretty On The Outside
So, what does the album sound like? In a word, "Bullet." There's a lot more aggression on Fever than Scream Aim Fire, but the album is definitely commercial enough to make a big splash. The band never strays from their signature harmonic guitars. The songs are a mix of melodic and thrash. Sure, this isn't in-your-face metal and no, it's not Glam - but that's not BFMV. The band is a sort of mix of all those things and for them, the formula works.
I love the song "Your Betrayal." I actually think it could fit on the band's first album, The Poison. Matt Tuck doesn't seem to be having any vocal issues at all on Fever and he sounds especially good here.
What is my favorite track? "A Place Where You Belong," natch. Awhile back, singer Matt Tuck told Metal Hammer there wouldn't be any ballads on Fever. Well, that was before he and the rest of the band created "A Place Where You Belong." Don't worry: the song isn't gooey. We're talking dark themes here. The song actually revolves around suicide, so there's a real, believable element of pain.
"Will you wait for me?/I'll see you on the other side," Tuck sings before a lengthy guitar solo.
The special thing about Bullet For My Valentine is that they are not afraid of guitar solos. The band knows an appropriately written and placed solo can really drive a song. This is never more true than on "A Place Where You Belong."
Is this metalcore? Well, I don't know. I think BFMV is metal, plain and simple. The band has been accused of trend hopping in the past, a charge I just don't get. Songs like "Begging for Mercy" certainly don't sound like something your average drive-time DJ would spin but boy, s/he should. If "A Place Where You Belong" is my favorite track on Fever, then "Begging for Mercy" is a close second. The song is fast and begins with those famous growls sprinkled all throughout The Poison and Scream Aim Fire. This is definitely the "get in the pit" song on Fever.
The first official single from Fever is "The Last Fight." Again, this is a fast one, but there's that melodic guitar overtone which always equals radio play. The drums receive some special attention here, too. Sometimes Tuck's Welsh accent seems heavy and others, non-existent. On "The Last Fight" it's pretty clear Tuck has an accent, but it doesn't detract from the song. "Can you See me through bloodshot eyes?" demands Tuck on this one. In a lot of ways, "The Last Fight" sounds the most classically metal, especially when the song reaches the apex of the breakdown. You'll like this one.
My early prediction? Fever will make my top 10 best of 2010 list for both this site and Noisecreep. Mark it.
Don Gilmore produced Fever. Bullet For My Valentine are touring this spring with support from Airbourne and Chiodos.
Catch my new interview with Matt Tuck soon on Noisecreep.