Bullet for My Valentine
is a highly famed entity within the music world, even outside of the metallic hardcore and rock genres. Originating in 1997 from Bridgend, United Kingdom
, initially as Jeff Killed John
, this greatly-revered quartet grew over the years to become one of the most popular, if not monumental, groups of the melodic metalcore genre. Each one of their previous records has paved the way for this band to climb even higher into the realms of musical fame. With albums such as “The Poison
” in 2005 and “Scream Aim Fire
” in 2008, Bullet for My Valentine
continues to live on as a melodic metalcore band with an extremely large following. The next step that this band has taken in 2013 is their fifth full-length record simply known as “Temper Temper.” Having come so far in the band’s career, the eleven tracks will reveal whether this album is a huge leap forward or a woeful step backwards for the band.
The musicianship, especially compared to the band’s preceding releases, is rather average. Starting with the vocals, the screams are decently played, letting loose some good fierce energy and adding to the album’s wilder segments. However, this cannot be said for the clean singing, which actually sounds somewhat tired. Perhaps it was the sound production, but even so, they do not fare so well in this album in terms of inspiration or energy. They simply sound somewhat dreary, even though they are clearly aiming for an aggressive yet poppy tone. The guitars are probably the best aspect of the musicianship, with a few nice and catchy solos and melodies. Sadly, even this is not sufficient to save the rest of the band’s musicianship in this album, including the drum play, where there is not much to say other than that, along with the singing, they sound somewhat exhausted. One of the key characteristics of any music record is the musicianship and how well the members’ instrumental talents are showcased, and unfortunately, “Temper Temper” does not hold up very well in this respect.
Sadly, along with the musicianship, the music itself is simply average, if not flat-out clichéd and uninspired. The majority of “Temper Temper” is composed of metallic hardcore, and punk rock anthems that, while at times decent, are generic and quite pedestrian. The verse-chorus structure of the songs is rather stale and typical of the poppy hardcore-rock genre, and there is little development and buildup as each song progresses. In fact, a few of the tracks sound very blendy, with a harsh lack of dynamicity that is appropriate to make the Most of the melodies and riffs are clichéd and have surely been heard plenty of times before, and the drums demonstrate little color, to the point where they sound somewhat brainlessly played throughout the album, not helping it well in the energy department. The screams are rather well done, but the clean singing simply lacks the same energy as they had in the group’s older records, especially from “Scream Aim Fire
.” While the music does flow well, and nothing necessarily sounds choppy, the overall feel of the music in this album is just somewhat exhausted, preventing it from being a very satisfying and engaging release.
Along with the music and the musicianship, the lyrics are not very well crafted, either. The themes that “Temper Temper” follows lyrically include positivity, defiance against authority figures, harlots, and internal conflicts and heartbreak. Sadly, they deliver an underwhelming and generic execution, repeating certain lines consecutively. The anthems are written in a very typical manner, complete with exclamations such as “wo-oo” and “whoa” that have been utilized far in too many instances before. While there is not necessarily anything wrong with using these expressions, there should at least be some distinctive quality to the lyrics that would at least render them as more intriguing or pleasant to hear the vocalist sing or scream. Overall, not only do the musicianship and sound of this album appear to be lacking in inspiration and freshness, but the lyrics do not showcase anything new or outside of the ordinary, and are simply clichéd and cumbersomely overdone.
“Temper Temper” did not turn out to be a very enjoyable release, and proved to be quite the step backwards for this band. The musicianship was dull and was mostly lackluster in terms of showmanship, aside from the screamed vocals and guitars. Structurally, all of the tracks loaded into this record seem to be very predictable and clichéd, which may unfortunately also be claimed for the anthems and sounds themselves. It is fundamentally your run-of-the-mill poppy fusion of melodic hardcore and rock, and, not only does it sound almost completely uninspired and generic, with nothing new to offer for the group’s audience, but it also has a certain scarcity of energy that could cause the listener to grow tired throughout even one of the songs. There are a few redeeming qualities, but they are not nearly sufficient enough to make the album a pleasant stream. Maybe this would appeal to loyal Bullet for My Valentine
fans, but aside from that category, listeners should just pass it by.