Let me begin this review by saying that I was once a huge fan of this band. There is no elitist bias here; I used to worship these guys. Yup, that was me in the Scream, Aim, Fire shirt with my hair over my eyes back in the 10th grade yearbook. I was bad man; it shames me to look back on it. Notebook filled with emo poems? Check. Black wristbands to hide the cut marks? Check. Psycho bitch who drags you to hell and back? Check, check, check. So what I’m trying to get at here is this: I get it. I understand Matt Tuck; you had some chick break your heart back in high school which fueled the inspiration to whine your heartbreak lyrics over either acoustic guitar playing reminiscent of Hawthorne Heights, or semi-decent metal music. Here’s the catch though: I was fifteen years old. How old are these guys now, thirty-something? After thirty years of existence on this planet and four studio albums, you guys are still stuck in high school crying over your 3 week relationships? Cry me a river… oh wait, that’s exactly what they do once again, following up the god-awful Fever with this piteous release that sinks what was once a decent band even further into the bowels of the abyss.
Band: Bullet for My Valentine
Album: Temper Temper
Label: RCA Records
Release Date: February 12, 2013
What was it Bullet for My Valentine said in that one Metal Hammer magazine interview…?
we’ll take over from Metallica and Maiden!
Hate to burst your bubble BFMV staff and fans alike, but that will never be the case, no matter how many albums you sell. I’m sure James Hetfield and Bruce Dickinson themselves would cringe at being compared to this band. What little hopes I had left in me for this album were eradicated in mere minutes. By the end of the second track you already understand what kind of album Temper Temper is: another juvenile effort aimed at teenage scene kids who hang out at Hot Topic. “The truth hurts and it bleeds me dry.” *Sigh…* you set yourself up too easily Matt… at least make me have to try a little bit. The lyrics, oh god those horrible lyrics… I’m not even in the band and it’s an embarrassment to listen to them; they sound like they were excerpted from the lunch notebook of a middle school kid. The title track is probably the most damning example; “This time you better bite your tongue. Think twice before you open that mouth. Temper, temper time to explode. Feels good when I lose control.” I’m flabbergasted that anyone can take this seriously; let alone the self-proclaimed successors of Iron Maiden. Bruce Dickinson sang about war and mythology people, not about bullies and the pitfalls of puberty.
The greatest disappointment to me though is that the music itself actually isn’t half bad in parts. There are a handful of cool riffs to be found here and there, but none of it has any room to shine thanks to Matt Tuck’s whining vocals, lyrics that sound like they were written by a thirteen year old, and just the overall laziness and mediocrity of the album. Take “Riot” for example. It begins with an incredibly bland riff that sounds like the most repetitive and generic thing ever until it transitions into a pretty catchy verse that makes you wonder if there is some potential to be found here after all. But no, it just reverts back into that ridiculously boring riff with the chorus consisting of two words: riot, and whoa. It sounds like they aren’t even trying. Nothing in particular on this album stands out as any breaking ground for the band, nor do they try to experiment with any new styles. You just get the impression that Bullet has run out of ideas altogether, and every single song sounds like a watered down version of something featured on Fever and The Poison. These guys are on the brink of creative bankruptcy.
As hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when Bullet for my Valentine didn’t suck. Scream, Aim, Fire remains in my music library as a fun listen, back when their music had some balls to it and not every song was a whiny story about Matt’s love life. Hey, I have nothing against the subject matter. “Say Goodnight” for example, one of the soft songs from Scream, Aim, Fire is actually very moving and remains my favorite Bullet song, even after all these years. I listen to Sonata Arctica folks, the epitome of flower metal. Rather, the problem here on Temper Temper is the execution. If you thought the band couldn’t sink any lower after Fever, prepare to be unpleasantly surprised. This album is flat-out lazy, there’s no better word for it. Just a half-assed pile of watered down riffs and thoughtless lyrics that were thrown together as a means to continue touring and promoting themselves to what is quickly becoming solely a mallcore fanbase, nothing more. Perhaps if the backlash continues amongst their older fans, these guys will do some soul-searching and at least make an effort to wipe their eyes and cover some new ground artistically. Until then, take a bullet, Bullet. You’re dead to the metal world.
- Breaking Point
- Truth Hurts
- Temper Temper
- Dirty Little Secret
- Dead to the World
- Saints & Sinners
- Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2)
- Livin’ Life (On the Edge of a Knife)
- Matthew Tuck – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
- Michael Paget – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Michael “Moose” Thomas – drums, percussion
- Jason James – bass guitar, backing vocals
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