Have a listen to: "Venom" and "No Way Out"
Bullet For My Valentine – Venom
Release Date: 14th August 2015
Despite the consistent bitching of metal elitists that don’t deem BFMV old enough, or good enough, there is no denying that our favourite Welsh four-piece have carved a very strong path through the hierarchy of modern rock and metal. The snobs and the closed-minded will always have their opinions, but they have to admit, if not begrudgingly, that Bullet For My Valentine have always BEEN there; rising from the smouldering ashes of 2013’s ‘Temper Temper‘, fifth album ‘Venom‘ is a crushing reminder of just how relevant they are.
On first listen, it’s obvious how much the Bridgend quartet have matured over the past decade. This is a grown, older-brother version of debut ‘The Poison‘, and there’s a vast majority of tracks that could very easily be part of 2002’s repertoire; the cellphone-in-the-air anthem of title track ‘Venom‘, the crippling ferocity of ‘Broken‘ and the undeniable brutality of first single ‘No Way Out‘ are all a nostalgic homage to the glorious angst and rebellion of the early 2000’s. You could put a track like ‘Pariah‘ next to ‘Her Voice Resides‘ and claim they’re from the same record, not well over a decade apart.
Of course, the metal community’s vultures will peck hungrily from the bones of these comparisons, and yes, the album may not be pushing the boundaries of modern metal – it might not bring anything necessarily new to the table, but after an album like ‘Temper Temper‘, really, it doesn’t matter. It’s a promise (a promise to those teenagers that are now 20-something’s with full time jobs and pension plans) that the Bullet For My Valentine we fell in love with are still here, still strong, and still worth the time and devotion. By resurrecting the past, the anguish of younger days gone by is brought forward to compliment the underlying theme of oppression and bitterness that most rockers, young and old, can relate to. ‘You Want A Battle (Here’s A War)‘ is a unified middle-finger in the air, ‘The Harder The Heart (The Harder It Breaks)‘ is a stomping denial against all the bullshit and torment that potentially comes with being within this community. With every chugging guitar riff, every lick of solo by ever ingenious guitarist Padge, every singalong, fist pump, and every scream, Bullet‘s younger selves flow through the album like liquid steel, forging an absolute battle-axe of an album.
It’s coherent, admittedly predictable in places, but it still has that something – that verve and spirit – that makes Bullet For My Valentine what they are. Talented, succinct, and most of all, relevant. Maybe I’m biased, because I’m one of those aforementioned 20-something’s, or because Bullet are British and they’re ours, or maybe it’s because I’m generally just a fan of the band; but, in the end and just as before, those elitists will end up sucking eggs and watching Bullet For My Valentine continue on world tours, sell out arena shows, and surge forward as one of the staples in modern metal.