Bullet For My Vallentine once had such a fire under their bellies that they could say “we’re the next Iron Maiden”. Since releasing one of the most poorly received albums in UK rock history though, the Welsh metal mob have slowly been rekindling that light. This tour is off the back of what’s supposedly their comeback and whilst the fire is still there at times, it doesn’t shine half as bright as it did.
Opener ‘No Way Out’ proves that record Venom does have some teeth to it and Bullet come out swinging. This, straight into a certified banger ‘4 Words (To Choke Upon)’ from their debut makes a strong start, though the band are proof this can mean nothing.
A distinct lack of energy is present in Bullet for My Valentine’s newer songs live. Whilst ‘Raising Hell’ can get the blood pumping on Venom, tonight it feels lackluster and rushed. The same goes for other new tracks, genuinely feeling like the volume has been turned down, leaving more punch to be found in a dainty butterfly. Not even the huge (yet lyrically cringe inducing) chorus of ‘You Want A Battle (Here’s A War)’ feels as powerful as it should. Placed next to the monstrous sounding Scream Aim Fire, it feels like going into a Pantera gig after attending an underage disco.
Promising a set spanning their whole career alongside a focus on The Poison, the band go into the title track from their breakthrough record which does feel a bit of a treat. In reality, it’s to compensate the fact that they’re about to wade through mass content from their past two albums (if you forget about flop Temper Temper, which clearly the band have and want us to). Rhythm guitarist and singer Matt Tuck takes to centre stage after tuning his guitar to the wimpiest, possible tone to let out a pointlessly acoustic beginning to ‘The Last Fight’, only to drop into a fully amped version, feeling obvious, cliche, predictable and utterly needless. When your songs are feeling as limp as they already, watering them down more is the sonic version of homeopathy.
Even the band’s hit ’Tears Don’t Fall’ doesn’t really hit well enough until it’s solo. Ending with thrashiest song ‘Waking The Demon’, just to remind you once they were going to be the UK metal’s champions, for that you need some edge which Bullet For My Valentine unfortunately seem to be dwindling on day by day.
Jack King @