Bullet For My Valentine
9/2/2010 - Review by: Eric Compton
Still retains that heavier abrasive touchI saw these Welsh superstars last year on the Mayhem fest alongside Killswitch Engage, Trivium and Slayer. Their performance was spot-on and rivaled the same energy as Killswitch, a feat not easily accomplished. I was really interested to hear the progression made with ‘Fever’, the band’s third record to date and second after vocalist/rhythm guitarist Matt Tuck’s vocal injury. In many ways, this is as good or better than ‘Scream, Aim, Fire’ with more focus on melodic vocals that sync with the aggressive music. The group used producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Hollywood Undead) and his experience helped Tuck with the vocal melodies and some of the writing arrangements. I think this is more traditional than metalcore, but still retains that heavier abrasive touch. “Begging for Mercy” is this album’s “Waking the Demon” with masterful rhythmic finesse that spins into a commercially accessible chorus. It’s harsh, biting and soothing all in one fell swoop. The same could be said for the fast-speed assault of “The Last Fight” with its traditional metal feel albeit handled with walls of heavy distortion. The production standards really go the extra mile with the title track. ‘Fever’ is stupidly written about a strip-club visit but musically it’s an addictive blast-force. Listen to the isolated kick-drum at the beginning that warns the riffs are coming aplenty. I love the little touches experience brings to the studio. There’s some bad though—the emo flavored “Bittersweet Memories” should be burned and I’m still torn on ballad “A Place Where You Belong”. They can’t all be winners…but these broken-hearts come damn close.
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