Welsh metallers’ fourth studio set falls some way short of expectations.
Raziq Rauf 2013-02-05
If Bullet for my Valentine are to emulate the outstanding careers of the bands they look up to – Iron Maiden, Killswitch Engage, Slayer – then the Welsh metallers had better hope album four’s shortcomings are merely springboards to a better future.
Precognition is irrelevant to the right now, though. Temper Temper is an album that falls some way short of the quality many were anticipating. Bullet are sitting pretty atop the heavy metal tree; but these tracks offer little to explain the band’s successes.
Frontman Matt Tuck’s lyrics remain a massive bone of contention. Eight years on from Bullet’s debut set, The Poison, he still writes with little imagination in his imagery.
The title track sees him angrily barking a set of orders – “This time you'd better bite your tongue… Think twice before you open your mouth” – before unleashing a stream of vaguely descriptive lines: “I feel the tension riding high… I feel my heart pump in my chest.”
The dirty linen aired during Leech doesn't warrant repeating, such is its cringe-worthiness. It’s schooldays stuff, and fare that’d be marked poorly, too. Bullet’s sizeable audience can be forgiven for demanding more from a singer that could, and perhaps should, be the preeminent metal voice of his generation.
The letdowns cross into the music surrounding Tuck, too. Breaking Point begins promisingly with real thrust and drive but ultimately descends into an alarming whine. P.O.W. exhibits moments of brilliance, its power-chords destined for stadium appreciation, but it lets the intensity slip to the detriment of the track’s lasting appeal.
At its best, metal can be an eviscerating experience. But the pallid Dirty Little Secret proves that this album is more of a belly rub than a disembowelment. And on it goes… there is truly nothing edgy about this collection.
Bullet are the biggest British metal band in the world right now. But they’re facing some tremendous competition – Bring Me the Horizon’s stock rises with each album. The Welshmen need to improve on Temper Temper come their next long-player, or they risk lasting damage to a previously untouchable reputation.