My first experience with Bullet For My Valentine came in middle school when a friend wanted to show me this “awesome” new music video. After watching the video for “Scream Aim Fire” and “Waking the Demon” I was largely unimpressed. The music was cool, but I didn’t care for all the screaming. Eventually, I came around and Bullet For My Valentine became a staple in my musical diet.
According to a quick Google search, fans agree that Scream Aim Fire and The Poison are pretty much the band’s best records. It’s hard to disagree with this. The Poison was a wonderful debut album. Scream Aim Fire was a great follow up that surpassed the band’s first album in many respects. Their latest disc, Venom, serves as a solid comeback album. The band was able to mesh together elements featured on their previous discs to create something fresh. However, I feel that Temper Temper is underrated, and Fever is left out of the equation.
This list is truly a product of heartache, thought and (hours of) research.
A Quick Note
I feel that sometimes bands are plagued with creating amazing albums early in their career. Bullet For My Valentine is no exception to this. The Poison and Scream Aim Fire are good albums, and all of the albums that follow them are judged in their shadow. This rule doesn’t excuse a band if they create a crummy record. However, I think each album should be given a fair chance to be analyzed on its own, rather than placed side-by-side with an album that is categorically considered “great”.
6) Temper Temper
Temper Temper is an odd record for a band that cut their teeth in the metal core genre. Temper Temper is a really odd record for the band that created an album as stunning as Scream Aim Fire. By simply listening to Temper Temper, it could be taken as a boring, when compared to Scream Aim Fire. Yet, Temper Temper is far from boring or stale. It is just different.
Temper Temper is less metal and more hard rock. Which is fine, however, it is kind of a stretch for a band like Bullet For My Valentine. Especially when there wasn’t a transition. The album is very fun, it just doesn’t hold up to the name and reputation of the band.
Despite my complaints and ones I’ve found online, I enjoyed Temper Temper. I feel it is a solid hard rock album. However, it is not anything close to a “Bullet-For-My-Valentine-Album”. It isn’t jam packed with explosive songs that are filled to the brim with angst and energy.
Personally, I have spent relatively little time with this record, though after conducting research, I can safely place it in the fourth slot. There are a handful of songs that metal heads have surely devoured, and there are more soothing tracks that are enjoyable to listen to. Also, I feel this disc is often left out when Bullet For My Valentine is being discussed. I’ve heard people slam Temper Temper and elevate The Poison and Scream Aim Fire, yet Fever seems to be abandoned.
There are four singles from this record: “Your Betrayal”, “The Last Fight”, “Bittersweet Memories” and “Fever”. “Bittersweet Memories” is a great example of one of the band’s power ballads. Needless to say, this tune has a permanent slot in one of my many playlists. The other singles are intense and fun, just as one would expect from Bullet For My Valentine.
Venom can be described as a return to the sound that made the band popular. As someone that was introduced to the band with “Scream Aim Fire”, this was a great turn of events as the band does a good job cranking out records with this flair. However, as I mentioned above, I feel that for a lot of people Bullet For My Valentine will always be working in the shadow of Scream Aim Fire and The Poison.
Bullet For My Valentine reintroduced some of the elements on their older albums. Specifically, I read once that they brought back “thrash” elements. Compared to Temper Temper, this is indeed true. Venom is the type of album that comes to mind when someone says “metal”.
The album produced six singles, all of which are songs I would recommend. “You Want a Battle (Here’s a War)”, “No Way Out” and “Army of Noise” are classic Bullet For My Valentine songs. These tunes are heavy, loaded with wicked guitar and drum work, and they’re all-round fun metal songs. “Skin” and “Worthless” follow suit, while the title track is less explosive, though just as digestible. The bonus tracks were pretty good as well. I especially enjoy “Playing God” and “In Loving Memory”.
Gravity is an excellent example a band changing both their style and sound and still creating a good record. At the same time, this record is not anything close to what I would consider a “Bullet-For-My-Valentine-Album”. There are no guitar solos. There is little screaming. There are few exciting drum beats. How can this album land Venom, which is built on all three of these elements? Gravity shows a resurgence of the attitude that put the band on the map: innovation and a desire to push the envelope of their genre.
As I mentioned, Bullet For My Valentine changed everything for this record. In the absence of their trademark style, they employed groovy hooks and rhythms. Also, the songs are centered on the lyrics. Overall, the album is more atmospheric than energetic and over-the-top, like their previous records. This works very well with Matt Tuck’s knack for penning memorable choruses and lyrics.
The album has four singles: “Don’t Need You”, “Over It”, “Piece of Me” and “Letting You Go”. These tunes are great and available on YouTube if you are feeling adventurous. It’s worth noting these are the heavier songs on the album.
Apart from the singles, “The Very Last Time” is my favorite track. I’ve always loved the band’s slow songs. They radiate with passion and emotion. “The Very Last Time” is no exception. From the singles, I recommend “Letting You Go” and “Don’t Need You”.
2) The Poison
Bullet For My Valentine set the bar high with their debut album. The Poison is an engaging album filled with angst, passion and alluring instruments tracks. The guitar work and the drum beats are attractive and explosive. Overall, the album is dripping with young talent and emotion.
Online, I’ve read more people writing of this album in nostalgic terms than any other Bullet For My Valentine record. Perhaps this is simply because this was their first album. However, to me this is a sign the record is standing up to the test of time for a lot of fans: myself included.
By far the most popular and well known song on the album is “Tears Don’t Fall”. The song is laced with a raw fervor. And, it contains a wicked guitar solo. Besides “Tears Don’t Fall”, there were three other singles released with the album, all of which are classic Bullet For My Valentine tunes.
“4 Words (To Choke Upon)” and “Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow (What Can I Do)” are best played on full blast. They are metal core at its best. “All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)” is a little different. The band doesn’t just play on full speed, rather they switch tempos and even employ an acoustic guitar for parts of the song.
Bullet For My Valentine always has a handful of bonus songs, especially if you’re like me and buy the deluxe version of the album, years after it comes out. On The Poison, they have a pretty good cover of Metallica’s “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”. If you’re like me and enjoy covers, searching out this version is worth it. Plus, the other bonus songs are entertaining.
1) Scream Aim Fire
“Scream Aim Fire” was my introduction to Bullet For My Valentine. “Waking the Demon” was the song I always tried to play on Rock Band but couldn’t quite get. For me, there is a certain nostalgia woven into this record. However, the disc also happens to be foaming with the same breed of electricity that fueled The Poison, only Scream Aim Fire is bigger, more intricate and dynamic.
On a disc that runs deep with potential singles, Scream Aim Fire only has three: the title track, “Hearts Burst Into Fire” and “Waking the Demon”. The title track and “Waking the Demon” are glowing examples of metal tunes. They are loud, gripping and worthy of being a regular part of any metal head’s diet. With “Hearts Burst Into Fire”, the band builds momentum and sways the listener with blistering guitar riffs and soothing vocals.
“Say Goodnight” and “Forever and Always” are shining examples of power ballads. Arguably, “Hearts Burst into Fire” makes this list too. Not only do these songs allow the band to demonstrate their ability to slow things down, they prove the band can take the listener on an emotional journey with their music. This is a trend through much of Bullet For My Valentine’s music, however it is brutally obvious in these gentle songs.