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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Album Review: Bullet’s latest hits target

Here is a little suggestion. Don’t listen to Scream Aim Fire, Bullet For My Valentine’s sophomore album during rush hour.

So much anger. So many riffs.

Yes, that metal band from Wales, with the uncanny ability to send heads banging, arms flailing and fists flying at anything in a 10-foot radius, finally released its first album since it went on tour promoting The Poison back in 2005, and it rocks even more than the first one did.

Some noticeable differences might take a few hardcore fans by surprise.

It hits you from the get-go. Bullet For My Valentine chose to go far less screamo with album. The first track and the first single, "Scream Aim Fire," foreshadows the trend of Bullet For My Valentine’s new sound – more vocals by lead singer Mathew Tuck.

The melodies of his vocals this second go around can, at times, give off that late ’80s early ’90s Metallica or Yngwie Malmsteen feeling.

This might come off as annoying, for those few metal junkies out there that didn’t dig Metallica. But those who listen to Bullet For My Valentine for its intense riffs, racing rhythms and sick guitar solos might not even notice it until the second or third time listening to the album.

Track 4, "Waking the Demon," is worth the $12 you will spend on the CD, and is a must for every angry, butt-kicking and hyper workout or playlist in America.

Tuck and Michael Padgett start with guitar riffs that gradually increase in concentration for about 21 seconds, while Michael Thomas keeps a steady beat going on a four count. Then all hell breaks loose. Thomas goes crazy with the double-kick drum, Tuck and Padgett explode on the guitars and Jason James does his thing on the bass.

This takes place while Padgett and James simultaneously let out blood-curdling yells that add to the mood of one of the most awesome metal songs in recent memory. The band surprisingly keeps up the maddening tempo for about three minutes, only taking breaks between the bridges. To top it off Padgett throws in one of his masterful guitar solos, which is the norm in all of the group’s songs.

Bullet For My Valentine did try to slow things down on a couple of songs on the CD. These tracks were "Say Goodnight" and "Forever and Always." "Say Goodnight" was a little too slow for my taste, though Padgett did show off his skills on the guitar.

"Forever and Always" gave off a pop-rock feeling, with catchy riffs that were wisely used throughout the song and a lot of singing by Tuck. It actually turned out to be among one of the top five or six tracks on the album.

It wasn’t the singing or yelling that separated the band from the huge pack of other metal bands the first time around. It was the music – the adrenaline-producing, head-banging and fury-inducing combination of guitars and drums.

Scream Aim Fire leaves very little to be desired in that department.

Verdict: It rocks even more than the first album.

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