Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bullet For My Valentine - Venom (2015)

It is more or less the same old story for the Welshmen in Bullet For My Valentine now a days. Everyone wants the band to get back to their origin, more specifically, their two ground breaking records "The Poison" and "Scream Aim Fire", and it is also something the band has wanted to. Their last effort, "Temper Temper", had the intentions right, but the fairly hollow song material left me and many others longing for something more meaty, something that would last longer than just 5 seconds in your head. So with the path laid out, it was just for the band to piece it all together, which they seem to have done.

Because "Venom" is more or less the album the fans have been waiting for. The band's fifth full length effort is clearly their hardest record since "Scream Aim Fire", which most of the thanks there goes to Matthew Tuck who is fully fit to consistently scream without hurting his voice significantly. But it is also Tuck and Paget's wicked riffs that gives "Venom" its hard edge and aggressive attitude. It got that overall feeling that both of the two first album have, so the band succeeded in their quest to reestablish the good side of their signature sound, something that should win back some of their older fans.

When it comes to the songs themselves, I can instantly say that none of them will get the same amount of commercial impact as some of the band's biggest hits, but who gives a rat's ass, I do not think that would have happened anyway, even if they wrote the 21st century equivalent to "Nothing Else Matters". It is unmistakeably the band's style that is shown here, a album mixed with aggressive maulers and softer, melodic ballads that together twines a versatile record. And with this pack of songs, that holds quite a good standard, it is a strong package that the band is presenting us.

In this record, I think I have found myself two songs that I will listen to a lot in the coming future. We have the strong and emotional anthem "You Want A Battle? (Here's A War)" were I give the choir big props for giving this track its epic feel. I also love "Army of Noise", a song that holds the speed and thrust of a space shuttle. It is definitely the meanest and most powerful creation the band has created since "Scream Aim Fire", and together with a sing along friendly chorus, it hits the nail on your head instantly, leaving a lasting impression on you.

Those two songs alone brings the album up there along the first two albums quality wise, and several other songs like "Broken" and "No Way Out" is helping out to make "Venom" enjoyable, but the album does lose its steam the further it goes, leaving me to think if the band ran out of ideas and just slammed in fillers to make the fans happy. Let me tell you this guys, you do not make your fans happy by rushing out half finished work. If songs like "Hell Or High Water" and "Skin" would have been worked on a little more, then they could have turned out fine, but in their current state, they are pretty boring and bland. So maybe the band should take a little longer working on their next album so this unfinished feeling does not repeat itself.

So yeah, the band keeps on improving, taking step by step to reach the same heights that they reached in the early stages of their career. Because even if "Venom" does not have enough material to make a great, solid album, it still holds a couple of highlights to bring a smile to the listeners. The band sure has evolved from their struggles, and I am sure that this progress will keep on going at least another album. But for every album that goes by, I get more and more doubtful of the band ever exceeding their first two albums. Let us hope that they prove me wrong.

Songs worthy of recognition: Army of Noise, You Want A Battle? (Here's A War), Broken

Rating: 7/10 Pariahs

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