Music Review: BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE – Temper Temper

The fourth studio album from Welsh heavy metal rockers Bullet for My Valentine is far superior to their third effort 'Fever' and manages to grasp the sound of the glory days like Iron Maiden via inspired power metal while still maintaining thrash elements.

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Seems like a lot of praise doesn't it? I'm not so sure…. 'Temper Temper' is heavy when it needs to be and fast when it needs to be. But it feels like there's something missing and I can't quite put my finger on it. Bullet For My Valentine have made some really catchy songs with 'Truth Hurts' and 'Temper Temper' but even then the tracks can come off as feeling a bit too formulaic. There's nothing terribly original on this album and that's a shame. The band is certainly inspired by the 80's thrash metal movement which obviously includes Metallica and Megadeth but I also hear some definite European power metal going on here with the melodies.

I don't need constant guttural vocals but I'd be lying if I said that the melodic singing doesn't come off as whiny more than a few times on 'Temper Temper'. Lead singer Matthew Tuck is in no way a bad singer, but I prefer him when he sounds a little bit more pissed off. The production on the album also sounds a little too manufactured which is a shame because when you're inspired by the roots of thrash metal, then you might as well sound a little dirtier as opposed to being so polished and radio-friendly.

The musicianship is solid as hell on the record but everything loses its grit due to something that went terribly wrong during the producer's tinkering. Don Gilmore, who also produced 'Fever' was on the boards again and I'm not sure he understands that not every metal band has to sound like the recent Killswitch Engage offerings. 'Temper Temper' is like metal soap to me. It's far too clean, safe and sounds like my grandparents wouldn't be scared if they listened to it. I want my heavy metal to kill my elder relatives if played too loudly. I want violent, gritty, heavy metal. Bullet for My Valentine need to fire their producer and get back to the drawing board ASAP.

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1. "Breaking Point"
2. "Truth Hurts"
3. "Temper Temper"
4. "P.O.W."
5. "Dirty Little Secret"
6. "Leech"
7. "Dead to the World"
8. "Riot"
9. "Saints & Sinners"
10. "Tears Don't Fall (Part 2)"
11. "Livin' Life (On the Edge of a Knife)"

2 Stars