Best of 2016 Playlist

August 28, 2015

Bullet for My Valentine - "Venom" Review

There are bands who, despite terrible reviews and haters, still manage to sell out arenas and play packed stadiums. Bullet for My Valentine is not one of them. Have you seen them on a top billing within the last few years? Didn't think so. With interest waning, the band needed a stellar album to put them back on top of the metal world. Their 5th album, "Venom", was anything but stellar. 

Thrash metal with modern dressings, BFMV stole the scene with their debut album "The Poison". A fresh take on metalcore, the band has since failed to deliver the same punch in albums. Though "Fever" is arguably the best album, "The Poison" remains a fan favorite, and the album the band has since strived to reproduce. They have, to varying degrees of success. 

The "Venom" era started in 2013 when the band released "Raising Hell" only 9 months after their disaster of a 4th album. The single is a very Metallica esc track, with high vocals and guitar solos. The band seemed to be on the road to redemption, having finally produced a song that they could be proud of. Sadly, the writing that went into "Raising Hell" didn't transfer to the band's next album. It took BFMV a solid year to write this album, and it still fails to impress. 

Nothing standouts in this half assed mix of heavy metal. There is nothing catchy, or creative about the songs. Lots of needless breakdowns and guitar chugs is meant to add the metalcore edge fans loved from their earlier works. But it just comes off as trying too hard, and uninspired. A great example of this is "Army of Noise", which is nothing but noise. Fast verses and guitars would typically lead to a great song. Then the chorus kills the song. Sure some fans will love the song, but when compared to some of the other tracks like it on the market, this song isn't anything special. Who knows what BFMV was thinking when they wrote this number, but hunches say that they weren't really thinking. 

"No Way Out" is the black sheep in this herd of mediocrity, earning a 4/5 itself. The melodic choruses and harsh verses are what the entire album needs. Fast and fueled with at least 20 Monster Energy drinks, this song fuses metalcore with classic heavy metal into a modern masterpiece. If only the rest of the album was this good. 

Summary - 
The band claims they went back to the basics for this album, but their definition of basics must differ from that of fans. The album has higher points, but is brought down by the lower ones. Much better than the band's previous effort, "Venom" fails to capture the BFMV that introduced the world to a new era of metalcore. Their recipe for heavy metal has finally proved to be stale, and uninteresting. Fans of classic metal like the aforementioned Metallica, Black Sabbath and Guns N' Roses will appreciate the throwbacks, and fans of early BFMV will like the nods to their metalcore beginnings. But overall this album is a dud for those looking for BFMV to shake things up and branch out. 

Favorite Tracks - 
"No Way Out", and that's pretty much it. 

Rating -