Without batting an eyelash, this writer declares Bullet For My Valentine the Def Leppard for today's generation of headbangers. History is repeating itself, ladies and gentlemen. From their unexpected international success (even when there's tons of bands way better than these blokes), excessively polished albums, an undeniable proclivity for hooks, and bubble gum pop lyrics that mostly deal with matters of the heart, BFMV are poised to release their Hysteria anytime soon. But not now.
Being the band's fourth album since debuting several years ago, Fever merely continues where "The Poison" and "Scream Aim Fire" left off. No innovations, no excessive guitar wankery (sure there's shred, but it's not over-the-top ala Trivium or Children of Bodom), no 'pushing boundaries' or 'exploring new musical realms' hogwash, just your usual serving of BFMV sensitive guy's heavy metal. Whatever genre/trend the quartet are lopped into and whatever horse manure is thrown their way (there's been a lot of both, mind you), Matt Tuck and the gang deserve credit for having carved a niche occupied by themselves and themselves alone. Call it the melodic thrash, Iron Maiden melody, aggressive clean vocals, syrupy guitar leads, emo lyrics, hard rock hooks, pop arrangements, slightly melodic death, niche genre. Yeah, whatever.
The present material kicks off on a loud note, all thunderous percussion by Michael Thomas that fuels a build up that hooks you right in…until Matt Tuck has the cheek to sing in a soft-whisper "Am I going insane?" This is your cue to reply "Uh oh…Houston, we have a problem."
And the problem is lyrics. Or the lack of originality with regard to the, well, lyrics. Your Betrayal, The Last Fight, Pleasure And Pain, and Bittersweet Memories all suck lyrically. Thus, we find the album's biggest problem. It's no use slagging these guys for how they sound because 1) How they "sound" is why they've sold a few million albums already 2) Bullet aren't gonna change despite the haters. So the long and short of this review is: Bullet For My valentine could have released a great record this time, only they stuck to their formula a little too closely. And hey, formula's aren't bad—Def Leppard anyone?
If you're at least mildly curious, the good songs here are the title track Fever, Breaking Out breaking Down, Dignity, and Begging For Mercy. Slightly recommended?