Top critical review
I Hope Bullet For My Valentine Rage at ROTR 2013
on March 26, 2013
Like most hard rock, it depends on your taste as to whether or not you will like an album. I like to set a baseline by listing some contemporary bands that are closest to what I like and what this album is like.
What I like...
Heavy side: Five Finger Death Punch, Trivium, Stone Sour
Soft side: Black Stone Cherry, Pop Evil, Aranda
What I hate...
Metro-Rock: Evans Blue, Incubus, Falling in Reverse, Escape the Fate - any band that jams, then when the lyrics start, power cords end and the singer decides to wine like a little b!tch
Too-Hard: Anything where you can't understand any of the lyrics
I put it in the same category as Stone Sour's latest LP - about four or five really good songs, then a bunch of throw-ins. They span from MetroRock to Blink 182 metal to standard mainstream raging. Sadly, there isn't enough of the latter and too much of the former. I'm holding out hope for their concert at Rock on the Range in a couple months. Below is a blow-by-blow account of the LP.
Breaking Point starts the disc off nicely with Boba Flex-style rage. This means it rages, but not like ATR, so don't get too excited. I'm interested to see how this track is played live. Will they take the Emphatic route and rage their border-line MetroRock songs, or will they go the Evans Blue route and Incubus the heck out of it? We then come to Truth Hurts, which sounds a lot like Breaking Point with about a whole note rest between songs - played out. The third track takes us to the radio hit Temper-Temper; I'm a fan of this track.
Track four, P.O.W. takes BFMV to the MetroRock side of the world. You could pick this track up and place it on a 10 Years album and definitely think that 10 Years weenie is singing it. Track five, Dirty Little Secret, follows the trend of MetroRock, and it has zero chance of keeping this ranger entertained in concert. I'm pretty sure I will be leaving BFMV if POW and Dirty Little Secret are played back-to-back. Leech comes in to save the day sounding like The Amity Affliction. This would have been welcomed had they screamed hard-core like Amity Affliction, but I'm over the whole Blink 182/hard-rock sound. Kind cool that they can make a track with a totally different sound, but when that sound is a knock-off version of a border-line suck-sound, it doesn't work.
Knowing their CD was failing, they pulled in WWE act - Fozzy. Fozzy's antics were subdued, but Dead to the World is actually a descent track. I think they should have been slotted this at track four. Once you've heard three straight offal, and I mean offal, tunes, you aren't in the mood for the mandatory slow song.
Riot is next, and the radio hit is this ranger's favorite tune at track eight.
Track nine, Saints & Sinners, brings us a Volbeat/Ramstein type opening with hard power cords and thick bass, then some standard thrash metal. I'm excited to hear this tune in concert - much like Breaking Point at track 1 - it has the potential to really rage, but they could MetroRock it up too. There's a line that says "Saints, are you ready to rage? I wanna hear your thunder!" I think they'll mean Rangers as Saints; we'll see.
Track ten, Tears Don't Fall, Part 2, brings us to another filler song. They always say the sequel is worse than the original. I hope so, because this is another The Amity Affliction-type song. Tired.
We then come to a shaky song - a parenthetical. Livin Life (On the Edge of a Knife) is a solid (thrash metal song), especially after a punk/metal tune. The LP ends with another bracketed parenthetical, Not Invincible [*]. This one isn't solid, but semi-solid. I also respect and asterisk and brackets for a song title.
The CD ends with a nice bonus I wish more bands would do - two live tracks that are both five minute-plus tracks.
I vaguely remember them at ROTR 2011, and they were pretty good as I remember, but I remembered Evans Blue being good at ROTR 2011, and Evans Blue were Incubus-light this past fall in St Pete. I literally fell asleep standing up. This won't be tolerated at ROTR 2013.