Artist: Bullet for my Valentine
Title: Temper Temper
Genre: Metalcore, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
Release Date: 8th February 2013
Label: RCA / Sony Music
Rock and Metal come in so many different guises and shapes and sizes these days, and the popular image of ‘rock’ as being trapped in the 70s or 80s, luddite, lumbering riffs and bad hair is as utterly spurious as he idea that metal begins and ends with IRON MAIDEN. Like any species that’s enjoyed longevity, rock and its offshoots had to evolve and adapt within a changing environment. And yet, despite this, part of its enduring appeal has been its heritage, the ever-present traces of ancestral DNA that render contemporary rock as identifiable with its past.
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE have grown huge while encapsulating that contradiction which lies at the heart of contemporary rock and metal. Sticking a “core” at the end of a genre tag doesn’t mean it doesn’t espouse values that run back decades, or even that it’s harder-edged and heavier than anything from any time before. And so it is with Metalcore, the genre generally associated with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. What the band represent, then is something modern, yet at the same time, with firm roots in an era many are now embarrassed to even acknowledge as ever taking place.
‘Temper Temper’, then, is dynamic, aggressive, musically accomplished and cringe-inducingly riven with cliché. Take the title, for a start. How many times has it been done? Not convinced? How about ‘Saints & Sinners’, ‘Dirty Little Secret’ and ‘Livin’ Life (On the Edge of a Knife)’? The same is true of the music that makes up the eleven tracks on the album, and the less said about the lyrics the better. While the band’s detractors have always maintained their meticulously-maintained image is indicative of their lack of credibility, the slick production of ‘Temper Temper’ does little to challenge that idea. Yes, it has style (whether or not it’s to your taste, or mine, is another matter altogether), but importantly, where’s the substance?
As the title suggests, there’s plenty of anger here, but it’s not well articulated, and there’s little to distinguish this from countless other albums by countless lesser-known bands. Formulaic to a point – half the songs sound almost exactly the same, and the other half are limp, melodic ballads – there’s a painful absence of imagination on display here, making ‘Temper Temper’ a seriously dull album.
05.Dirty Little Secret
07.Dead To The World
09.Saints n Sinners
10.Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2)
11.Livin Life (On The Edge of A Knife)
Matthew Tuck - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Michael Paget - lead guitar, backing vocals
Jason James - bass guitar, backing vocals
Michael Thomas - drums
Total: 4.5 / 10