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Bullet For My Valentine – Scream Aim Fire

Label: Sony BMG Music
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Like Trivium, it is clear that the UK’s Bullet For My Valentine as well has learned from the classic thrash masters Metallica, Testament, Megadeth, Exodus, Overkill, and Anthrax and the album’s title track features this growth with traditional thrash riffing and more singing than the metalcore screaming and whining Bullet started out playing. Good placement of those screams accent the chorus well. It’s nice to hear this change and progression in the music (I was never a fan of the debut) and yet you can hear the influence from the modern sounds of the millennium metal Shadows Fall play.

“Eye Of The Storm” follows the title track well with plenty of energy and borrows riffing/arrangement ideas from Jeff Waters (Annihilator). We have continuity two songs in. Good work guys. Clean guitars add dynamics and melody to “Hearts Burst Into Fire” and I hear so much of Gus G (Firewind) in those leads. “Waking The Demon” gallops along from those quick drums and rapid fire riffs, the breakdown for the chorus is very melodic in the vocal and music. I like how before the guitar solo the energy level and harder guitars are brought back. Iron Maiden twin harmonies are splashed in “Disappear”.

I really wanted to like the whole album but the second half is where it goes down hill, unfortunately. “Deliver Us From Evil” and “Take It Out On Me” is a return of the more whiny metalcore sound complete with lame riffs and vocals heard on the debut “The Poison”. Clean guitars return to open the balladesque “Say Goodnight” which I think would be pretty darn good if the harsh vocal wasn’t thrown in for no reason which completely ruined the flow. An influence from Shadows Fall is injected into the riffing for “End of Days”. The forceful angry Machine Head type vocal returns for some lines in “Last To Know” yet balanced out by the semi dueting more melodic voice.

If the first half of “Scream Aim Fire” is a sign of what is to come, then Bullet’s future is looking to be pretty good. Hopefully they will continue in this more traditional thrash direction because they are onto something. I am looking for more consistency in style next time around.

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