Bullet for My Valentine return to roots

All too often when an artist blows up in popularity, they get caught in a groove that restrains their musical output. Their songs do not take the risks that were once taken, and although the music is not bad, it does not have that edge that was once present in their older material. Luckily, not all artists fall into this trap—some make active efforts to avoid it.

One act who has done an excellent job of doing exactly this is Bullet for My Valentine, a foursome from Wales who know how to make some exquisite metal music. The band is currently on tour supporting their fifth album, “Venom,” one that returns them to their roots and was one of metal’s best albums of last year.

Lead singer Matt Tuck said that this time in the studio, the band had a set goal going in: “We were trying to recapture what it was like when we were first starting, super hungry and super ready to hit the stage.” He continued, “It’s hard to recapture that angst. We’re not broke anymore, and amazing as it is, it sometimes dilutes who you are. This time around, we wanted to get back that heavy metal edge. That’s what we were going for.”

The product that came out of their last album recording, “Venom,” packs a punch that hits harder and longer than many of their previous records. While previous albums have songs that crescendo to a roar by the chorus, the songs on “Venom” go from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds.

In “No Way Out,” there is not even a chance to breathe before thumping double bass drums and riotous guitar riffs take over. The same effect is in place in other album highlights “Army of Noise,” which promises exactly what the title teases, as well as one of many songs that gives the effect of a sudden burst of energy, “Broken.” All in all, the band does an amazing job in “Venom,” creating a phenomenal metal album that makes you want to go run a marathon because of its nonstop craziness from beginning to end.

In order to achieve this sound that they aim for in the studio, the band pulls from a wide range of sources for inspiration. One might think that musicians are immune to guilty pleasure artists, but even Bullet for My Valentine enjoy the inescapable hair metal of the eighties. Tuck says that the development of their sound is something that happened early on and has stayed pretty consistent over the years: “It’s something that happened in the bands infancy. The influences varied from Slayer to Def Leppard. We were all always into super heavy music but were suckers for that arena rock like Def Leppard and Bon Jovi so we incorporated a bit of that as well.”

This sound that they developed so early on worked wonders for the band, as their first album was critically acclaimed and garnered them spots on tours with massive artists such as Iron Maiden and Metallica. All of the tours they were a part of in their beginning stages were important for reasons other than one might expect, Tuck said: “All of the high profile tours showed us how to act off the stage. Knowing what to say, what not to say. Touring with Iron Maiden especially, behind the scenes is super normal. No egos at all. It is not what you expect sometimes but we learned to be who you are offstage, offstage.”

Though “Venom” was released last May, the band has shown no signs of slowing down. They are currently on a yearlong tour going everywhere imaginable, including a headlining show Feb. 21 at The Pageant. With support from the two metalcore bands, While She Sleeps and Asking Alexandria, it is evident that it will be a night of superb acts that should appease any fan of heavy music.