Temper TemperFeatured review by: UG Team, on february 12, 2013 12 of 18 people found this review helpful
Sound: Bullet For My Valentine's rise to the top has been rather impressive. They started as a quasi-metalcore outfit in rural Wales many years ago, built a following, injected a thrash edge on 2008's "Scream Aim Fire" and eventually found their stride as serviceable metal hitmakers who play to thousands every night. They've shown sharp songwriting in fits and starts but never made an LP of real quality. Nonetheless, in a few instances over the years they've offered some explanation as to why they're one of the most popular names from the new stock of British metal bands. No such luck here. "Temper Temper" is a toothless, unimaginative bore of an album with all the character of a paper plate. Couldn't say it's a great deal heavier, either.
All the pieces are in place for a commercial metal album – surging opener "Breaking Point", stomping lead single "Temper Temper", heart-wrenching follow-up "P.O.W." and rocking party anthem "Riot". Melodic vocals with the odd scream, chuggy riffs with a few old-school ones, peaks and troughs in all the usual places. It ticks all the boxes but unfortunately it seems as if those boxes came straight out of a page from Metal for Beginners and the band's creative ambition didn't stretch any further than that.
Writing it off entirely would be unfair; "Livin' Life" is an effective and enjoyable return to their older sound, the soloing shines on highlight "Dead To The World", and there are bits and pieces of good riffing or vocal writing scattered about elsewhere. Nothing to write home about, though, for anyone who's heard this stuff done before. // 4
Lyrics and Singing: We get some attitude in the lyrics though; boy, do we get some attitude. It's hard to believe frontman Matt Tuck turned 33 this year because at times his lyrics read like the diary of a 13 year-old Pantera fan with ADHD. An impressive total of 5 songs are about getting really angry, and three of them warn the listener not to push his buttons, or else. He doesn't mention locking himself in his room or refusing to eat his greens but the threat is implicit. When he's not strutting his stuff on the playground, Matt's got a bone to pick with a lady friend. "Tears Don't Fall (Part 2)" is a thematic reprise of their 2006 hit, but 7 years hasn't done much to help his articulation. The quality on offer across the album is best illustrated with a selection of quotes:
"Run mother--ker, it's time to hide, go bury yourself in a grave of lies."
"That's headache taste on the tip of my tongue."
"Your invitation... IT DOESN'T EXIST."
Because of lyrics like these, even the brighter musical moments struggle to get off the ground. It's a real shame. // 3
Impression: Maybe I'm being harsh here. Besides the lack of bottom end the thing is slickly produced and, although predictable, the songs are nice enough. But that's the problem; even at the more commercial end of the metal spectrum there can't be too much room for 'nice' and that's exactly what "Temper Temper" is despite its best efforts. Difficult to recommend with any enthusiasm.
mpedara429, on february 28, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Temper Temper" is the fourth full length album from Welsh metal band, Bullet For My Valentine (BFMV). After a full playthrough of this album, the term "metal" may be getting used very loosely. In the past, Bullet For My Valentine was known for mixing 80s thrash metal with modern metal/hardcore. You could easily find hardcore chugging sections, face-melting solos, punishingly quick drum beats, raw and gritty vocals, all tied up in a neat melodic package. The band's raw talent and technicality really shined through for their first two albums, The "Poison" and "Scream Aim Fire". Their sound has changed quite drastically in the past few years first seen on "Fever" and continuing on with "Temper Temper". The overall feel is a more commercial, neutered sound.
Now polish for a popular band doesn't need to always be a bad thing. Unfortunately for BFMV, they have failed to execute with their desire for polish. A big thing I've noticed on this album is the lack of thrash elements and overuse of slow sections. I will say that some of the riffs are great like the beginning of the opening track, "Breaking Point". The pre verse to title track "Temper Temper" is also pretty nifty with the pinch harmonics, but then all things must come to an end as these songs lead into slow paced verses. This is basically the story of the whole album. Also, I totally get that these guys can play guitar, but the whole "intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus" song structure is way too predictable now. Replace the solo with a cheap bridge section for the even more lackluster songs on the album. // 5
Lyrics and Singing: By far, this is the low point of the album. Matt Tuck is a shameful lyricist and his voice seems to keep dwindling as years go by. Less screaming means nothing to me. Lots of bands do it, but they are progressing in a forward direction and maintaining their "essence", as I like to call it. These guys are moving backwards and have lost their sound or "essence". There is a major lack of emotion with all vocals on this album. There is just no conviction in Tuck's lyrics and voice. This never used to be the case. His lyrics haven't ever been top notch, but they were convincing and stronger in the past. Not here on "Temper Temper".
Let's just say that Tuck was singing his heart out and that there were well placed screams, would this album be any better? The answer is "No". Tuck's lyrics are so juvenile and blatant, you would think they came out of an 8th grade English classroom from some bitter teen. Especially bad are "Dirtly Little Secrets" and "Riot". Total ripoffs of the respective All-American Rejects and Three Days Grace songs. The only difference is that those songs were originals and lyrics are expected to be more cliche in the mainstream rock genres. Here are some lyric examples below for a good laugh:
"WARNING! Eye for an eye! You won't see it coming"
"Truth Hurts and I'm in pain, Truth hurts like a bed of nails"
"Temper Temper time to explode, it feel so good when I lose control"
"Hey Leech! No longer will you suck my blood"
"So answer me, please talk to me... Obsession, rejection" // 1
Impression: So the music is tolerable, the lyrics are not. The two culprits here are vocalist, Matt Tuck, and producer, Don Gilmore. As previously mentioned, Tuck should basically be thrown out of the band to let the rest of the dudes show their real colors. On the other hand, Gilmore made this album so sterile. Distortion for the rhythm guitar is way too clean. In general, the album feels light and the overall pace is too slow for BFMV. These guys have put out some real anthems in the past like "Waking The Demon", "Scream Aim Fire", and "4 Words To Choke Upon". They haven't even come close to that former greatness on "Temper Temper".
For hardcore BFMV fans I can barely recommend this album as it is not a good representation of the band. For new listeners, it is still extremely hard to recommend this album as it lacks emotion. I can't really think of what type of music listener would actually want to listen to this. Too lame and light for a metalhead, and not commercial enough for the casual listener. // 3
BcRichRocker1, on february 28, 2013 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is pretty much the definition of selling out. Bullet has the potential to write almost any genre of music, but I'm not sure what they were going for here. The album is rather shallow and lacks in the fullness we look for in bullet albums. Some songs such as "Truth Hurts" and "Temper Temper" have hints of their classic sound, but the rest of the album really misses the mark. If there's one thing Bullet is good at, it is making an album with 1-3 big hit songs, and the rest of the album is filled with decent songs. This album seemed to be filled with "okay" songs.
On a separate note, the overall quality of the mix of the album is rather poor as well. The album greatly lacks in low end... And the band made a few small mistakes as well, which they should have re-recorded but obviously were just concerned about finishing the album and releasing it as fast as possible without worrying about the quality of it. Not one of their past albums has this problem. The album ultimately sounds as if a Bullet tribute band wrote songs that sound like Bullet but aren't as awesome as Bullet. // 6
Lyrics and Singing: The real issue with this album (in my opinion) is that they released "Riot" as the first single. The song was extremely lazy, to say the least. Sure, it was somewhat catchy, but who could get passed the oh so creative chorus, "Riot, Woah." This song caused die hard fans to ultimately question the albums quality, and making them far less likely to give the other songs a chance. Many reviews of this album attack the lyrics, however, song songs have decent lyrics and other have not so good lyrics. "Truth Hurts" has some very classic BFMV lyrics with a lot of emotion involved. The chorus really stands out to me "Truth hurts and I'm in pain, Truth hurts like a bed of nails, Letting denial eat me up inside, The truth hurts, and it bleeds me dry." Lets be real, most people whether they are a high school kid or an 80 year old lady has been unhappy with the truth, so this song is universally profound. Other songs such as "Tears Don't Fall Part II", confuse and disappoint me. When it started off with "Lets go again!" I could only help but think... Really? It was just cheesy and lame, but the rest of the song was alright. Definitely not even close to the art they made when writing the original song. Other songs such as "Temper Temper" have some great lyrics mixed with some... Not so great and very confusing lyrics. Lines such as "Take a breath, hold it in your lungs" are memorable and possibly quotable, but then are followed by the line "Being from rage, will it overcome?" which doesn't really make sense to me and especially doesn't make sense with the inflection in Matt's voice.
Speaking of Matt's voice... It holds up to the same standards as every other BFMV album. His screams are as good as always, and the singing stays on key without the use of auto-tune, like many modern-day "artists" love to use. However, I did notice that the bassist didn't do any screaming really in this album, which separates it from all of their past albums and strays from the typical Bullet sound that fans know and love. Overall, the lyrics and melodies of this album aren't really the main problem in my opinion; it's the lack of awesomeness (for lack of a better word). // 7
Impression: Despite all of the terrible reviews, and the clearly questionable quality of this album, I urge true bullet fans to give "Truth Hurts" and maybe even "Temper Temper" a chance. Hopefully these songs can revive this album. I wasn't impressed by anything from this album really, it just added a few songs to the list of Bullet songs I could listen to.
If this album were stolen from me, I would track down the thief and hand them "The Poison" and tell them that they stole the wrong album.
But really, if this album were stolen from me, I would probably go out and buy the deluxe version (Seeing as Best Buy boned me by only selling the original album, and then when I walked into FYE I see the deluxe album for the same price that I paid for the original at Best Buy.) Also, I believe that if Matt just released the song "Cold" (from his side project with Axewound) on this album, the album would have that sense of completion that the dedicated BFMV fans are looking for.
Overall, I don't recommend that anyone goes out and buys this album if they are looking to be wowed, because this isn't the album for you. If you are looking to add a few more songs to your playlist, then by all means, go out and buy it. // 7
MetalSlayerLADC, on february 28, 2013 2 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: I have been a massive fan of Bullet For My Valentine for many years now, they were one of the first Heavy Metal bands I was introduced to and I have had the privilege of seeing them live a number of times. Matt's voice, despite having had problems, performance-wise, in the past, is on top form with James harmonizing beautifully throughout the CD while also delivering the harsh vocals that have made BFMV so recognizable.
The guitar work on the album is spot-on and another signature BFMV trait. Melodic solos along with Padge's shredding techniques makes the new album a powerfully guitar riddled album. Padge's approach to soloing at first appears slightly different from the other BFMV albums however is not difficult to get used to. A mixture of new techniques as well as a lot of more irregular tempos adds the variety that makes this album so different from the others. Guitar riff fanatics will not be disappointed with this album as they are thrown into the technical ecstasy of listening to the opening riffs of songs such as "Truth Hurts" and "Dirty Little Secret". Bullet even throw in some powerful semi-ballads with songs such as "Dead To The World" and (arguably) "P.O.W." where a familiar Bullet style of more ballad seeps through with emotion and gets the sing-out-loud aspect that many music lovers crave for.
Moose's playing style on this album is as tight as on all the other albums playing perfectly tight rhythmic grooves. Especially with the like of songs like Leech where a mixture of underlying bass lines and more groove tom-tom orientated drum beats makes the song the more of the "Party Song" that BFMV intended, mentioned in their track-by-track interview with Metal Hammer. This may be criticized as one of the bands pitfalls with this album as many Bullet fans have been caught off guard with the slight change in style. It is true that this album was probably anticipated to be a lot heavier and a lot of high expectations where held for songs like "Tears Don't Fall Part 2". BFMV can be seen to have let their fans down on that aspect by delivering an album that misses the razor-sharp, gritty and incredibly powerful aspect that seemed to be delivered in copious amounts on their previous albums. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: Matt Tuck and Jason James have always caught me in a state of awe as the two deliver amazing vocal lines. Tuck suffered vocal difficulties a number of years before however as in live performances where this is more evident, the album is pitch perfect and the lyrical content is as powerful as any other Bullet For My Valentine.
Lyrical content in this album is a lot darker and powerful and as we are thrown into the opening track "Breaking Point" with the typical BFMV feel we've been anticipating from the new album. Tinted with bloody yet romantic implications and constant reference to poison and anger is, in my opinion, what BFMV has always been, is and will always be about. "Breaking Point" is filled with violence and blood and the vocal delivery of each line is as gritty and powerful as old Bullet songs like "Fever", "Your Betrayal" and "Room 409" (delivered with slightly less hatred and power as "Room 409"). The slight absence of screaming is more noticeable in the following two tracks as "Temper Temper" delivers very similar violent imagery (which could be slightly monotonous) while "Truth Hurts" talks of the danger of Drink and Drugs. Suicidal connotations makes the song very heart felt and emotional as well as having the eerie vocals during the bridge and the perfect harmonization from Jay during the chorus makes the song recognizably one of my favourites. The song according to Bullet was mostly written or created by Padge and intended to look at personal habits and how while some things you may do "might not be cool" but you accept as a character flaw. "Truth Hurts" acts as one of those great songs that could reflect anything really and the sentiment involved could change with person. "P.O.W." defies the rules of Metal while remaining true to the BMFV fell. While tempos, chord changes and melodies may not be true to the Metal genre BFMV find a way to make it work. "Dirty Little Secret" is an instant great song that can be pictured being a fan favorite for live performances. The song instantly shows BFMV traits with all the sexy connotations and brings back the era of the "Poison" album where sexual and romantic metal really worked for the band. "Leech" is an instant dark lyrical song and talks of Bullet's hatred towards the annoying people in life who "latch" onto the band much like a leech. Lyrical contents within this song are the more dark and powerful and if it were to be criticized the thing to be said about the song is how such dark lyrics can contrast against much lighter musical backing. "Dead To The World" is one of the most powerful song on the Album and is the first collaboration since Benji's (Skindred) appearance on "Take It Out" (as far as I can remember this is the second BFMV collaboration but don't quote me on that (if anyone can think of any others please feel free to comment)). Chris Jericho of Fozzy co-wrote this powerfully complex song vocally and musically. Tuck claims Jericho helped in creating meaning in a song as they began struggling after having written twelve songs. "Riot", a song pre-released before the actual albums released, has, after several listening, never gotten old in my head. A powerfully delivered song and a clear future live favorite. "Saints And Sinners" is a more meaningful song with a powerful morale that reinforces the Carpe Diem ideology and has a definite Metallica ring to it. "Tears Don't Fall Part 2", a definite widely anticipated song by the fans who helped create the song in the Facebook poll that decided on which song to remake as a part 2. Lyrically the song reflects on its predecessor, even with a number of identical lines or ideological themes. As to whether the song became successful or not... only time will tell. The final song, "Livin' Life On The Edge Of A Knife" is a pretty self-explanatory song, lyrically as well as musically. One of the heaviest riffs can be heard on this song and an anecdote Tuck tells on his Track-By-Track interview is how the song was written quickly on a relaxed beer-infected day in-between recording sessions which can be reflected in the song by the simplistic, yet heavy and powerful, musical content.
The two live bonus tracks on the special edition where highlights that swayed me into pre-ordering the album (signed I'm also proud to add) and while BFMV are well known for Matt's vocals especially after his throat problem which left him, not note-for-note perfect but still pretty amazing, the live tracks are bound to excite people who have seen the band live before. "Whole Lotta Rosie" – an AC/DC cover – being the most unusual choice, actually turned out to be the better of the two live songs bringing the special BFMV sound to an AC/DC rock'n'roll song. "Scream Aim Fire" live is equally as powerful capturing the power of BFMV's energy onstage. // 9
Impression: The album may not have lived up to the expectation of the fans however it is hard to find flaws in its powerful lyrical and technical content. While the album is not the heaviest of BFMV's work it is still one of the best, in my opinion. Of course this differs in everyone's opinion as I've seen in many other reviews who have criticized the album thoroughly, I, on the other hand, cannot find much fault in this musical masterpiece. The major flaw I found within the album was "Tears Don't Fall Part 2". The song didn't quite live up to my expectations musically. Lyrically the song hit my high expectations however after a heavy "Part 1" I felt the newest addition to BFMV's set list lacked in the power and grit of "Tears Don't Fall Part 1". "Dead To The World" was definitely a major highlight of the album with powerful guitar solos and lyrical emotion. While the album was criticized hugely in other reviews I find it hard to criticize the album being such a big fan of BFMV. While the album isn't the best to introduce to new fans, the fans who currently exist are bound to stay loyal and I feel the fans can hold high expectations for future BFMV tours. // 8