Sound — 10
To quote the words of a local music reviewer, "F--k Avenged Sevenfold". Admittedly, perhaps that statement is a little bold, but Bullet For My Valentine are definitely one of the most important things to come out of the metal scene for quite some time, particularly in the UK. The Welsh quartet have already toured with the likes of 36 Crazyfists and Hatebreed, and are about to set off on a support slot with US metalcore giants Atreyu. So then, why all the interest after just one 5-track EP? The answer is hard to fully explain. BFMV are perhaps not the most original band in the world, but what they lack in creativity they make up for in skill, passion and songwriting ability. It may have been done before, but not like this. One listen to the self-titled EP and the comparisons to the likes of Killswitch Engage and Avenged Sevenfold are unavoidable. The chugging riffs of "Hand Of Blood" and "No Control" combine with the Inme/Lostprophets sounding "Curses" to make a wonderfully diverse and well-crafted debut. There are changes in speed and time signatures, as well as some extremely solid twin guitar work and the kind of breakdowns you'd usually associate with the metalcore genre; moments for moshing and moments for reflection in equal measure.
Lyrics — 10
Images of romance, violence and a bloody mixture of the two appear to be the order of the day here, as the band's name would suggest. Some of the lyrics do border on cliched, but only very occasionally, and this doesn't detract from the overall quality. Matt Tuck has a really emotional sounding voice, which makes countless effortless transitions between brutal screams and the Ian Watkins-like musings on "Curses". Not quite flawless, but still good enough to warrant an Excellent rating.
Overall Impression — 10
Bullet For My Valentine could quite easily appeal to fans of any of the big american metalcore bands, or perhaps fans of heavier straight metal. The great thing about Bullet For My Valentine is that tey can compare to bands like these, but still sound remarkably British and have that special quality about them. Something makes this album different to all the rest, and much the better for it. The most impressive track for me is "Cries In Vain", which contains a heart-stopping breakdown right at the very end, which changes time signatures and then comes back with a solo, reminiscent of Atreyu's outstanding "Lip Gloss And Black". I would definitely buy this album again; it only cost a fiver so it was well worth the money. I urge fans of metalcore to get out there and discover this band. Don't just go by what I've said, pick up the EP and hear it for yourself. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.