Sound — 7
So the welsh heavy metal brigade returns with the much anticipated follow-up to their 2005 debut. Back then they stormed onto the metal uk metal scene armed to the teeth with their critically acclaimed album The Poison. Now, 3 years later do they still have what it takes to be a serious contender and earn their stripes, or as they put in one of their own songs are they "just another star that's burned out too quickly"? The answer is yes and no. The album starts of with very promisingly with the first title track kick starting into a frenzy of barrage drums and straight into a mosh-pit friendly riff with a sense of gained maturity since The Poison. Everything is spot on, with fantastic break-downs, a towering solo and instantly memorable chorus. Matts vocal style has changed slightly, he manages to sound more agressive without screaming as much, which really shows that he's grown up and understands that screaming doesnt't make a song necessarily heavier or more aggressive. There's a hint of classic metal emerging through their own sound style that, dare I say it reminds us of metallica. This same mentality goes straight on to the next song Eye of the storm which has a brilliant driving classic metal riff with some wonderful deul harmonies. there are some killer tunes here such as the mental Waking The Demon, Eye of the storm, the heartfelt Say good bye, End of days and Scream aim fire. These are songs you'll put on repeat when you listen to them. However, and this is a BIG however, for every killer song is an absoloute duffer. Halfway through the album and you'l want to eject it from your CD drive. There are some incredibly unspectacular songs, and the energy and drive fizzles out. Deliver us from evil is totally random, Dissapear sounds lik a rehashed, recycled song form the Poison with weak sing-along vocals, and Forever and Always is unbelievably cheesy and flat. As though they are running out of ideas and falling back on old tricks, towards the end it's sounds like a generic metalcore affair. A shame considering if the album does shine very brightly at times. it's a case of huge unfulfilled potential. The guitars work in perfect chemistry (evident in Waking the demon)and have wonderfull tone, however the vocals prove to be a bit of a hit and miss affair. In some songs matt opts for a aggresive/clean style (Scream aim fire, Eye of the storm), and then half way through decides to ditch them in favour of hollow unemotional "does the job" kind of vocals a la "Dissapear" and "Take it out on me". This can make things feel disjointed and inconsistent. Musically the band has evolved and their sense of dynamic has improved vastly, with Matt's brilliant sense of melody and ability to write memorable choruses immediatley evident.
Lyrics — 9
From a lyrical point of view this album shines.The lyrics a varied and relevant and don't always fall back on the same theme. it's obvious to me that Matt Tuck spent a lot of time getting his point across clearly and talks about things many can relate to. Scream Aim Fire the track, is very in your face describing the horrors of a battlefield: "Limbs are flying, men are crying, such a hurtfull sight, the call is made it's one for all, Take no prisoners!" He doesn't try to question wars or go too deep and start prattling on about his opinion, it's very much a song describing the hardships of being on the front lines. There is an awesome "Over the top"! chant during the chorus, which is a tailor-made excuse to get people to chant and punch their firts in the air at live shows to build up the atmosphere. Waking the demon tackles bullying and is about not letting people walk all over you and to stand up for yourself and unleesh your "Inner demons". The lyrics range from violence and environmental destruction to love, and even what sounds like a tribute to the fans. "Forever and always" from what I can tell is about thanking the fans for support and reassuring them that they will always be on the stage for them no matter what. Deliver us from evil, as well as being an extreemly tiresome repetitive affair of a song, also has bland lyrics to accompany it, and to this day I still don't what he's actually on about. I don't think he does either.
Overall Impression — 7
Its BFMV's ability to create their own breed of catchy yet aggressive metal that is accessible to a wider audience, from die hard metal heads to casual listener who maybe aren't into heavy music. They've outlived the metalcore tag and created their own unique blending of modern memorable metal with faster classic, almost thrashy metal. The album is a 50-50 mix of fantastic and unspectacular. They obviously have the ability and the potential to become something truly great, and this album falls just short of the mark. Maybe on their next album they will iron out their creases and build on the best parts of this album to create a true "classic."