Venom review by Bullet for My Valentine

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  • Released: Aug 14, 2015
  • Sound: 4
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 4.3 Poor
  • Users' score: 7.1 (140 votes)
Bullet for My Valentine: Venom
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Sound — 4
"Venom" is the fifth album by long-running teenage soap opera Bullet For My Valentine. After the absolutely disastrous "Temper Temper," Matt Tuck and co. have spent all that time in between writing their new record with an aim to bring back a certain amount of aggression and a style similar to their first two records "The Poison" and "Scream Aim Fire."

They've certainly pulled off the latter, but the former must surely have been a bit of media fluff, as this album is anything but an aggressive piece. It's actually an interesting mini-history lesson listening to this album: here we have a band who were incredibly popular around the 2005-2006 era, playing mid-2000's melodic metalcore, only now, they're a 2006 band playing 2015 melodic metalcore and the biggest evolution that this band has caught up with? Yeah, that's right, MORE BREAKDOWNS.

It doesn't do much to bang on about said musical device, but considering this record is supposed to be a sign of their renewed strength, all they're doing is rehashing everything that they've done before. The songs all blend together, save one or two odd ones out, and the ever present whine of Matt Tuck's archetypal singing voice has done nothing to alleviate any outright dislike for it.

Out of the eleven tracks on this album, just three of them bring any sort of freshness in ideas to the table. "Army of Noise" is without a doubt, the best song on the album, and that's because it is entirely unlike the other tracks. It has drive, it has just the right song-writing flow and movement, the vocal performance and lyrical theme are actually not terrible and the dual solo is an exercise in good ol' by-the-book-ness. The title tracks first minute and a half is also really strong, as it evokes the same sort of feel that The Contortionist brought with their own relatively recent release "Language." It had the potential, at any rate, but it still ends up being a mid-tempo slog. And "Hell or High Water" is a slightly worse version of "Army of Noise," in that it takes a while to pick itself up. One could argue for "Pariah" to be included, but instead of generic metalcore, it's generic thrash, which is almost as egregious.

Every other piece is very much a watered down call back to "The Poison," but without any of the unhinged chagrin that gave "The Poison" a certain spice. Yeah, it's not as bad as "Temper Temper" but in the same respect, UKIP isn't quite as bad as the BNP, although both are still provably awful.

Lyrics — 5
As mentioned, Matt Tuck tries his best to ruin it for everybody (unless you're really into his vocal style, in which case, I'm sure your joy will remain un-ruined).

Said without malice, but even so, much like the definition of venom itself, his vocal performances just crowd absolutely everything in their presence until you give into the impression his vocals force upon you. It really is a case of having something stuck repeating itself forever in your head while simultaneously really, really wishing it wasn't.

Does he give a bad performance? No, it's strong on all fronts, both clean and harsh vocals. But the amount of forced conviction in his performance makes the lyrical content feel all the more repulsive.

And here we have the biggest contention anybody would have with this album (or band in general, if you're feeling petty), and that's the "I've just grown pubes, listen to me be an adult" lyrical concepts that have pervaded the band's image, history and to a lesser extent, genre since their first release. Even the album title feels like a contrivance, as if they wanted to really hammer home the idea that, yes, we're absolutely certain that we want to bring back 2005 again.

Amazingly cringe inducing lines like "Tell my why I feel like there's no way out/Trying hard to heal as the pain pours out" and other such person-centric, teenage-ego driven lines coerce an eye-rolling reaction. And honestly, the temptation to really rag on about these things is frankly embarrassing so let's move on.

Overall Impression — 4
If this album were to have been released five years ago, it would've been on the top of the game... as it sounds just as relevant to five years ago, to be honest. This album relies on throwbacks as much as an about-to-be-tackled rugby player, so much so that it really makes a person wonder how BFMV even managed to get off of the ground in the first place.

It's not the worst they've done but it's nothing close to the best, while their best was never super strong to begin with. It's an album by a band who want to bring back their old fans (who are all in their mid 20's by now surely), aiming to move away from previous failures but conversely, never aiming for anything higher.

Songs to look out for: "Army of Noise."

83 comments sorted by best / new / date

    cemerson2012
    this album is far better than the review would lead on IMO
    shelovemyguitar
    I feel like the biggest problem about this review/reviewer, appart from the lack of respect, is that he isn't stating his opinion, he's writes objectively. Reading this it seems like he believes he's absolutely right about what he says and that this album is crap but reading the comments it seems to me like this album is pretty legit, depending on your tastes obviously... Bad reviewer, bad review. I don't understand how this was accepted by U-G but by the amount of bad content they've been putting out on the news section I'm not sure if I should be surprised...
    Riggin22
    This was a great album in my opinion also, I have loved all of their albums simply because I was a fan since Jeff Killed John, and on top of that, if I wanna listen to Bullet, I listen to Bullet, and I don't judge their sound. EVERY BAND experiments and changes sounds a bit. They had Temper Temper with barely any screams what so ever and I still enjoyed it. But that's me though, I'm a true die hard fan.
    AnotherArsonist
    Still, I feel like they've constantly moved backwards (musically and trough puberty) from The Poison (which I really, really loved). There's the occasional pearl but, all in all, they've become incredibly embarassing.
    MetalRock4ever
    Wow, surprised at the hate. I thought this album was much stronger than Temper Temper (and even then, Temper Temper was a weaker album for BFMV, but it still had good songs. It wasn't disastrous in my opinion). The guitars were used a lot more than before, and better, I'd say, as well as the bass. Genuinely surprised at how poorly it's been received.
    Minivirus2
    When the reviewer all but says he's never liked the band, he probably shouldn't be chosen to review the album. I'll give you the lyrics. They've always been weak, but the rest? Seriously? If it was five years ago the album would be considered good? What is that? Undeserved hate because they went back to a sound they began with. Just dumb.
    michielgeleyn
    I thought reviews should be objective? This is just bashing on a band that the writer hates... Yes I'm a big fan of the bfmv, a very big fan, but it's not a problem if you criticize an album or band, but why al that disrespect? Is it that hard just to say that you don't like it but leave the pleasure for people that actually do like the album? Metal is turning to shit, with all these "true" metalheads or people always bashing on bands... Metalheads are always complaining: "uh, don't criticize my dicisions, have respect for my choices and blablabla" but most metalheads never have respect for other's choices :') P.s. sorry for my english.
    Muser9909
    I Hate "True" Metal fags, they don't have respect for the choices of the others and they are stupid because they think Heavy, Thrash, Black and Death Metal are the best in the music and the other is shit and posser. Since 2010 i've saw a lot of fags of them and they keep going these stupid comments.
    michielgeleyn
    Yes indeed, you know I'm not really into hardcore or deathcore and stuff like that but you know if people like that, let them have fun with it, I am not going to say things like "Ew deathcore is not real metal, blablabla" but I will say things like: "Good for you that you like it, it's not my cup of tea but if you like it, enjoy it" And this is the feeling I have with this review. The reviewer just wants to be too cool if you know what I mean, like he wants to be the elite of reviers...
    Silver Blues
    Definitely not as bad as the review suggests. I even like the really pronounced thrash vibe of "Army of Noise".
    ryan.mcguigan95
    Tell us how you really feel about Bullet... As soon as I read "Teenage soap opera Bullet For My Valentine", it was apparent that this was gonna be a negative review from someone that has a pre-existing dislike of the band. Should probably pick someone a bit more neutral to review the album properly.
    MrFixIt
    Why is cool to shit on this band? They're are kind of cool and Matt Tuck is a really down to earth & nice guy. I don't get it.
    Cazman
    How does it make his music better if he is down to earth and nice?
    MrFixIt
    I've never said that makes his music better, where did you read that? All i'm saying is; if the music is great and the guys are nice, why hate them? Just because some journalist says so? nah...
    Priad-Luabe
    Got to be 'in' with the 'cool' crowd to make 'good' music though, else it's just shit that gets slated before given a chance
    jazzblstallica
    Whoever reviewed this is a self righteous c**t.
    AnotherArsonist
    He is. But he's also kinda right. I loved The Poison but from there on, they just became more and more embarassing. It's like they move backwards through puberty.
    GenerationKILL
    I didn't like this album. But I especially don't like EpiExplorer's dickish, elitist smarm all over it's review either. So much for "unbiased journalism."
    mp8andrade
    Now that's a childish review. If you're clearly not into Metalcore why bother reviewing a Metalcore album? And no, they're definitely not a 2006 band playing 2015 Metalcore. UG should feel ashamed of having such incompetent reviewers.
    jheavey5
    This review is stupid. In fact, any review that doesn't review an album for WHAT IT IS, rather than what its not, is dumb. "...album is anything but an aggressive piece." hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Have you listened to it? this just bugs me cause we shit on bands that do good things in metal.
    Priad-Luabe
    any review of anything in general that doesn't review what it is but what it's not, should be disregarded
    Karlsteel
    What can anyone take from such a self-indulgent review? This critique tells me nothing about the album other than the reviewer was never going to want to like it anyway. I thought UG vetted their reviewers? Should probably remove this to be honest, because it's not so much a review as a blog post from someone who probably isn't even old enough to remember 2006 metalcore. It just serves to discredit this site, which is, for the most part, a very good and reliable source for opinion. For the record, I love The Poison, the last two albums have been mostly utter rubbish and this one is a very big step in the right direction.Starting from a neutral position is the only way to review a record, and I'd say it's a definite 7 - the music and vocals are good, the lyrics let it down.
    thanno1
    Im usually not a fan of BFMV. I just saw them live, and they kicked ass though. As far as the album, I bought it, I loved it. Reviews are almost always worthless reading. Ill make my own opinion on things like music, art, and literature.
    michielgeleyn
    "After the absolutely disastrous Temper Temper" I mean give me a break, I liked the album, others liked it. It is not that bad you know if people don't like it fine, but have soms ****ing respect. I don't see the reviewer writing better music, otherwise he wouldn't do reviews on UG...
    MyUserName777
    The album isn't THAT bad. You'd think it was only marginally better than Temper Temper. I'm not surprised though coming from UG where any metal that isn't innovating whether it be thrash, death, or prog is considered trash. Next time get a reviewer that will come in with an unbiased opinion and refrain from shit talking. His disdain for the genre certainly comes through in the review.
    vppark2
    Yeah, I think Sam Mendez does a good enough job in his reviews, knowing that he reviews most of the stuff in the same genre as well.
    tonello
    I totally stopped reading when he said "UKIP isn't quite as bad as the BNP, although both are still provably awful." Whether you like an album or not, lets try to leave politics out of it. You just end up looking like an *******.
    symmetryerased
    Never heard most of it some tracks are good some are not but this is not how you rate. You sure you're not confused with rate and rant?
    daumantas.bagdo
    Seems like UG hates every new album. Reviewer just wanted to show how he hates BFMV. Very unprofessional review.
    ryzxh98
    pathetic review, the writer is clearly a biased elitist. the album deserves at least a 6.5 or 7
    khalid47
    if u want to hear screamy shit go listen to lamb of god or other stuff like that with al doo respect to those bands this is bfmv and the album is really great so go **** yourself
    Fakke12
    First of all, why the hell you guys say Temper Temper is not good and doesn't sound like BFMV? If you show a music from Temper Temper and another from Poison to someone who hasn't listen to the songs before, he wouldn't see the difference. You guys just say that because you don't like the album, but there's a great difference between something you don't like and somethins that's bad. To continue, who said to this guy that he's a reviewer? Just to start, offensive words doesn't make it seens funny, just make people think that you don't know what you're doing. And the worst part is his contradictions. First you criticize Temper Temper for being too far from BFMV original sound, and then criticizes Venom for being too similar to BFMV original sound. That makes no sense. So I think that the "reviewer" wrote all this stuff because he hated the album, and was just he was just put all his anger in the review. So please, "reviewer" try to be more impartial in the next review. (If I wrote something wrong, don't use this to invalidate my argument. Sorry, English is not my native language)
    vppark2
    Your English was excellent, and I give you props for writing that long of a paragraph.
    vppark2
    Bs review as always from Epi. Like could you sound any more biased? Using language such as "generic trash" doesn't make you look like a reviewer. Granted, I have done the same for when I reviewed Escape The Fate's last album over a year ago, but I have lived and learned, and at least they have talent in some places. This is easily their best since SAF, and I enjoy the thrash influences they took from it. Guitar work is also great, and while the lyrics aren't anything new, it's at least better than what they have done before. UG team should prob kick Epi off. Js.
    HardRock369
    You trash this guy on every single review he posts as if your reviews of all those br00tal core albums are Rolling Stone worthy. I'm going to get banned for this cause you kiss up to the mods hard but whatever, find a new hobby dude. His reviews aren't great, but yours aren't either, and they obviously aren't firing him for you no matter how many times you flame his posts
    vppark2
    Never claimed that my reviews were "Rolling Stone worthy" or that they're great. And since when did I kiss up to the mods? I'm just tired of seeing UG choose a guy who is barely capable or writing a review when they could have someone unbiased like Sam writing this. I don't trash him on every review either, so I'm not sure where you're getting that from. This review is just the worst, and the fact that 8/13 people found the review helpful makes me lose faith in humanity.
    HardRock369
    Look I'm not getting into a big drawn out thing, if I read 5 Epi reviews, chances are your name is there bashing him. I've seen you trash him on multiple reviews, to do that to peers in your own field is pretty sad, especially if your work is of the same quality or worse. And if you're trying to campaign for someone else, personally I think this is a poor way of doing it. I'm sure you wouldn't be appreciative of someone flaming you on a regular basis, and possibly leaving you negative votes on your work. That's all I have to say.
    vppark2
    With that logic, what if BFMV cared for how people think about them? What would they say if they read this review? All of the hard work they've done has basically gone in the gutter according to 'musical expert' EpiExplorer.
    EyesWideOpen
    I detected no bias. He simply didn't like the album.
    vppark2
    As I stated, it's some of the language he uses. "I've just grown pubes, listen to me be an adult" was the face palm worthy part though.
    shadow900
    I dislike your review your bashing it cause it sounds like typical metalcore like on the poison which what they originally started with. I love the fact they tried different sorts of styles over the years to hone there skills and such and Venom is there best effort since the poison it combines the trashy side of SAF and melodic side Fever its a great release and expect nothingless from bullet
    khalid47
    i dont know what to call it in loving memories (ft.synyster gates) but hey really great song and good solo from michael padget \m/ i dont give a flying f$^5 about this review the album rocks
    eduardo-16
    They are my favorite band since I know them, but, yeah, some people don't like their style, just give respect to the ones who like 'em
    jman99
    Shitty review but I like the album I guess. Not a fan of these guys but it had a few nice riffs here and there.
    khalid47
    im listening right now broken worthless,pariah,in loving memories everything rocks \m/
    HavokStrife
    I dunno, didn't you shit on the new Lamb of God CD too? Saying 512 is "skippable," but IMO, it's one of, if not the best song on it. And bringing up The Contortionist as they're an awesome band to hold a standard to just solidifies that I'll be checking out the album and making my own opinion of it..
    khalid47
    really great record i feel the bfmv back after the last two records,really great vocals and guitars 9.5/10
    varg_vikerne
    album could be better. i think old Bullets are not coming back. But i slightly enjoy the new record. It's shame that best tracks are the bonus tracks (except "army of noise" and "you want a battle...")
    Cavalcade
    So many kiddies that need to look up big words like "bias"... Look. Everyone loves to say music is totally subjective, but it's not. There is good music, and there is bad music, in every genre. There are standards that people can use to judge music. Does the structure make sense? Are the melodies catchy? Does it do anything interesting and fresh, or has it all been done better before? This review covers those. There's some degree of subjectivity, obviously. I liked those songs more than the reviewer did, for example. But a reviewer's job is to cover the parts that aren't subjective, and this review did that. Like, those lyrics? Objectively awful. And to me, nothing kills an album, even a decent one like this, more than bad lyrics. So now I know to avoid it. I shouldn't have to spell all this out. It should already be common sense, but nooooo.
    Fakke12
    Have you read your words after posting it? Do you really think writing stuff like "As mentioned, Matt Tuck tries his best to ruin it for everybody (unless you're really into his vocal style, in which case, I'm sure your joy will remain un-ruined)" is being objective? It's just a guy trying to be funny.
    Cavalcade
    So what you're getting at is that tone is more important than content? Cuz if that's true, I'm not sure you get the point of reviews... I see a lot of people complaining about tone, and not so many about content.
    Fakke12
    Again, try to read what you write after posting. You said that the tone of the review was objective. You were also writing about the tone. So I think we can write about this too. And also, the tone isn't the only thing that I criticized. See my comment below, the contradictions of the reviewer are worst than his tone.
    vppark2
    He may have covered it, but in a very unprofessional way. When you review something, you try your best to not sound one sided, as much as you may think the music is bad. And he came off like that most of the time.
    Cavalcade
    Let's be real: if the worst you can say about a review is that you don't like the tone, that's a pretty solid review.
    mp8andrade
    "to anyone saying the lyrics are generic, I have brain cancer, and these lyrics speak to me on a spiritual level. **** you" - taken from a comment on the lyric video for No Way Out. Is it still objectively awful?
    joshisawesome12
    Don't like BFMV, the review was definitely pretty bad, but it doesn't make the album good. The guitar is definitely over produced, and it's pretty cookie cutter to my ears.
    www.tobz321
    This album is complete and utter shit. I feel like i've herd it 1000 times before. Theres nothing "new" about this album. This bands long time dead.
    MetalRock4ever
    Same logic could be applied to Breaking Benjamin. Honestly, their new album sounded like their older stuff a bit too much, in my opinion. But people (mainly fans) still love them. I listened to Venom, and honestly, I wasn't sure if most would fit on the Poison album. It sounded different (not copy and pasted material generally) which is good. They've used their more recent material and combined it with old BFMV, which is great.
    TheMattGusta
    It's all a matter of preference. I loved Dark Before Dawn yet I loathe Venom for similar reasons. The reviewer was a bit harsh on this record, though.
    JamSessionFreak
    And here we have the biggest contention anybody would have with this album (or band in general, if you're feeling petty), and that's the "I've just grown pubes, listen to me be an adult" lyrical concepts that have pervaded the band's image, history and to a lesser extent, genre since their first release. Even the album title feels like a contrivance, as if they wanted to really hammer home the idea that, yes, we're absolutely certain that we want to bring back 2005 again. Lol @ all you butthurt plebs this paragraph alone blows your whining out of the water with it's sheer beauty and elegance.
    vppark2
    Beauty and elegance? Man, you must enjoy reading overly biased reviews then.
    JamSessionFreak
    lo l why are u downvoting me pleb, ur probabely just mad cuz noone likes you're favorite emo band anymore lol
    Fakke12
    If you don't like metalcore, why do you entered this page just to say those things? Find something better to do.
    michielgeleyn
    I don't care who likes the same band as I do, I don't need approval of others, I listen to what I want, I like what I want and I dislike what I want. Others like what they want and others dislike what they want... But it's obvious that there is no respect anymore... What do you "win" with those hating comments? A bit more self-esteem? Is it that hard to just accept that you don't like something but others do?
    Cavalcade
    Some Bullet fansite probably got their panties in a bunch and linked this page.
    Peres.T.Peanut
    Epi, as you can see from these comments, your opinion is wasted on this kind of genre. Leave this stuff for the scene kids, as you can see they can get pretty butt-hurt for no apparent reason. Thanks for the review anyway, just another reason to stay the hell away from this. If you take requests, take a look at the new Nile, that shit is godly.
    vppark2
    Im not a scene kid, nor am I "butthurt". The people using that term in this thread prob have no idea what it means.
    mp8andrade
    "just another reason to stay the hell away from this". No sane mind would be so afraid of something so harmless.
    Northernmight
    Well, i happened to like the review. It perfectly summed up my experience as i listened to the embedded tracks. The "I've just grown pubes, listen to me being an adult" thing IS what it frickin' sounds like. So you like that, that's fine, but alot of people really don't. Can't stand it. Actually i find his way of saying it to be surprisingly spot-on.