Album Review: Bullet For My Valentine - 'Scream Aim Fire'

6 February 2008 | 11:23 am | Staff Writer

The most pop metal record of 2008…

More Bullet For My Valentine More Bullet For My Valentine

After repeated listens to Scream

Aim Fire, I cannot for the life of me work out why Bullet For

My Valentine are so popular. The riffs are good, but they’re not

great. The vocals are catchy but I’ve heard better and I thought Trivium have already snapped up the coveted Metallica cover

band title?  

Well, they must be doing something

right because their debut “The Poison” has sold a million copies

and counting, and the band don’t look like they’ll be slowing down

any time soon. Whether or not their success is off the back of a genuine

talent for song writing or a healthy dose of “right place, right time”

remains to be seen. 

It’s always a shame when the

highlight of an entire record is over within the first few minutes.

The album’s title track features some impressive guitar work and an

admirable James Hetfield impression, but it’s the pre-chorus

gang vocals of “over the top, over the top” that really caught my

attention, simply because Over The Top is a cinematic classic

(if you haven’t seen it, GoogleStallone and arm wrestling)!

If BFMV had left it there then the song would be far better,

as the breakdown and poor attempts at screaming are completely unnecessary

and ruin an otherwise decent tune.  

“Eye Of The Storm” is a thrash

number that maintains the album’s momentum while still retaining a

sense of melody. The various time changes throughout the song are quite

dynamic and the drum breakdown prior to the guitar solo (complete with

hand claps) sounds like it would be a lot of fun in the live setting. 

Although it’s incredibly cheesy

and has more in common with Poison than Iron Maiden, “Hearts

Burst Into Fire” is one of the more impressive ballads I’ve heard

in the last twelve months. Everything from wailing lead guitars and

an acoustic breakdown is present so I can only assume this song will

pop up on a Hollywood action soundtrack in the near future.  

Never has the phrase “peaking

too early” been more applicable, as the remainder of the tracks on Scream Aim Fire simply cannot compete with the opening trio. As

I mentioned earlier, there’s nothing overly bad about these songs,

but they lack a certain something that Bullet’s more popular

songs possess.  

“Waking The Demon” makes a

promising start but BFMV’s reliance on over the top choruses

kills whatever punch this song may have packed. “Disappear” has

all the right ingredients for a galloping metal anthem but the lack

of diversity in the riffs and an all too familiar melody courtesy of Matt Tuck renders it ineffective.  

Unfortunately my tolerance for

power ballads is limited to one per album so “Deliver Us From Evil”

was already behind the eight ball, while “Take It Out On Me” kicks

off like a bull out of a gate but again degenerates into a half time

number punctuated by a nasal vocal delivery. It takes a good three minutes

for “Say Goodnight” to do anything interesting and “End Of Days”

was better as an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. By the time “Last

To Know” showcases some legitimate metal chops it’s a case of too

little, too late.

The first three tracks aside, Scream Aim Fire is a disappointing release from a band who’ve

been given the opportunities and the resources to come up with something

far more musically adventurous. The combination of Matt’s cliché

lyrics and mediocre song writing has ensured that this record is average

at best.

  1. Scream Aim Fire
  2. Eye Of The Storm
  3. Hearts Burst Into Fire
  4. Waking The Demon
  5. Disappear
  6. Deliver Us From Evil
  7. Take It Out On Me
  8. Say Goodnight