Rewind Review: Bullet For My Valentine - Fever
Throughout their six record career few bands have manged to be as hit and miss as Wales' own, Bullet For My Valentine. While the group released what is still considered one of the greatest metalcore albums off all-time in 2005 with their debut, The Poison, they've never quite manged to live up to expectations since then in the eyes of many. The groups following album Scream, Aim, Fire is still pretty excellent but it is during the album we'll be discussing today, Fever, that many critics opinions of the band begun to change their opinions. The following years would lead to a large downturn in Bullet For My Valentine's music integrity with songs being clearly written for radio play with some brief glimpses of their former glory. Let's take a look back at Fever and see how it's held up to the test of time.
The records begins with is what's widely considered two of it's biggest highlights. Your Betrayal is undoubtedly a catchy and impressive song that sounds as huge as it went on to become. The military-like drum roll builds great intensity and suits the song extremely well. Songs like this make you remember why Bullet For My Valentine were once arguably the fastest rising band in all of metal. Then we immediately bolt into the title-track Fever, which packs lightning-fast guitar riffs with a more a sound that still sounds modern 10 years later more crisp and digestible to a mainstream audience.
Something clear about this record is that it is much more presentable to a larger audience than the bands previous work with a greater focus on catchiness than perhaps anything else. The best examples of this are easily tracks one and two as previously discussed along with Alone and Pretty on The Outside. While a fair amount of the heaviness has disappeared from the bands sound here, their choruses are certainly more defined and clear.. The bands attention with Fever was to make songs that fans at festivals would shout back at them. It's with that point that I have to mention how poor the lyrics are on this record. Matt Tuck has always been a bit of an odd lyricist constantly writing Motley Crue-ish lyrics that sound completely cheesy but on this album it's perhaps the worst it had ever been.
I will say, the tracks on Fever might be consider more well written and proficient by music industry insiders, however for many hardcore fans this felt like a bit of a departure from what made so many love Bullet For My Valentine. That being said, this was a massively successful record for the group nonetheless. Towards the end of the album we get a ballad of sorts with A Place Where You Belong, which is fine and the lyrics aren't quite as cringe educing as one might expect from this track. The final single The Last Fight is has a sound that could easily place it in Scream. Aim Fire. without standing out. The album has a moderately good flow to it and it's clear the band is a cut above many of their peers instrumental talent-wise but they fail to execute on that potential at times.
In all, I don't think Fever is quite as bad as some make it out to be but it's also nothing too special for a band capable of so much more. The lyrics largely dragged down this album a full star rating in my estimation. Matt Tuck doesn't appear to ever plan on maturing lyrically. There are some great catchy fun songs on Fever but with it's faults its hard for me to give it more than two and a half stars out of 5, which is half of the rating I would give The Poison.