CD Review of Scream Aim Fire by Bullet for My Valentine
Recommended if you like
In Flames, Pantera, Iron Maiden
Label
Jive
Bullet for My Valentine:
Scream Aim Fire

Reviewed by Bill Clark

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I
t feels healthy to see thrash metal making a comeback. In addition to being more technically accomplished than today’s mainstream metal, it’s also a hell of a lot more fun to listen to. Bullet for My Valentine had my blood pumping from the outset with their sophomore release, Scream Aim Fire. The band, hailing from South Wales, burst onto the scene in 2005 with The Poison. While it was met with mediocre reviews, it did produce four singles and good sales here in the States.

Scream Aim Fire takes things several steps further. This is one tight band, and the first single, the title track, boasts everything the album has to offer. The guitars come fast and furious, the drumming is some of the best I have heard of late, and the vocals can be both brutal and beautiful. The bulk of the 11 tracks are pure speed metal combined with some elements of metalcore (namely the infrequent guttural screams). Standouts include the aforementioned title track, “Eye of the Storm,” Waking the Demon,” and “Last to Know.” A staple of the genre has always been frenetic soloing, and fans should not miss the chops of guitarists Matt Tuck and Mike Paget.

Bullet for My Valentine does manage to slow things down a bit with the ridiculously catchy “Hearts Burst into Fire,” the ballad-like “Say Goodnight,” and the epic closer, “Forever and Always.” Vocalist Tuck treats the material appropriately on every track. His vocals have an ‘80s vibe, and they really make the band sound like a throwback to a great time in metal. Drummer Michael Thomas steals a few of the tracks on his own with precision drumming and no fear.

It will be a great year for metal if this album is a taste of what’s to come. Bullet for My Valentine really surprised me with this effort (I was a moderate fan of The Poison) and they’re most definitely on my watch list as they progress. If technical, tireless, pitch-perfect metal is your thing, give this album a spin and prepare yourself for a great 2008.

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