Local Wire

Bullet for My Valentine

Welsh imports Bullet for My Valentine aim for metal's sweet spot: shred-tastic enough for headbangers and poppy enough to please the girlfriends with power ballads. They deliver plenty of clean vocals over chugging percussion with galloping riffage and soaring hypersonic solos that rip a page from Iron Maiden and Metallica. Indeed, other than brief spates of throaty growl and increasingly rare breakdowns, little separates them from their classic '80s influences. Though they've never been that brutal, their latest, Fever, pares away even more aggression in favor of middle-of-the-road arena-ready melodicism. While the guitars are still highly charged, they're unleashed less frequently, subjugated to slower tempos and Matt Tuck's croon, which is even higher in the mix. Opening act Chiodos are more adventurous. Their ever-mutating attack wrestles disparate elements — pretty tinkling piano lines, metalcore churn, abrupt contrapuntal rhythms, scratchy, slashing post-punk guitar, and shimmering keyboard washes — into dynamic, well-wrought arrangements with cinematic panache. They've built a rabid grassroots following with a decade of hard touring, but are at a crossroads. It's been three years since Bone Palace Ballet, and in September they dismissed original singer Craig Owens, raising the stakes for their third album, which they began recording in February.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Parker
Contact: Chris Parker