Welsh heavy metal outfit Bullet For My Valentine are known and revered by fans and critics alike for their intensely dark undertones, bold statements and clean, synchronised song structures. Having released their fourth studio album Temper Temper to underwhelming reception in 2013, Bullet For My Valentine are keen to reclaim their previously unchallenged reputation with their fifth effort Venom, to be released later this year. With a desire to create an album that is purely BFMV, Venom marks the boys’ quest for musical redemption – recovering and unleashing the energy and grit that defined their earlier success.
After warming up fans with teaser track No Way Out, the band are set to release the album’s first official single You Want A Battle (Here’s A War). Acknowledging that the group’s fans wanted them to return to the anger and aggression that informed their first three albums, Bullet For My Valentine are determined to sound as incensed as ever, regardless of their improved personal circumstances, a challenging endeavour that frontman Matt Tuck described as “a conscious effort to do something that wasn’t very nice.” Already making an audacious statement with its title, the track begins with a communal chant, proving that determination is stronger in numbers. A song dealing with bullying from Tuck’s own personal experiences and perspective of Tuck, its emboldening message is blemished by generically angst-ridden lyrics that could have been pulled from an adolescent’s diary.
The unrelenting, hard guitar riffs from lead guitarist Michael Paget don’t do enough to match the conviction of the crushing No Way Out, and on the whole, You Want A Batter (Here’s A War) is seriously let down by pedestrian structures and unsophisticated lyrics.