Bullet For My Valentine: Temper Temper
Well, after a long time being busy with things (my own band, college, etc.), I have finally found the time to write another review… so I figured I would kill two birds with one stone: I will do the review I’ve been getting a lot of requests to do, AND I will be addressing something I said in a previous review that people have been getting angry at me for.
So I previously said I hated Trivium’s In Waves album, even going so far as to say I hated it more than I hate Miley Cyrus (which says a lot), so to illustrate why, I’m going to use an album that has a lot of the same problems to explain why… so instead of the usual thing where I’m meant to build it up in order to make you want to read on, I’m going to ruin it for you… Bullet For My Valentine’s Temper Temper SUCKS!
So… you COULD close this now, or… you can stick around to see why I hate them so much and how this review fits in to why I hate In Waves so much… up to you though…
Well, in the hopes that someone bothered to read on, let us begin.
Bullet For My Valentine were founded in 1998, putting out their first release, a self-titled, 4 song EP. Since then, they have released four studio albums, including the topic of today’s review.
First there was The Poison in 2005, which included some well-known songs such as The Poison, Tears Don’t Fall (perhaps best known), Four Words To Choke Upon and All These Things I hate… it was a pretty good album, and a very good first full length release… the problems with it though are the lack of memorable tracks. Honestly, the ones I just listed there are the only songs I find memorable on this album (please note: Hand Of Blood is only on this album if you buy the Special Edition Digipack, otherwise it is actually on the 4 track self-titled EP… just saying…). This doesn’t make it a bad album, just not an album that stands out… that and the s*** lyrics don’t help… but overall, it’s a fun, easy to get into release, which is still a refreshing listen compared to all the other bands that call themselves Metalcore… not naming names… *cough*Parkway Drive*cough*. Overall, I give The Poison 8/10.
Next came Scream Aim Fire, a far more technically impressive album with a rather unique sound. What this album did well was to not only expand and improve on the sound they had created for themselves, but they also added elements of thrash metal to the mix, as well as more of the heavy metal ideas brought in with the last album. While some of the riffs and the breakdowns feel a little generic, listening to them now, six years after the original release, not only do you have to bear in mind when this album was released (still in the early days of Metalcore), and even if I don’t consider that, the basic breakdowns are more than excusable when they are few and far between, and surrounded by catchy riffs, a well done heavy sound, actually good production value (unbelievable, right?), well written lyrics (which baffles me, and I’ll get to why a bit later), powerful vocals, and rather impressive solos (mostly)… this album was not only my favourite album of 2008, but one of my favourite albums of all time, I give it 10/10.
Then, rather disappointingly, this was followed up by Fever… this went in a different route, taking more influence from Metallica and Iron Maiden, while also going a slightly more generic Metalcore route… I’m not exaggerating when I say I could imagine a lot of the songs on this album being done better by Killswitch Engage, or Avenged Sevenfold for the Waking The Fallen album… And then there is the intro to the opening track, Your Betrayal… it is SO boring! I mean, over thirty seconds of “duh duh dududududun dududududun dududududun”… seriously!? Also, the lyrics have gone back to being atrocious… the only good line in the whole album being in Dignity: “These four words might help: Just Go F*** Yourself!”… the rest are empty, bland lyrics that I have heard done countless times before. However, this album is not a total loss, in fact, it really isn’t that bad. I hated it the first couple of times, but some of the songs like Fever, Dignity, Pretty On The Outside, Pleasure And Pain and Breaking Out, Breaking Down all grew on me with their memorably catchy choruses and interesting riffs… I would even say I quite enjoyed this album overall, but of course, I still thing The Last Fight was overplayed to the point of insanity. This album gets a 6/10. Not bad – actually decent – just disappointing…
Which is more than what I can say for the piece of s*** I am actually here to review!
So how a band can go from releasing 3 albums that range from decent to great to phenomenal to an absolute clusterf*** of an album with very little redeeming qualities and abandon everything that made them great is beyond me… but then again, it has already happened with Trivium when they went from the phenomenal Shogun to the disgrace that is In Waves… but more on that later.
So the first song in this album pretty much tells you what you’re in for… Breaking Point is such a boring song. The intro gives you that little bit of hope that they might be back to good song writing, albeit in a slightly different direction, but already I was sceptical having heard the two singles released prior to this album, Temper Temper and the notoriously bad Riot. But still, as I generally considered myself to be a fan of Bullet For My Valentine, I pressed on… and given how I described it in the last paragraph, you can guess how I feel about having done so…
Well, the song has a promising intro, but then the riff really overstays it’s welcome. It becomes a tedious, boring listen with very little you can actually gain by sitting through it – plenty of brain cells to lose though I’m sure… goody…
So what goes wrong in this track?
It’s repetitive, the lyrics are – not stupid or poorly written here – just bland, and the solo just doesn’t feel like it belongs in this song. Actually, it feels like it belongs on Megadeth’s Endgame… except the solos on THAT album were actually interesting and made the style sound like it was being used to its full potential.
All in all, this songs shortcomings are not as much down to what it does do… more what it doesn’t do.
Similar problem to the previous one… except this song doesn’t even start well. Instead you will be sat there wondering where you’ve heard that riff before. Probably numerous times – it really is that basic and generic. The vocals… honestly they don’t sound good here – but that’s a problem I have with this whole album…
Previously, Matt Tuck showed he had quite a powerful voice capable of conveying a range of emotions – but especially anger. Here, his vocals are bland, empty, and passionless to the point where Andy Biersack (from Black Veil Brides in case you somehow don’t know) is probably crying for him. However, while Biersack’s vocals are monotonous and empty, Tuck sounds like he was trying to insert some kind of emotion and just missed the mark completely.
So this song, rather blandly named Truth Hurts is definitely a dud… on the plus side though… the album can’t get any worse than this… right?
Well, having heard the two singles, I already know the answer to this… oh dear…
In fact, let’s talk about these two pieces of horse s*** – the first single was the album’s title track, Temper Temper. Honestly, this song has to contain some of the worst lyrics I have ever heard… seriously, what is the point of this stupid song?
“Temper temper, time to explode
Feels good when I lose control
Temper temper, time to explode
Chamber’s empty, time to reload”
What actually is this pigs***? You know what, I actually pity the band at this point if this is all they can come up with. I admit I am a massive lyric snob, and I rarely like a band’s lyrics, but these are seriously just painful. Why does “temper” need to be said twice, what feels so good about losing control, why is the chamber empty, what have you just been doing? ELABORATE! I like it when lyrics go into these feelings, or at least hint at reasons and explanations, but here there is nothing…
Anyways, now we’ve covered the lyrics, what about the music?
Well – boring, lifeless, meaningless, devoid of emotion and just devoid of anything good… and did I mention f***ing BORING!?
And the hardest part of tearing into this song? KNOWING THAT THE SECOND SINGLE IS EVEN F***ING WORSE!
Riot is not only one of the worst songs I have heard recently, it is one of the worst metal/core songs I have ever heard!
I know this song is only two minutes and forty-eight seconds long, but let’s go into this… I mean f***ing seriously!
The music first: “dun dun dun dun dun dun” pretty makes up the whole guitar part – except the solo (Oh don’t worry, I’ll get to that). It is SOOOOO boring, I thought I had accidentally put on that bulls*** Metallica album, Saint Anger… except somehow, THIS WAS WORSE! In fact, this was actually even worse than Lulu (Metallica’s infamously horrendous collaboration with Lou Reed). I realise Bullet For My Valentine’s diehard fans will want my head for that statement, but you know what, come at me! At least I won’t have to listen to this garbage again.
As for the solo – this is the worst solo section for a song I have ever heard, and it annoyed me more than any solo I have heard before this point – even the overly drawn out solo for Dragonforce’s Through The Fire And The Flames. This solo annoys me because, on its own, it is actually a really good solo – great even – the problem is, it does not work with the tone of the rest of the song, it feels really forced into the song, the rhythm and speed change turns the song into a total mess and the transition back into the main rhythm at the end of the song is painful to listen to.
There is a local Bullet For My Valentine tribute band, here in Aberdeen, currently going by the name of Four Poisoned Words, who are covering this song, and it sounds so much better! Everything works in it when they do it, the two vocalists add a greater diversity in the vocal parts, with one of them screaming “RIOT!” rather than just blandly shouting it, and guess what… the solo actually feels like it belongs there!
So, are the lyrics at least tolerable, compared to Temper Temper?
Well… um… how about… F***ING NO!
“Are you ready it’s time for war
Break down these f***ing doors
Smash the windows, tear down the walls
We won’t stop till it’s all destroyed”
Alright… is the use of “f***king” really necessary? I mean, really? You could replace that with any word with two syllables that can describe a door, and it would work! Are the doors having sex? I doubt it somehow! And it doesn’t add to the tone of anger to the tone at all, because it doesn’t have one! If that is what it is going for, then there needed to be a clear sense of anger conveyed in the vocals, which this song DOES NOT have! Instead, this just makes Tuck look like a twelve year old trying to sound badass in front of his friends! And before you try to use the argument “well, you’re putting a lot of censored swear words in this review”, that is because I am writing this to convey a sense of anger at this absolutely atrocious album, in the hopes of entertaining my readers, therefore, while you could argue about how necessary they are, they do serve a purpose. Also, what reason do you have to start a war, break down the doors which are apparently fornicating, smash the windows, tear down the walls and keep going until you’ve destroyed everything? What exactly are you trying to say? This song doesn’t hint at a reason, or attempt to make sense, these lyrics are stupid!
AND THAT’S JUST THE FIRST VERSE!
Ok, I won’t go into the other verse (except that the word “f***ing makes yet another pointless appearance), but I will go into the chorus and pre-chorus.
The pre-chorus goes like this:
“Let it out, just let it show
Well burn it down, well lose control
Set the fires, can you feel the heat
Tonight were alive, theres no time to sleep”
Again, WHY are you burning things!? Also, what is it with the band and losing control in this album? Did they just run out of lyrics since they didn’t have anywhere to mention “bloodshot eyes” like they do constantly in the other three albums? And as A Dose Of Buckley would say: “show” and “control” do not rhyme… and based on the rhythm, and vaguely close sound of the words (also, “heat” and “sleep”), it is trying to rhyme… I genuinely don’t have a problem with lyrics not rhyming… but if you’re trying to make them rhyme, pick words that actually rhyme! Although… I do have a problem on the rhyming front bigger than that in this song, and it’s in the chorus…
Woah here come the sirens, here comes the law
Woah run from the sirens, run from the law
This song rhymes “law” with itself! Ugh! I hate that!
Part of the reason I find “modern rap/hip hop” artists like Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne so hard to listen to is the way they rhyme words with themselves, or words they do not rhyme with… and now this song has helped bring that into metal… If this song is anything to go by, I am actually weeping for the future of this genre, even more than I am currently weeping for the state of the music in the pop charts at the moment.
Also, this “Woah!” thing that boy bands like One Direction like overdoing… it doesn’t work here! It can actually add to a song when it does work, especially given the tone… the jovial use of “Woah!” parts in Papa Roach’s …To Be Loved actually adds to the fun tone of the song, and makes it more fun to sing along to. The rather melancholy “Woah” parts done by Child-like vocals in the Rise Against song Make It Stop (September’s Children) work because it not only makes the song more catchy, but also adds to the melancholy tone of the song (which is about teenage suicide). In Riot, it takes away from the tone of wanting to destroy things and anger even more than Matt Tuck’s disinterested vocals do, leaving it with next to nothing. And also, if you were serious about seeing “it all destroyed”, would you not stay to try to bring down the sirens and the law, instead of running? STUPID!
One more argument you could put forward about this song… “You have to admit, it IS catchy!”… well, yes, it is. However, in this case, it being catchy makes it even worse! Because not only did you have to tolerate it’s badness, but now it’s stuck in your head. It’s catchy in the same way Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus or Bewitched by Blood On The Dance Floor is (Oh yes, I f***ing went there! Bring on the death threats with grammar a standard tumblr using girl would laugh at!) – it goes from being a horrible song, to being torture! I have the exact same problems with Trivium’s song In Waves – it is repetitive as hell, it doesn’t flow, the lyrics are among the worst ever, the riffs are empty, overly simplistic (and not in a good way) and boring, and it’s catchiness makes it torture as it stays in your head after you’ve listened to it!
I realise I have rambled on quite a bit, and you’ll be glad to know, that I have covered almost all of the problems I have with this album… none of the other songs stand out as being bad – in fact, for the most part they all sound exactly the same. Livin’ Life (On The Edge Of A Knife) and Leech have the same problem as Temper Temper. Dead To The World’s intro sounds like a Linkin Park rip-off at first, and then a Metallica rip-off for the rest of it… and the song has the same general problems as Breaking Point. And Saints And Sinners, Dirty Little Secrets and P.O.W. all have the exact same problems as Truth Hurts… so I guess you’ll be glad to know none of the main album songs are anywhere near as bad as Riot (the song Not Invincible on the Deluxe Edition on the other hand is almost as bad for most of the same reasons, just without the catchiness).
“But wait… Stuart, there are eleven tracks on the main album, and you’ve only covered ten (not including the bonus track for the Deluxe Edition)! Why have you not mentioned the other song!?”
Well, that is because it is arguably the big controversy of the album – and it’s biggest “insult” to Bullet For My Valentine’s fans… so let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we?
The tenth (and second last) track on this album is Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2)…
Hold up… let’s not just dismiss it because it’s a part 2… Avenged Sevenfold has I Won’t See You Tonight Part 2 on the Waking The Fallen album, and it was a great song, as well as working well with I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1… but then… those two songs were on the same album and called Part 1 and Part 2 implying that those were planned from the start. There was also In The Presence Of Enemies Part 2 by Dream Theater on the album Systematic Chaos… oh wait… that worked because Part 1 was at the start of that album, and Part 2 closed it, making it feel like it had come full circle. Um… Slipknot’s Vermillion (Part 2) on the album Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses? Again, Vermillion (the first one) was on the same album, and Vermillion (Part 2)’s positioning suggests that over the last two songs in between the two parts, he has indeed “let this build up inside of” him, despite his determination not to do so. Alright, clearly this isn’t working, so let’s take this a) on its own merit, and b) as a follow up to Tears Don’t Fall from the first Bullet For My Valentine album, The Poison.
Well, rather “insultingly”, it opens with the line “LET’S GO AGAIN!”, mimicking the “LET’S GO!” opening of the first part… the lyrics are about pretty much the same thing, the riffs sound similar, the structure of the song is VERY similar to the original one and the solo is brought in in a similar way and doesn’t sound too different… just lame. Also, the emotions that the song is trying to show are non-existent, again, due to the lack of emotion in the vocals and the poor writing of the lyrics… However, this song is not without its redeeming features – the guitar parts, while similar to the first part, are catchy, as is the chorus – and this time in a good way. The chorus is memorable in the right ways, and honestly, I still consider it a bad song, but it grows on me a little more each time I listen to it… so yeah, it’s the only track on the album I actually find listenable. I also find it isn’t completely terrible on its own, or as a follow-up to the original. It sounds a bit too similar, yes, but the lyrics are about more or less the same thing, but in a way that feels more like a sequel than a remake of Tears Don’t Fall, so while I feel it could have been a LOT better, it isn’t that bad, and certainly not as bad as most of the “die-hard” fans of old-school Bullet For My Valentine albums make it out to be.
So there we go, my review of Temper Temper… to conclude, I fail to understand how people who loathe this album can love Trivium’s In Waves…
The songs in In Waves can almost all be put into the same categories as all the songs from Temper Temper… put it this way…
Starts out promising, but overstays it’s welcome and gets boring really quickly (like Breaking Point and Dead To The World):
Inception Of The End, Watch The World Burn, Black, Caustic Are The Ties That Bind, Of All These Yesterdays
Sounds too familiar but can’t put your finger on where from, bland, poor lyrics and just devoid of much, if any good (like Truth Hurts, Breaking Point. And Saints And Sinners, Dirty Little Secrets and P.O.W.):
Dusk Dismantled, A Skyline’s Severance, Forsake Not The Dream, Chaos Reigns
Really bad lyrics with generic, boring music behind it (Like Livin’ Life (On The Edge Of A Knife) and Temper Temper):
Built To Fall
Horrifyingly bland music that doesn’t flow with it’s only saving grace, making it even worse, among the worst lyrics ever written and catchy in a way that makes the song even worse (like Riot):
With In Waves though, you can also add Capsizing The Sea and Leaving This World Behind to the category of pointless, bland, unnecessary intros/outros with stupid names.
(If we’re really going to nit-pick, the production value is equally atrocious for both albums, just saying)
I’ll put it this way, in my personal opinion, Temper Temper and In Waves are just as bad as one another, but for a slightly different reason… the two things that set them apart…
Musically, In Waves (as a whole album) is better written… most of it flows better, the lyrics are (mostly) not as diabolically bad as the ones in Temper Temper, and there are some genuinely good melodic parts in some of the songs that are listenable… the problem with that, is that these good bits make the rest of the album sound even worse… but at least the good bits are still present.
So how is it no better than Temper Temper?
Well, while In Waves strikes me as just the same old Trivium stripped down to the bare bones and missing what made their previous albums worth listening to, Temper Temper sounds like Bullet For My Valentine trying to branch out with a new, simpler, more thrash metal and punk inspired sound – and while Trivium appear to be doing a lesser version of the same thing, at least I can give Bullet For My Valentine credit for trying to do something new, but sadly, it just didn’t come together., and in my opinion, they made the wrong move. And simplifying the sound isn’t the problem – Avenged Sevenfold did exactly that and embraced a more Thrash and Heavy Metal sound with Hail To The King, and despite its flaws, I love that album – the problem is, it wasn’t done well, but at least they tried – which is more than what I can say for Trivium.
Well, Bullet For My Valentine have discovered the hard way that I am not alone in my strong dislike for this album. It received generally really negative reviews from critics, and many fans felt “betrayed” by this album. While I would say that hating a band you used to like for one bad album isn’t fair, and is rather stupid, I can see where these fans are coming from here.
However, I do have hope… at the end of 2013, they released a non-album single called Raising Hell which took elements from The Poison and Scream Aim Fire and also brought in more thrash metal elements… this, in my opinion, was a pretty solid song – even lyrically… everything worked, it was memorable, and it was a joy to listen to. Then on January 6th earlier this year, Matt Tuck announced that they were going into the studio to record their fifth studio album… and while I am excited to hear it, I can’t help but be concerned that this will be a rushed apology to the fans for the last album…
Here’s hoping though…
Bullet For My Valentine – Temper Temper
Best Bit: When the last song ended
Best Song: Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2) (BITE ME!)
Final Verdict: 0/10