When referring to this British four piece, the phrase “the next big thing” has been tossed around more than a hot potato. Of course, Bullet For My Valentine wouldn’t have so much potential if metalcore weren’t the fad right now. But there is a disadvantage to metalcore being so popular: there is a lot of competition. Because there are so many other metalcore bands, nothing on “The Poison” is 100% new or innovative (even the singing-screaming choruses grow old after a while.) Fortunately, BFMV have a few characteristics (like guitar solos) that help them stand out from other bands, like Killswitch Engage.
After the first track (a brief, soft instrumental which is appropriately titled “Intro” and features Apocalyptica’s cellos), “Her Voice Resides” blows the gates wide open, with super heavy yelling and fiery, chugging riffs. “4 Words (To Choke Upon)” is backed by a pounding rhythm with fast double bass drumming, and some cleanly sung vocals. “Tears Don’t Fall” is partially melodic and restrained (it begins with soft strumming), but it also has a couple of breakneck tempo changes (where the song catapults into machine gun riffing). The last two tracks worth mentioning are “Hit The Floor” and “Room 409.” The former track has scorching guitar work and an almost thunderous beat, and the latter has big, chunky riffs. But both of these songs are still somewhat melodic, because they both have a catchy “Woah-oh-oh” sing along.
Metalcore has kind of been run into the ground, so it can be hard, sometimes, to discern which bands are for real and which bands are just imitators. It’s definitely nothing we haven’t heard before, but “The Poison” is still an above average metalcore record. It’s not great, but it’s even further from being bad.
I can’t recommend it to everybody, because it depends on how much you like metalcore, but if you like metal (smokin’ riffs and pounding drums) streaked with melody (clean singing and occasional acoustic guitars), this is for you. And metalcore diehards will definitely want to check this out, and probably own it. Casual fans, however, should probably skip it.