Bullet for my Valentine basically take emo/hardcore elements, and serve them up with a healthy dose of thrash and melodic death metal, to create a sound that is definitely a cut above the rest. Sure, frontman Matt Tuck can get a little emo-ish at times, but he’s also a good screamer, and the band is always quick with a blazing riff, a scorching solo, an Iron Maiden-ish melody, or a blistering double bass attack. I’d say this album is really more metal than anything, so if you’ve always wanted a bit more metal in this type of music, then you’re likely to find plenty of enjoyment here. These guys are great musicians, who really know how to rock hard. Best song is “The End”, a 7-minute epic that alternates between dark, haunting melodies, and powerful climactic riffs. The rest are in the 3-4 minute range, and a bit more straight-forward, but still full of interesting dynamics. It never gets boring for a second.
Overall, this album really took me by surprise. Not quite amazing, but when you consider how awful a lot of these kinds of bands are, these guys are really something special. Recommended to fans of Thrice and Alexisonfire, as well as fans of Shadows Fall and In Flames, or just to anyone who enjoys well-played heavy music with plentiful melody.