Bullet for My Valentine, Fever, 2010, Sony Music
1. Your Betrayal
3. The Last Fight
4. A Place Where You Belong
5. Pleasure and Pain
7. Breaking Out, Breaking Down
8. Bittersweet Memories
10. Begging for Mercy
11. Pretty on the Outside
Welsh metal outfit Bullet for My Valentine formed in 1998 as a cover band and they continue to be influenced by classic metal bands like Metallica, Slayer and Iron Maiden. Fever was their third album and has been their most commercially successful.
"Your Betrayal" feels like an homage to the band’s roots - it will put you in mind of old school Iron Maiden, it feels like such a classic metal track and of course, I do have a weakness for great drumming. Title track "Fever" is just an all out party song. Single release "The Last Fight" has darker lyrical content about addiction but the frenetic pace continues and it’s definitely a bop. "A Place Where You Belong" slows things down a bit too much. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Normal service is resumed with "Pleasure and Pain" which is another storming track with a great melody. Alone has a very nu-metal sound which works well with the lyrics. "Breaking Out, Breaking Down" is another brilliantly melodic track which makes you want to move. The less said about "Bittersweet Memories" the better, it’s very emo and clearly made to get radio play. "Thankfully Dignity" feels like another classic. "Begging for Mercy" has more of the harder elements that epitomised their first two albums and the intricate guitar work is great. "Pretty on the Outside" ends the album how it began, with heavy guitars, a great melody and a catchy chorus.
Fever has been described as dark in tone but I don’t really feel that. I really enjoyed it. Much of it is very clearly designed to be catchy and radio friendly and there are a few tracks where this just doesn’t work well, but even though the lyrics are not brilliant, the overall sound is just so enjoyable that you can forgive this. It feels very accessible and I think this is the reason it received such mixed reviews on it’s release. It made me want to dance around my living room and I really enjoyed the heavy guitars and drums. While there are definite nu-metal overtones it seems that there is more to Bullet for My Valentine’s music than your standard early 2000s nu-metal band. In the UK we call things that you either love or hate “Marmite” (that’s the tagline of the product - you spread it on your toast for breakfast or a quarantine snack) and this album definitely feels like marmite to me. If you are a metalhead you may not fall into the “love” camp but for someone like me whose sensibilities lean more towards rock, it feels perfectly pitched.