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REVIEW: ‘Temper Temper’ repeats same formula

There’s no doubt Bullet For My Valentine is one of the most recognizable metal bands in today’s music scene.

With obvious influences from metal gods Metallica and Pantera, complete with guitar stylings of AC/DC, Bullet For My Valentine may be the latest star in the metal legacy. Every one of their albums has made it on the Billboard 200 including their newest release, “Temper Temper”.

The album was released last month and is currently No. 13 on the Billboard 200 charts. “Temper Temper” has been fairing just as well on the radio as anyone expected it to following their 2009 release, “Fever,” which peaked at third on the Billboard 200.

By now, most metal fans know exactly what to expect from Bullet For My Valentine – heavy guitars and angry lyrics mixed in with a few angsty ballads. As predictable as it is, the pattern seems to be working out for them.

Despite “Temper Temper”’s standing in the charts and fairly steady radio play on rock stations, the album has been getting mixed reviews from critics. It seems some may be tiring of the predictable sound they’ve been producing since their 2005 release, “The Poison.”

“Riot” and “Dead To The World” are the best tracks on the album, although “Temper Temper” is the most popular on iTunes. “Riot” is slated to be the band’s next single and for good reason. It embodies the spirit of a live metal show and will undoubtedly be a great opener at live performances.

“Dead To The World” is the token ballad of “Temper Temper”, always a necessity for Bullet. In a similar style to their previous ballads, its starts relatively slow with angst-filled lyrics over an “Eye of the Tiger” guitar riff before breaking down into a powerful guitar solo. Some might be tiring of the predictable pattern, but Bullet fans know it wouldn’t be a Bullet For My Valentine album without a song like this.

The band made an interesting choice in naming one of their tracks “Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2),” immediately setting it up to be compared with their most popular song to date, “Tears Don’t Fall.” Unfortunately, the title sets it up for disaster. With any other title, it’d be a great track. It has arguably the best breakdown of the whole album but cannot compare to the original “Tears Don’t Fall,” making it an overall disappointment.

Luckily for them, the album closes on a strong track, “Livin’ Life (On The Edge Of A Knife).” Not only does this have the freshest sound on the album, but also the best guitar work and vocals. Lead singer and writer Matt Tuck brings back his alternating screaming and whispering he showed fans on the last album and uses this track to perfect them. It is a perfect end to the album, especially since the opening track “Breaking Point” isn’t very strong.

Overall, Bullet For My Valentine fans will not be disappointed in this album, assuming they can ignore a few embarrassingly childish lyrics (see “Truth Hurts”).

Metal fans new to the band, however, would be better served checking out an older album like “Poison.” Hopefully Bullet pulls some new tricks out for their next release. This pattern is only going to hold them for so much longer.

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