Bullet For My Valentine

Taking to the stage to smoke, flashing lights, and a scream of “Tonight, we dine in hell!” is quite a claim for a support band. But Bleeding Through deliver a ferocious metalcore set, including material from new album Declaration. The poor security guards don’t look very happy when a “high five competition” is declared, forcing them to deal with about a hundred crowd surfers coming over the top in just one song. Sadly, there are lots of bands out there that sound similar to Bleeding Through; they need to be a lot more distinctive to be memorable.

Knowing Lacuna Coil as a European Goth band with a pretty female singer led to my assumption that they were a cheesy monstrosity like Nightwish; I was wrong. Slow, crushing riffs and industrial-style keyboards overlaid with Scabbia’s hauntingly pure voice combine in a refined and intense sound, especially in their ethereal rendition of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the Silence’.

Bullet for My Valentine are going from strength to strength, fast approaching superstardom – or as close to it as you can get in this genre. This six-date tour has completely sold out – that’s 25,000 tickets. Tonight the Academy is packed and buzzing, 3000 people chanting, screaming for four boys from the Welsh valleys. Word has spread of their astounding live shows, such as their phenomenal set at Download Festival in June. Songs from their debut album, like ‘4 Words to Choke Upon’ and ‘All These Things I Hate’ still sound fresh and remarkably accomplished. But new songs like ‘Take It Out On Me’ or ‘Eye of the Storm’ are delivered with blistering energy, getting an ecstatic response, proving why album Scream, Aim, Fire! has sold over half a million copies.

Part of Bullet’s appeal has got to be the simple fact that they look amazing on stage. The dry ice, rainbow lights, and occasional explosions may be superfluous, but it’s damn exciting. Tuck, Paget and James stand in a row: three ‘A’ shaped stances, all sweat and hair, they exude raw power and energy. Like their music, they strike a perfect balance between overt masculine aggression and sleek grace.

Epic 2006 classic ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ gets everybody singing along with Matt Tuck. They close their encore with their slightly generic new single, ‘Waking The Demon’; but the crowd goes mad, forming a brutal ‘wall of death’, and chanting “Bullet” for a whole ten minutes after the band has left the stage, even after the lights have gone up. Bring on the next tour.

I know what you’re thinking: nobody likes metal etc. etc. But honestly, this band is accessible and fun. Both genders are pretty equally represented tonight, and the age range is from 14 to well over 40. Their formula of quiet verse, anthemic chorus, face-melting guitar solo, and occasional very loud and fast break, certainly appeals to the metalcore crowd. But at the end of the day, what we have here is a modern take on a classic rock band; and really, who could dislike that?


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