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Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Bullet for My Valentine – Bullet for My Valentine (2021)

There’s been a common theme in the JAR. Bands who fell off in the last few years have used the pandemic to rebound a bit. Does BfMV find who they used to be or remain dead to me?

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There’s been a common theme in the JAR. Bands who fell off in the last few years have used the pandemic to rebound a bit. Does BfMV find who they used to be or remain dead to me?

So for anyone unaware, Bullet for My Valentine are a Welsh band, not random North American musicians. They did however rise to fame with heavy air play around the mid 00s, as well as two songs in popular video games. Hand of Blood was on Need for Speed: Most Wanted and 4 Words (to Choke Upon) was in Madden ’06.

They fell into that Metalcore era which contained a bunch of fairly relevant bands, off the top of my head I can think of; All That Remains, Trivium, As I Lay Dying, Atreyu, Killswitch Engage, to name a few. Now sadly for most of the Metalcore bands, around 2010 they all took a weird turn and lost me. Radio friendly approaches, arena rock, country covers, weird hard rock barely metal moments; it’s really hard to describe how hard they all hit their collective heads for about a decade.

Apparently Trivium’s newest album isn’t bad, but I never thought Trivium was good…so I’ve been steering clear of that. I brought that up however, because it seems like the Metalcore bands are trying to rediscover their older sound and that’s the initial reaction of this album.

So we’ve got a small bit of Hopium for this album. Let’s see if it’s rewarded!

  • Artist: Bullet for My Valentine
  • Album: Bullet for My Valentine (2021)
  • Label: Spinefarm
  • Total Track Time: 47:47

Parasite kicks the album off and it was also a single we heard prior to the album’s release. Initially my complaint is that the radio static intro goes too long. They’re flipping through their more popular songs, almost like a retrospective, but it goes on for what feels like nearly a minute…which is too damn long. When the song officially starts, it’s very heavy Numetal influenced. Sounds like old school Slipknot. The biggest positive to take from this song is Bullet is heading back to their early 00s and it’s about time. They lost their direction around 2010, and I stopped caring about their existence. Knives is an interesting song, very mid-00s, guitar tone reminds me of like Disturbed and their more well-known stuff. Also the lyrics are pretty cool; “Bring out the knives to cut and divide, Another scar for memories – Bring out the knives to cut and divide, Let ’em breathe, watch ’em burn in the fire“. There’s something cool about the imagery of the knives cutting away the memories and creating them. It’s a screaming Metalcore banger, but it has its moments man. My Reverie is one of those classic Bullet style songs that slows things down while not losing the anger like a few of their older hits. The mixture of a more aggressive bridge and chorus sewn together with cleaner/calmer verses is exactly what I expect from Bullet.

No Happy Ever After doesn’t really breathe life into aggression with the title, but this starts harsh and the chorus has the exact same vocal tone as Tears Don’t Fall. Which you may not think is impressive since it’s the same singer, but that song came out 16 years ago, and a lot can happen to vocal tone and range in a decade and a half. Can’t Escape the Waves goes for an interesting ambiance of subtle guitar tones to depict a mostly calm ocean and then they say the title of the song to a crash in out heavier guitar and drums. So they go for more of an atmospheric feeling with this song with getting pulled under the waters or being adrift in troubled waters. It’s a feeling most of us can relate to, and it’s not terrible. It’s definitely a little sparse and simple compared to the album so far. Weakest song thus far but it’s almost appropriate since the song feels like it drifts listlessly until the chorus kicks in with the fierce arpeggios and then back to drifting. Maybe a little too artistic for this album.

Bastards okay so we get an arena rock sounding song with a megaphone effect and the call and response vibe is really there. But coming off a weaker song, the fact this starts off slow and then starts to pick up a little with a catchy chorus that’s easy to sing along to is very smart song placement. If you came in looking for the Metalcore, you’ll probably find this song generic and sort of a trap for a lot of the 00s bands lately, but I definitely am digging the song.  Rainbow Veins is not an Owl City cover in case there was a question. This song seems to be more about drug addiction. Body shakes – I got rainbows running through my veins – And now – I just can’t come down” are the lines that kick off the song. The verses continue about another dose keeps me sedated, another day but I don’t want to face it – these again are probably very relatable. It definitely checks the Hot Topic box of the mid-00s where it’s heavy and emo all at the same time; much like a lot of Metalcore and Hardcore back in the day. Eww…I just referred to 2005 as back in the day. ANYWAY – my own mortality aside, this is the first song in a couple that sounds like it could’ve been picked off the first few albums. Also I like the guitar effect adding to the spiraling aspect of coming down off a high/withdrawals and going back through the motions.

Shatter was actually the first single I heard about a month or so ago that made me stop and go “Wait, this is current Bullet”. Very heavy, what sounds like a bit on the down tuned side, more power chords and chug riffs; with the verses sung in a pleading way and then morphing into the Metalcore growls that foreshadow how they hit the chorus elegantly. Where I said Can’t Escape the Waves was simple but also a little too artistic and sparse, this is simple in the fact that it’s a very formulaic metal song in the Metalcore/NuMetal genre, and it just works. It’s not boring, it might not be a grand leap in music, but it’s just a solid song that uses a lot of common elements well and doesn’t disappoint. Paralysed really comes in fast like Hand of Blood, but then continues through with more of a Thrash tone like Testament. Not a bad concept, since I am a big Thrash/Speed fan, and the more this album goes on; the more the radio static intro to Parasite makes sense. This feels like a few songs are chronicling the different sounds of Bullet, while focusing on their ‘golden era’ as opposed to the radio friendly trash can stuff of the last decade.

Death By A Thousand Cuts we get to the final song of the album, and the title is definitely sets an interesting expectation for the ending. I was concerned for a second, because the fist verse is echoed out and sounds like the later era of Linkin Park where it was just whiney and awful. But then the harder vocals and instrumentation kicks in. This is still in more of Thrash vein, but I can’t really vibe with chorus. I usually like how they blend the more nasally clean vocals for the Hot Topic emotion, but it just sticks out too much in this song. My guess is this is closer to their more recent sound, which while they try to save it with a decent solo and heavier accompaniment, the chorus kills this song for me. There’s reasons why I mentioned Bullet has been dead to me for like a decade.

Big oof boys and girls. While there were some questionable moments through the album, the last song is a major negative to me. Not major like I’ll weigh it heavier, but it just really ends things on such a sour note for me; like a bad finish to a wrestling main event. If I look at this as more of a return to form, then this does a great job at keeping me hopeful. Bullet was the band I was the most into in during the mid-00s when we had the acts previously mentioned going strong ; then they disappointed me after Scream Aim Fire. But now they are finally trending in the right direction, so one small shred of hope has returned.

My hope better not be spurned like the last song of theirs I could tolerate, Your Betrayal. They betrayed me once…fool me once, shame on me…fool me twice…uhh…won’t get fooled again!

 

Final Judgment: 6.45/10


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Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu News Report! (6/18/24)

C’est la vie!

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Fallout from Wrestling Is Life!

Wrestling Is Life, and part of that life is you win some, you lose some. We hear from the stars of HPW in the aftermath of this new June event!

 

After the HPW Death Mountain Championship Open Challenge.

Ganon & Cia find Ghirahim backstage.

The Gerudo asks The Living Blade, “What happened? I thought you were gonna challenge Thunderbird!” Ghirahim says he was. Didn’t they see what happened back here? No, what did happen? Ghirahim says it was a mad dash, several dozen wrestlers trying to reach gorilla, but he was pulling ahead because of his great parkour skills. Ganon knows about that, right? He’s seen Ghirahim do the leaps and the kongs. Ganon has no idea what he’s talking about. Well, anyway, Ghirahim was just feet away, and then WHAM! Something hit him from the side and sent him flying into road cases! It was… It was HER!

Ghirahim points at Tali of the Gerudo Sisterhood! Ganon asks if that’s true. Tali shrugs and says yeah. Though a lot of good it did her, she still missed out on the match. Ghirahim says serves her right for getting in his way! And he warns her it better not happen again. Oh? And what’s he gonna do about it? Tali and Ghirahim stare down, but Cia says now’s not the time for that. For one, she has her match next. Tali chuckles and says Ghirahim’s lucky “Mommy” was here. Tali leaves, Ghirahim seethes, but The Dark Forces head out. Will the Dame of the Dunes scale Death Mountain again in the near future?

 

After the HPW Goddess Championship match.

Cia returns backstage.

We know that the Dark Sorceress did not win the title off Ruto, and she is in a foul mood. She kicks a trash can and keeps shouting, “Dammit! Dammit, dammit, dammit!” Cia shrieks and storms off. Well, we know her mood won’t improve with the next match…

Ruto returns backstage.

The Arrow Club applauds as the Zora Princess returns victorious. Ruto thanks them for their praises, but it was never in doubt that she would win. “Now, you boys better do your part out there.” Fin says of course. By the end of tonight, the Arrow Club will be golden. Arrow Club all has confident smiles on their faces as they head back to the locker rooms.

 

After the HPW World Trios Championships match.

The Dark Forces regroups.

Ganon is there as Volga, Zant & Wizzro return. He is clearly disappointed by their loss. “Seriously? Didn’t you guys win Blood & Thunder? How did you lose here?” Volga says Zant kept doing his own thing instead of sticking to the game plan! Zant says he was just calling audibles based on what he was seeing. He needed to call an audible when Volga was going for a Frog Splash? Ganon tells them to stop arguing, and says they clearly need to figure some things out, maybe make some changes. Ganon leads the group away, what changes could he mean?

Arrow Club regroups.

Ruto, Torbevito & Scaly applaud as Fin Balure & The Young Ducks return triumphant. Fin says, “What’d I tell ya?” Ruto says yes, he was right. And also, their “gift” is ready. Ooh~! Alright then, they’ll make sure to talk to you-know-who when the time is right. Torbevito says, “His name’s Yu-no-bo, dude.” Fin sighs and says he knows that, Torb, he was trying to keep it on the downlow. Oh…! Fin ushers Arrow Club out of gorilla position and back to the locker rooms.

 

After the Million Rupee Championship match.

The Dark Forces regroups, again.

Kevin Gibdo returns with the title belt, and Ganon says, “Finally, something to celebrate! Good on ya, Evan.” It’s Kevin. Whatever! Point is, they can call him champion now! Ganon pats Kevin on the back, but Zant points out it took “the rest of us” to help Kevin since the uWo showed up. “Rest of us?” Volga repeats. “Where were you out there?” Ganon has them stop arguing again, but he does agree that Zant’s one to talk. Just focus on the positives. Things are looking up for the group, they’re gonna keep this going through the Summer. But then MAJORA JUMPS IN!? And he goes right after Ganon!!

The Dark Forces tries to stop Majora but he fires off on all of them! Ganon BOOTS back, Majora staggers into the cameraman, and then Ganon shoves Majora at the table! Ganon fires off hands and beats Majora down on top of the water bottles! Referees and producers rush in, they get Ganon to back off, and he warns Majora to watch himself. The refs tell Ganon to get outta here, and he says fine, he’s leaving! But then TORPEDO MAJORA!! Ganon goes down in a heap against Volga and Wizzro! Majora says Ganon better watch himself! Majora storms off, is he going to terminate the HPW Termina Champion?

 

After the HPW Triforce World Championship Steel Cage match.

Arrow Club returns backstage.

All of them are upset, and Rick asks what “those marks” were doing running out there to attack them. Mack says, “The Studly Don’t Quit? More like The Studly Don’t Think! The Studly Don’t Know What They’ve Gotten Themselves Into!” Torbevito says that’s a lot of letters for a team name. Mack says, “Shut up, Torb!” Then Yunobo storms in, and he pushes past Arrow Club to get right in front of the camera! “LINK! You can o’ green beans with legs! You think you proved anything by jumpin’ off the top of a cage?! You only proved you’re not afraid o’ HEIGHTS! Yeah! You thought you bled tonight, you thought you survived? DIG IT!

“You may feel good right now, but later on, you’re gonna WISH that you hadn’t made it through the night, YEAH! Do you know who yer messin’ with? Yer messin’ with ME! The Macho Goro, Yunobo! GOODBYE!” Yunobo storms off and the Arrow Club is in awe. Torbevito is ecstatic as he says “It’s working! It’s totally working!” Ruto gives him a smack on the shoulder and says, “Shh, Torb, shh!” Fin says, “Now that guy is gonna be a champion!” Arrow Club follows after “The Macho Goro,” will this savage new attitude help him steamroll through the HPW roster?


My Thoughts:

OOOOH YEAH, time to finally reference one of the true greats. I doubt I’ll really capture the “it factor” of Randy Savage but I’d be remised if I didn’t try. Also, I needed to set up something for the Termina Championship so there, Majora just goes after Ganon because he’s crazy and unpredictable and also Majora threatened to destroy Termina in the Zelda games so it was only a matter of time. Pun not intended.


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Hockey Talk- Oil Slick? [061824]

Hockey Talk discusses the Stanley Cup Finals, the Blues make some front-office moves, and Utah’s official team name is revealed.

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Chairshot Radio Large

On this week’s edition of Hockey Talk, the guys continue to break down the Stanley Cup Finals. As things presently stand, the Florida Panthers are just one win away from their first ever Stanley Cup Championship. But the Edmonton Oilers have outscored the Panthers 10-1 over the past four periods. As we head to Game 5, are the Panthers still in control or are the Oilers poised to make a comeback of historic proportions? Patrick and Dave break it all down for you here. Plus, the St. Louis Blues make some front-office moves and the Utah Hockey Club decide on a team name (hint…that is the team’s name).

Today’s hosts: Dave Ungar (@AttitudeAgg) and Patrick O’Dowd (@WrestlngRealist)

  • Can the Panthers close the deal?
  • The Blues make some front-office moves
  • The Utah Hockey Club is official

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