The upcoming release of Bullet For My Valentine’s sixth studio album ‘Gravity’ on June 29th brings along multiple firsts. Not only is it their first album under new label Spinefarm Records, but it’s also the first to feature Jason Bowld behind the drums following the departure of founding member Michael “Moose” Thomas last year.
Opening track Leap Of Faith starts off with a very eighties feel to it; vocalist Matt Tuck singing in a soft harmonic tone, before occasionally allowing his aggression to come out as we build to the first chorus. Even though it sounds very upbeat, the vocals tell the story of someone refusing to succumb to the struggles and give in. The tempo change and break down towards the middle of the song are most definitely going to get bodies flying and heads banging! Lead single Over It starts out with a nice riff that flows melodically as the remaining instruments fall in line and the rhythm builds, until a tempo change brings along the softer vocal range of Tuck yet again. The chorus has a beautiful flow and is nicely worded for those listening to let their inner rage out with an internal scream! There’s a very nice mixture of clean and unclean vocals that hasn’t changed from their early years and had this long-time fan/reviewer headbanging along and just begging for BFMV to make their way back to our shores ASAP.
Mixing it up a little bit, Letting You Go is quite out there from what a fan would expect; that isn’t just this reviewer’s opinion, but also from the mouth of Tuck himself. Having said that, it was a perfect follow up teaser to Over It for so many reasons! It’s a rollercoaster from the opening note to the last, as you’re taken through the ups and downs of Tuck’s vocal range to begin. Once you get past that masterful display that keeps getting better with age, you’re listening to the band experiment with numerous techniques that bring a new polish to the entire package. Not Dead Yet and The Very Last Time make up the slower, more ballad-esque portion of ‘Gravity’. Mind you, I don’t mean that in a negative way! Not only are Not Dead Yet and The Very Last Time the much needed break for everyone at a live show, you’ll find yourself singing them with your arm over the shoulder of the person next to you. Whilst there are a couple of moments where the band changes gears, it never actually gets out of second. Some people might not be a fan of the slower aspect and the overall softness without that slightly rough edge, but this reviewer thinks it’s a nicely constructed change of pace.
Marking the halfway point of ‘Gravity’, Piece Of Me is yet another song that’s going to explode in a live setting! The opening seconds build ominously before the drums/guitar make way for Tuck let out another mosh lifting scream as he demands for someone to “give me a reason, give me a reason, why I should give a f*ck”. There is so much passion, venom and hatred that extrudes out of Tuck during Piece Of Me that you almost feel like he’s annoyed at you! The breakdown and ultra-heavy sounds are a nice throwback to the ‘Hand Of Blood EP’/’The Poison’ early days and this reviewer broke into goosebumps during the final chorus. Under Again starts out with a piano and Tuck’s vocals echoing in the background. Before long however, they move their way to the front whilst paired with the drums and bass, giving that nice contrast. A harmonious chorus takes over and once again showcases the array of emotion Tuck portrays with his lyrics, before BFMV shifts gears. The transitions between the softer verses and the heavy choruses are going to cause absolute chaos in the pit, as those wanting to sing are met with those wanting to crowd surf; the breakdown will once again cause a lot of problems for security! Opening with the drum track, title track Gravity sounds like it was written with fans singing back at the band in mind. Most definitely showcasing why it’s the title track, the lyrics are a duet between Tuck and the audience. The remainder of the song is designed for fans to provide the harmonization that lifts Tuck’s vocals to another level, whilst taking listeners through a rollercoaster ride of tempo changes.
Coma starts out very soft and melodic, as Tuck’s vocals slide into your ears like silk. The drums are very light in the background, almost playing the role of a marching drum setting the stage for a change of tempo. This results in a slight changing of gears before the machine resumes cruising before the next shift; Coma is a great example of the fact that you don’t always need to have the pedal to the metal to achieve the desired result. After a very slow build consisting of violins and Tuck’s vocals fading in, Don’t Need You hits you in the face with the sudden wall of ferociousness it throws at you. Taking another trip into the speed and aggression of early days, Don’t Need You is nicely counterbalanced with harmonious clean vocals. However, it is really the unclean vocals that steal the show in this track, as the aggression displayed draws everything from within as you snarl along! Drawing the album to a close, Breathe Underwater starts with an acoustic guitar and a very passionate Tuck baring his soul. Opening lyrics ‘My head is a circus, I guess it’s all just too much; I guess my best was not good enough’ set the mood for how emotional Breathe Underwater is going to be, whilst lyrics such ‘I know I’m not perfect, I let you down; I guess that I’m paying the price for it now’ are really going to hit much closer to home than listeners would like.
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Leap Of Faith
Letting You Go
Not Dead Yet
The Very Last Time
Piece Of Me
Don’t Need You