Bullet For My Valentine – [Live]

Thursday, 16 October 2008

When a friend of mine suggested to me that I go check out Bullet For My Valentine at the Warfeild Theater with him, I was a bit hesitant. I really hate to say it, but it seems that most of today's metal bands just don't seem to have that spark, or special something, that the bands I grew up listening to had (and still have) and having never heard BFMV before I was pretty skeptical that they would win me over and light my torch for modern metal.  But after doing a bit of homework on the band, and learning that they are influenced by Metallica, Slayer, Testament and Iron Maiden—among others—I grew very curious about BFMV, and decided to go in with an open mind and hear for myself just what all the hype surrounding BFMV is about. And by the end of the night, it became pretty obvious.

Opening the show was Black Tide, a group of thrash-inspired kids who just plain get it. Playing a more traditional style of metal than either band they were sharing the bill with, the band had the crowd pumped up from the word “go” with their heavy and melodic tunes. I cannot even begin to describe what a fresh of breath air these guys are. To see four kids all under 21 up on stage just churning out song after song of classic metal made me flash back to the days of watching Metallica, Exodus, Testament and Death Angel when they were all that young, and as I was watching them I thought to myself that they will only continue to get better and better over the years. Although I enjoyed every song from their brief set, highlights for included "Warriors of Time" and "Shockwave." I'm going to be keeping an eye on this band over the next few years, and am looking forward to seeing them grow and continue to put out some great music.

After a quick break, Orange County's Bleeding Through were up next, and from the split second they walked out onto the stage, the six of them unleashed nothing short of a total aural assault on the crowd. Now I am normally not a huge fan of "Metalcore," but Bleeding Through are one of the few bands that down can mix the down-tempo of the genre and combine it with the brutalness of death metal, and still manage to make it work to their advantage. Singer Brandan Schieppati totally reminded me of John "Bloodclot" Joseph (legendary front man of the Cro-Mags) at times, and he commanded both the stage and the audience for the band’s entire set. Guitarists Jona Weinhofen and Brian Leppke had a total death-metal crunch to their guitars while the keyboards of Marta Peterson added a nice touch to the band’s songs. Hardly slowing down to catch their breath, the band ripped through more than a few songs off of their just-released Declaration album, with "Orange County Blonde and Blue" standing out as the most ass kicking. Bodies seemed to be constantly flying over the barricade, and by the time the band wrapped up their set, every kid in the front looked like they had been through hell and back. I really hope that the band will embark on a headlining tour in support or Declaration, because I would love to see a full set from them.

Hitting the stage an immediately launching into “Scream Aim Fire," Bullet For My Valentine proceeded to show the entire crowd just why they are considered one of the best metal bands around today. Led by the twin-guitar attack of Matthew Tuck (who also handles vocal duties) and Michael Paget, these four lads from Wales put on a super-tight set inspired by the likes of Iron Maiden, Testament and Pantera, among others. As they continued to steamroll their way through the night with "Disappear," "Tears Won't Fall" and "Take It Out On Me," I only became more and more impressed with the band, and just how talented they are. Both Tuck and Paget are awesome guitar players, while the rhythm section of Jason James on bass and Michael Thomas on drums provided they perfect heaviness to go along with the melodic vocals. And judging from all the old-school headbanging that was going on, the kids seemed to love Bullet For My Valentine just as much as I was. After a few more songs off their latest album, including "Eye of the Storm," "Say Goodnight" and "Last To Know," the band left the stage, only to come back for a pretty damn incredible version of Metallica's "Creeping Death." It was the perfect ending to a damn near perfect night.


Bullet for My Valentine – Scream Aim Fire. Buy it now on

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