Bullet for My Valentine - Hand of Blood (Cover Artwork)

Bullet for My Valentine

Hand of Blood (2005)


Oh my, there were some major red flags that popped up when I went to listen to this one. Let's see: Their name is Bullet for My Valentine (trite name referring to inevitable love issues, check); the name of the album is Hand of Blood (nicely placed blood reference, check); their picture is ridiculous (black nails, black hair, black shirts, check); and if that's not enough, the name of the first song is "4 Words (To Choke Upon)." I pretty much took this up as a hopeless endeavor right there, but being the good listener that I am, I gave them more than enough listens to prove me wrong. Nope.

It's surprising bands are still trying to break into this type of music when it's apparent that the ship is sinking (and has been for a while). There's only so many bands that people can deal with that have the overly dramatic sing-scream vocals and horrible lyrics. No one expects the next James Joyce from these guys, but a little competency would be nice; either way, the least they could do is not whine throughout the entire record about problems like they were 15. There are productive ways to express emotion, whether it be anger or loss, but this isn't one of them. Angry music should be angry; sad music, sad; but this lies at an indecisive level that just destroys it all.

That all is more a general statement though, and could probably apply to plenty of bands, so what about these particular six songs? They almost all follow the same formula with singing and sporadic screaming, uninspired guitars that make a mockery of their press sheet's bolded "Where the fuck have all the riffs gone?" and consistently awful lyrics. The beginning of "Curses" may be the only attempt at something different, with a quieter intro. The best thing they could have done was made the whole song like this, keeping the distant singing and soft guitar work, but lo and behold, it cuts right into the clichés they played out in the first 3 songs.

This style of music is well overplayed after the inundation of bands playing it over the last few years, and there is absolutely no reason Bullet for My Valentine needed to join the fray. The songs are repetitive and bland, failing to deliver any sort of actual emotion beyond trite relationship issues, and to top it off, don't deliver much in the way of catchiness either. That's really a great one-two punch, but I highly doubt anyone will care since no one will remember them in 2 weeks anyways.