Bullet for My Valentine - The Poison (Cover Artwork)

Bullet for My Valentine

The Poison (2006)


Like most people on this site, I didn't always lean towards the music I listen to now. In the early stages of my journey towards enlightenment, my favourite bands were Stereophonics, Oasis and Blur. The band that changed all that was Bush blah blah blah... Sometimes I wonder. Wonder what would have happened if I was 4 or 5 years younger and the band that came along was one like Taking Back Sunday. If that was the path my musical taste was to take, would I be able to understand the appeal behind Welsh rockers Bullet for My Valentine?

As I stands, I don't. If Machinehead-esque riffs are your thing, that's great. Personally, I think if music is going to be loud, it needs to sound pissed off or with attitude. Otherwise, what's the point? Sure, the riffs contained within Bullet's latest effort are heavy, and the screaming is raw and with conviction, but all 53 minutes are so damned slow, which left me completely bored and eager for the pain to stop. The closing track, which teased me all the way through enduring this repetitive tosh with its promising title of "The End," seemed like an age arriving and, weighing in at just under 7 minutes, came the closest to the loss of the will to live. Equally painful was what hit me early on in "4 Words (To Choke Upon)," when the entire band stops to "let rip" with a low note, bent down way too far and way too long. What, is that supposed to sound impressive? Seriously? I know you can play guitar! Jebus, is it too much to ask for something memorable or non-horrific?

Where BFMV lets us down with rockability, they are even further off rectifying The Poison with their whiny and Lostprophets-reminiscent choruses. Individually, they're not incredibly awful ("Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow" actually comes close to being catchy) and there's no reason why they can't strike a chord with fans of bands like Funeral for a Friend, but collectively they're all the same and constantly kill off the miniscule feeling of being rocked provided by the intros and verses, mostly caused by the lethargic and dreary mood. What, is that supposed to sound enjoyable? Seriously? I know you can whine and sound emotional! Flamin' Nora, what's wrong with trying to get kids to sing along?

Despite most of the album being at the same tempo and sounding identical, I can't knock 'em for "Intro," with its cellos and nice melodic guitar work, or the acoustic intro of "All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)", which gives a nice respite from the drab. However, neither can save this. The Poison won't make your ears bleed, it won't make you sing along, urge you to get in the pit, or come back for another listen.