February 7, 2008

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Bullet For My Valentine, Scream Aim Fire
Jive Records, Jan. 29
Despite bearing the weight of the most emo moniker one could think up, BFMV is the South Wales, UK, entry in the post-nu-metal rat race, where they’ve taken a comfortable lead over Killswitch Engage and Avenged Sevenfold as of this album. Last year’s release, Poison, was sparser and more screamo than this, which in the past would have made it more appealing to rebellious types (crummier is better!), but although all the processing makes this sound like every instrument and vocal was piped through a Rockman, it’s what this generation of suburban kids like, and anything that gets them exposure to a real guitar solo should be lauded whether or not the obvious Metallica theft is cause for sneering.

Metallica is indeed a huge influence here, what with singer Matthew Tuck’s adorable myna-birding of Hetfield’s trademark diphthongs and all the Hammett-esque speed-pinch-soloing; as well, “Say Goodnight” is “Sanitarium”’s emo kid brother. Aerosmith and Van Halen get leeched also. B+ — E. W. S.