The Bullet for My Valentine merch and albums are always a great musical experience because you know at the back of your mind that this is a group devoted to its music. Instead of pouring hours over fixing their hair or creating a better image for better sales, they have stubbornly latched more onto just creating music. This is what makes them great.
The founding band members hail from the UK but were originally known under the moniker Jeff Killed John. Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Matthew Tuck; lead guitarist Michael Paget; drummer Michael Thomas and bassist Nick Crandle came together in 1998 and, at the outset, began playing nu metal music. In 2002, the group released the EP You Play With Me. Before the release Crandle left and Jason James took over bass and backup vocals.
Because of problems with finances, the band had to adopt its current name. At the time that they did this, a more crucial shift happened for them as they changed labels and music genre. They released two new EPs under Sony BMG. It didn’t take long before the first Bullet for My Valentine album, Poison, emerged. This came out in 2005 and hit the Billboard 200 at 128. One year after its release, it achieved gold status and continues to be a hit among fans to this day. Clearly the group had found a permanent name for its band patches.
Critics don’t argue much about the brand of music the group plays. Their tone has been categorized as metal under the sub categories of either thrash or heavy. The band stresses however that they are primarily a rock band with metal influences. Among the major influences they have cited are Metallica, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
After the success of their first release, the group jumped ahead on their second album project Scream Aim Fire which came out in 2008. The work sounded similar to the first one but it is considered more aggressive. Their third album, Fever, sounds more like the first but is still decidedly aggressive in tone and does not carry any signs of toned down melodies. This third album is perhaps the most mature of the three and is also likely to endure through time.
The group has not actively attempted to look better for the limelight. Even so, they have had a good share of it, being named the Best Newcomer in the 2004 Welsh Music Awards. Two years later in 2006, they were given the Metal Hammer Golden God Award for Best British Band. The Kerrang! Awards also took notice, naming the group Best British Newcomer in 2005 and Best British Band in 2008 and 2009. Their song Tears Don’t Fall was named Best UK Single in 2006 by Kerrang!
Depending on your perspective, there are different ways of perceiving the musical approach of the Bullet for My Valentine albums. One thing is certain though. All that matters for the band members is playing music for music’s sake.