BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE (BFMV) again with the release of Gravity, spawn their love of bands like METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, SLAYER, ALICE IN CHAINS, NIRVANA, into a new strand of molecular matter to blistering rock music. Let’s be honest, BFMV entered the rock race super strong with their 2006 record The Poison which dropped brought these Welsh rockers into the laps of rock fans all over the world.

With riveting performances over the last 12 years headlining and co-headlining tours, and those all-important festival appearances catapulted BFMV to be one of this generation’s best and biggest acts. As the release date approaches for the band’s sixth studio record, the buzz continues to be amplified by the response to the songs Over It, Letting You Go, and Don’t Need You making this record one of the most anticipated releases of 2018. And rightly so because the caliber of the band since inception, continues to improve while raising the bar for metal bands worldwide.

We aren’t talking about BFMV having to reinvent themselves to keep up either. What we’re talking about is the validity of the way the band can lyrically reach into the listener to connect with real, life experiences and sonically from the appealing combinations of guitar riffs, tones, tempos, drops that BFMV has always used in their songwriting.

Here’s my take on the 11 track record, GRAVITY track by track:

  1. LEAP OF FAITH – the opener of GRAVITY is the force that is intertwined into a collision; the energy that drives one thing to crash into another. I bet this song would be savage live! It’s full where it needs to be, and it’s soft in places designed to make you catch your breath. There’s a tick-tock tempo that makes it evident that something is about to go off; whether that is with the song or within me. Either way, it’s a killer track and sets up the rest of the record perfectly.
  2. OVER IT – BFMV’s knack for the combining of guitar riffs that are delivered by MICHAEL PAGNET and MATTHEW TUCK connects and creates the confidence is needed to act on the need to be over it. I dig the hell out of the bass line in this track; it stirs all the gooey parts of Matt’s vocals that giggle around at the bottom of your stomach. Wait and hold on for the last 15 seconds or so.
  3. LETTING YOU GO – where most love songs stem from a place of “what if’s”, BFMV uses the reality of severing ties between two people that once loved each other. Inside that truth is nothing but heavy AF feelings that have undertones of anger, bewilderment, and that need to let go of something that is damaging, hurtful and sad. The tempo and the tone up to the key change is f’ing brilliant; like the wind up of a pitch. It’s not the ball that moves through the air fast AF, it’s the force that’s pushing it to fly.
  4. NOT DEAD YET – enormous build to the chorus with choppy guitar riffs that are echoed in the drums, where this song takes a turn upwards to lofty atmospheric in the middle, the chorus grounds it back to the center. Matt gives a strong performance that is all-encompassing; heavy, dynamic use of his range, soft in places that just kind of tease you into falling for where ever the melody takes you. Love this track!
  5. THE VERY LAST TIME – the synthesized elements at the beginning pave a path that is almost eerie and haunting. It borders being compulsive in a place where the thoughts reside but don’t come out…BFMV can evoke feelings and physical reactions out of me. This track lends its purpose to of resolve and promise stay true to no one else but the self.
  6. PIECE OF ME – brings it right out of the gate with a plea that comes with a dark parade in the guitar riffs that outline the melody while Matt fills in the gaps with powerful vocals. I dig these dark parts as they mix together with the implied pretty parts of this band. Get ready for this insane break in the middle that is f’ing rocket fuel or straight ear-caffeine!
  7. UNDER AGAIN – “the beginning of the end” sticks out while I listen and this is so relatable, because it’s recognizable now, at least, that the feelings or lack of control that happens with changes in our lives aren’t such a surprise as they once were. The maturity in the elements reflect in this track’s composition and deliver with pounding beats, grating from the guitars allowing MATT’s vocals to stay at the front of the mix and provide a pathway up from under.
  8. GRAVITY – reminiscent of a song that could be in background of a scene in the movie The Lost Boys with the choir-like parts at the beginning and end of the song while the the ups and downs of the guitar teeter-totter on falling; straight to the ground or through the air after losing your footing at the edge of a cliff. Either way, it is this gravity that holds you down or puts you down.
  9. COMA – light and breezy at the beginning are just trying to keep the peace between the light and dark places within us. I love the way the guitars come in and shoot in the electric pulses to an unresponsive thought or way our culture can be described at times. Matt will entice the listener with the sing-songy vocal right to the point where he tosses you through the imaginary door and it’s up to you to wake the fuck up. But it’s up to you to snap out of it.  
  10. DON’T NEED YOU –  what I love about this track is that it addictively draws you in with pounding drums that give a feeling of having to follow the tempo and follow blindingly, the reflections are smeared into a long streak. I love the surprise at the end of the track, be careful though, what you might think you don’t need in them, is exactly what you need for yourself. I am in love with the aggression of this track and I swear to the sweet lord, if this is one of the songs played on the upcoming tour, it best be after the first 3 because I will lose my shit right there in the pit if it’s one of the first 3!!
  11. BREATHE UNDERWATER – a slow and somber rendering of acoustic guitars that pull the same kind of memories that MATT is singing about right out of my mind. The imagery of being underwater is so identifiable and is a jellyfish sting right to the gut. I love the flow of this song but what it brings up in me is something I don’t like. It’s like the ten tracks before this were almost for nothing because no matter what, we’re responsible for bringing these lovely portions of life to light. We’re also responsible for showing the darkness of these same parts where to go and how we get them to stay there.

Suffice to say, GRAVITY is as intense and invoking as the actual phenomenon itself. BFMV delivers almost an effortless mix of what makes up the best parts of each member. The record is a direct look into the emotional sides of humanity and is so easily identifiable because of the vulnerable places the songs come from.

This record will be hard to beat this year because of the overwhelmingly humble places the songs were derived from. The content is believable and can be understood by anyone that has experienced some of these toxic relationships, denial of things that are wrong, living in the past, and everything else that comes with the entanglements of being a human in love.

Til Next Time – MRML 

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