Bullet For My Valentine recently played the Camden Roundhouse promoting latest album ‘Temper Temper’ so James went down to check them out to see whether despite the negative feedback surrounding new album Temper Temper they’ve still “got it” live.
Miss May I (7) kick off this evening’s entertainment; they’re fairly standard metalcore fodder but are satisfyingly tight and get some early mosh pits moving. By the end it sounds like they’ve played the same song over and over again – but at least it’s a good song.
Sadly, next band up, Halestorm (6) feel more like a parody act than a real band – singer Lzzy Hale struts around brandishing her guitar like an accessory rather than an instrument whilst the rest of the band blast their way through 45 minutes of depressingly vanilla hard rock, the final straw coming when a drum solo is included in the middle of their 45 minute support slot, arresting all momentum. In fact, for much of Halestorm’s set drummer Arejay Hale seems more intent on showing off his repertoire of tricks than playing his parts well, leading to a musically sloppy set.
Of course, it was always going to be about tonight’s headliners, Bullet For My Valentine (8) who tick all the right boxes for an enjoyable metal show. Fret-manglingly pyrotechnic guitar solo’s? Even ‘Temper Temper’ material has these, whilst the almost obligatory pedestals at the front of the stage lend proceedings an even greater sense of theatre. How about mosh inducing riffs? Waking The Demon gets an early showing, which transforms the floor area into a mass of circle-pitting bodies whilst ‘Hand of Blood’ sees amongst the biggest pits of the evenings. What about moments where we’re not getting our faces melted though I hear you ask? Well, Bullet’s setlist has been well-constructed to give several lulls – such as when Matt leads the (very loud) audience into an acoustic rendition of ‘The Last Fight’ before the rest of the band appear on-stage and blast into the song proper. P.O.W, the obligatory ‘metal ballad’ of ‘Temper Temper’ works much better in the live environment than on record and leads to another satisfying lull.
Although its nowhere near as strong as older material – several songs from ‘Temper Temper’ do work better live –Breaking Point still feels limp and uninspired live but Riot is simple, to the point and gets the pit moving again. POW is by far the strongest song taken from ‘Temper Temper’ aired tonight whilst ‘Dirty Little Secret’ sees an appearance by Lzzy Hale of Halestorm which makes it more interesting than on record. Bullet could have played a stronger set without so much newer material – but it’s hard to argue when songs like Riot and Temper Temper get such a great reaction.
Bullet play a slick, polished set that keeps a strong balance between new and old material whilst making sure newer material from ‘Temper Temper’ has far more impact live. As for support slots, Halestorm were several nautical miles off triumphant, but Miss May I produced a competent enough set.
Bullet For My Valentine’s Setlist Was:
Waking The Demon
4 Words (To Choke Upon)
The Last Fight
Take It Out On Me
Her Voice Resides
Dirty Little Secret (w/. Lzzy Hale)
Scream Aim Fire
Hand Of Blood
Tears Don’t Fall