As some readers will know, this is one of my favorite metal bands out there. Of course, I was excited when they announced a new album for 2013. I wasn’t thrilled with the singles they released for the record, but I was still anxious to hear where the band was headed next. Unfortunately, it didn’t match my expectations and while it’s not a bad album, it’s not as good as their last one. There are some great songs here and they’ll definitely get stuck in your head, but the whole thing has to grow on you after a few listens.
I wasn’t impressed with “Temper Temper” or “Riot” when they were released. They just lacked something that a good BFMV song has. And frankly some of the lyrics are lame and repetitive. They’ve now grown on me, but they’re the weakest songs on the album. One of the best tracks and one that should’ve been a single is the opener “Breaking Point.” Unlike most of the songs here, this one grabs you with its intense energy and sound. It’s catchy and has a great melody like some of their best songs. It also introduces the theme for the record: it’s about losing your temper to the point where you want to destroy everything and everyone in your way. And even though it is a bit lighter in sound than Bullet fans are used to, it’s still a promising start to the album; too bad the rest of the songs don’t follow through.
The next track “Truth Hurts” isn’t bad by any means, but it’s not one of their stronger songs. It begins with an intense drum and guitar riff that’s sure to get your blood boiling with its energy. But after awhile it starts to sound disjointed. The lyrics don’t seem to match up with the rhythm, but it doesn’t affect the song too much. It just doesn’t sound right to the ear sometimes. The lyrics are also kind of weak and repetitive, but as usual the chorus is catchy, so it’ll be stuck in your head in no time. One thing I really hate about the song is the falsetto moaning during the bridge. It doesn’t sound good and doesn’t fit the song or the band at all.
One strong track is “Dirty Little Secret.” It has a great build up with a trilling riff kicking off the song until the drums and the other instruments come in. It has this intense tone and feel until the verse comes up where the sound completely changes. The intensity is replaced with slow, somber music that almost seems unfitting, until the harsh music comes back during the build up to the chorus. Really, it’s the chorus that makes the song; the melody is great and the energy is even better. It may have to grow on you on the first listen, but it’s still a great song.
As I said, a lot of the songs aren’t bad, but they are pretty weak compared to their past efforts. “P.O.W.” is a slower paced song with typical lyrics about feeling trapped and not having your freedom, while “Saints & Sinners” has some really catchy hooks, but the chorus is kind of weak: “Saints! Don’t be afraid/Let it out, I wanna hear your thunder/Sinners! Are you ready to rage?/Loud and proud, I wanna hear your thunder.” It doesn’t pack a punch and again, it doesn’t seem to fit the melody of the song. But the worst track on the album is “Dead to the World.” I don’t know if it’s because it starts out too slow or because the lyrics were written by Chris Jericho. Yes, that Chris Jericho. Everything about it feels very cliché. It’s like he’s trying to say something meaningful about being useless and losing everything you love, yet it comes off as something an angsty teen would write. By the time the pace picks up at the end, you’re too bored to notice. Note to BFMV: don’t let wrestlers write your songs anymore.
One song that I really looked forward to was “Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2).” This was one of my favorite songs from their first album, so I was wondering how they were going to continue it. Just like most songs on the album, it’s lacking that punch and brutality that the previous song had, but it’s still really good. There are great little nods to the first part by having parts of the same guitar riff and lyrics thrown in. I also love how he starts with “Let’s Go Again!” The references to the original are great because it links the two together without ripping it off completely. And just as with the original, it’s catchy as fuck. I also love how the song ends with the line “I’ve told you before/Your tears don’t fall/I’ve been here before/They crash around me.” While we really didn’t to have this story continue for us, it’s a solid effort from the band and one of the better songs from the record.
Overall, the album gets 7.5/10. It’s not horrible, but older BFMV fans may be disappointed that they seemed to have toned down on their brutal sound and tone. Unfortunately, this makes most of the songs easy to tune out and somewhat weak. But there are still tracks here that have the same energy and catchiness of their past work. It’s not something that you’ll fall in love with instantly, but after a few listens you’ll see that it’s not a bad record; it’s just not as good as their past work.