Release Date: Feb 12, 2013
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
There are two ways of approaching Temper Temper – the fourth studio effort from Welsh metallers Bullet For My Valentine. On one hand, it stands as a feckless, riotously fun collection of tracks that spits out lines like “Are you ready, it’s time for war / we’ll break down these fucking doors” and leaves you to lap them up as it steamrollers onward. But equally, it’s those very same lyrics that serve as its greatest detriment, dragging the record kicking and screaming into a squalid pit of mediocrity when really, coming from a band of Bullet’s calibre, it should be so very much better.
On Temper Temper, the fourth studio album from Bullet for My Valentine, the Welsh thrashers return with a looser, more organic sound that feels more focused on intensity than technicality. Taking a cue from the less rigid writing process Matthew Tuck used while working on his side project AxeWound, the bandmembers wrote more in the moment, getting their ideas out without having time to overthink them. This more instinctual writing process really comes through on the album, providing Temper Temper with the immediacy that classic thrash albums had, a feeling particularly evident on straight-ahead rockers like "Riot" and "Not Invincible," two songs that rumble right along at a satisfying, take-no-prisoners gallop.
After spending the last six months showing off his extreme metal side in tiny clubs and on festival side stages with AxeWound, Bullet For My Valentine mainman Matt Tuck has returned to his day job. This time, he’s clearly got stadiums and main-stage headline slots in his sights. Despite the gory front cover, ‘Temper Temper’ is an album full of slick, polished radio rock that sticks rigidly to the formula laid down by the Welsh metallers on their third album ‘Fever’.
Upon hearing the first two singles from Welsh metal stalwarts Bullet For My Valentine's fourth full-length Temper Temper, I feared the worst. The title track's video features angry Tapout t-shirt wearing gym abusers, Front magazine rejects and Roddy Piper circa 1988 wearing what looks like baby-blue Tupperware on his head battling it out at an anger management class. Baseball bats are wielded furiously, filing cabinets ransacked and bottles smashed over heads, as a desperate counselor tries to calm his motley crew of camera friendly alternative types with breathing exercises, before losing the plot himself and gleefully joining in the carnage.
The most successful British metal band of their generation, Bullet for My Valentine have a vast fanbase of sulky teenagers, and little reason to win over the rest of a scene that generally regards them with disdain. Temper Temper will do nothing to change that, and doubtless be another commercial triumph, not least because it offers an ever more sanitised version of their trademark sound. The problem here is not a lack of technical skill; in fact, there is a competent if unremarkable modern metal band lurking within the poppy bluster of Breaking Point and Leech.
Welsh metallers’ fourth studio set falls some way short of expectations. Raziq Rauf 2013 If Bullet for my Valentine are to emulate the outstanding careers of the bands they look up to – Iron Maiden, Killswitch Engage, Slayer – then the Welsh metallers had better hope album four’s shortcomings are merely springboards to a better future. Precognition is irrelevant to the right now, though.