Bullet for my Valentine’s first album, The Poison, gave hope to the heavy metal community that a new, post-hardcore Metallica were in our midst. Unfortunately that comparison is no longer appropriate; it was around this stage in their career that Metallicareleased the infamous ‘black album’ and Temper Temper, my friends, is no black album.
The opening track, Breaking Point, begins with the customary screaming crescendo which is effective in creating the tense ‘calm before the storm’ atmosphere that precedes all great metal music. What follows is something of an anti-climax; off beat vocals in the style of old ‘Nu-Metal’ bands like Taproot or Papa Roach combine with nondescript guitar for an underwhelming start to the album.
The other tracks in the album’s first half are all slight improvements, with Truth Hurts introducing punchier, palm-damped guitar, though the vocals jar because of awful rhymes like “I’m in pain” with “bed of nails”.
The complex riff on title track Temper Temper bears more resemblance to early BFMV but is again hampered by shouty vocals devoid of any rousing effect and a chorus which is a direct rip-off of Billy Talent’s ‘Devil in a midnight Mass’.
It is during the fourth track, P.O.W when things take a particularly unappetising turn. After a sharp intro closely mirroring LostProphets‘ ‘Kobrakai’, the song veers off into a flouncy ballad eerily similar to All These Things I Hate from BFMV’s first album, but nowhere near as powerful.
This is followed by thinly disguised emo-pop, Dirty Little Secrets, before the simple, speedy, inoffensive rock number, Leech – the most honest, unpretentious song on the album, and Dead to the World – another complete dirge of a ballad which is slow enough to discern the horribly manic depressive lyrics.
Things pick up a little with the slightly ballsier Riot, the virtually indistinguishable Saints N Sinners and the album’s Hail Mary, and an obvious attempt to mirror Metallica’s musical sequels to The Unforgiven – Tears Don’t Fall Part 2 starts off as a clever antecedent to the classic Tears Don’t Fallbut trips over a wimpy chorus and doesn’t really recover.
In closing track Livin Life (One the edge of a knife),the album narrowly avoids going out with a whimper thanks to the rousing outro, though this does not nearly atone for the record’s other failures.
In all Temper Temper is a grave disappointment; BFMV no longer seem to have a sense for drama, suspense or climax and the whole album is hampered by the band’s turgid inability to move out of their comfort zone: distinctly middle-of-the-road.