Album Review – Gravity by Bullet for My Valentine (Spinefarm Records)

Bullet for My Valentine have released their latest album, Gravity. An album that sees the band fall further from grace than ever before in one of the worst albums of 2018 so far.

Released via Spinefarm on the 29th of June, Gravity sees the Welsh rockers forget to rock in a diluted, electronica heavy mess of a record that may well be the final nail in the coffin of a band whose career has been on a downward spiral for a few years now. To be honest, I am quite surprised how bad it is. I listened and reviewed all three of the singles in the build up to the release and, while I didn’t really like any of them, I expected them to be the “radio friendly” songs. Surely a few more traditional Bullet for My Valentine tracks would appear on the album?

Gravity

Turns out I was very wrong. The singles, despite my dislike of them, are probably the best songs on the album. There is very little else to praise. If you want to read my thoughts on those singles, follow these links – Piece of Me, Over It and Letting You Go. On to Gravity then. Gravity is the band’s 6th studio album to date and follows 2015’s Venom. An album which itself wasn’t very popular with fans though seen as a huge step up from their 2013 release, the dire Temper Temper.

There are 11 songs on Gravity which equates to around 42 minutes of music in total. From the opening dance like electronics of Leap of Faith, you know this is a mistake. To say these guys have left their metal and metalcore roots behind now is a massive understatement. Leap of Faith sees guitars hidden way behind vocals that sound a little electronically assisted and drums that have no meat to them. Soft vocals over electronica make up the verses with slight levels of raising intensity in the choruses. You get a little gang vocals and heavier shouts over a mild breakdown near the end but it does little to salvage a poor song.

Over It and Letting You Go, two of the singles, come next. They suddenly seem much better than I previously thought. This is mainly to the surrounding nonsense though and not on merit.  Not Dead Yet comes next and was written for the band by American producer, Drew Fulk. The vocals sound especially manufactured for the gentle verse which is basically just Matt Tuck over electronics before a slightly louder chorus comes in. The lyrics are particularly weak with lots of gaps just being filled with “woahs” on what is yet another music by numbers, boring track.

The Very Last Time is unfortunately not the very last time as we get some more electronics and a ballad. Echo effects sit over the vocals and a gentle synth line. I think I can kind of hear a guitar melody a little in the background too but it sits way behind the electronica and vocals. The next few tracks, Under Again, Gravity, Coma and Don’t Need You all manage to sound remarkably similar.

Coma is again written for the band by Drew Fulk and all 4 tracks follow the same format of electronic opening, clean verses with little to no drums or guitars before a slightly louder chorus with weak lyrics and unimpressive melody. To be fair, Gravity and Don’t Need You have a couple moments on them that are catchy and almost hark back to what the band used to be like but they are quickly gone and forgotten. A little guitar chug and a bit of guitar melody before the programming comes and take over again.

Gravity

Gravity ends with further evidence that the band once destined to take the metal world by storm have decided to pursue their careers in other areas. Breathe Underwater is another ballad this time with assistance from Charlie Simpson, of Busted and Fightstar fame. To be fair, you do actually get some acoustic guitar melody on it which is welcomed and it is nicely sung but it is also generic and uninspiring bringing an end to an album that I will be deleting instantly and never playing again.

I don’t get any enjoyment out of bashing a band. Honestly, I would really like to see these guys succeed but what were they thinking here. I knew I was in trouble from the first song. The album opener, Leap of Faith which may well be a hint as to what was about to come. If this new, ultra polished, vague and diluted sound was their Leap of Faith then Gravity got involved and they have landed hard, splattered all over the floor thinking probably the same as me “damn you Gravity”.

As always with these things, reviews are a matter of opinion so you should still check it out. Just once. I have actually read a lot of very praising reviews online which completely flummox me so maybe, just maybe, you will like it too.

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Gravity is available at all the usual streaming services now, like Apple Music and Spotify. You can grab a physical copy from here too. Find out more about Bullet for My Valentine at their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.




Gravity by Bullet for My Valentine (Spinefarm Records)
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