Bottom of the Barrel: Bullet for My Valentine – Temper Temper (2013)
Genre: Metalcore / hard rock
Release date: 8th February, 2013
Record label: RCA
For fans of: The sound of potential being flushed down the toilet
Temper Temper is the fourth album by Welsh metalcore idols Bullet for My Valentine. But more than that, it’s the soundtrack to promise dying.
For, up until 2013, Matt Tuck and the motley crew of metalheads were practically untouchable, riding off the success of their two pioneering releases The Poison (2005) and Scream Aim Fire (2008), which had made them the figureheads of the burgeoning metalcore movement. And even after diverting to a more straight-forward hard rock style with the newer Fever in 2010, the quartet had yet to pump out any objectively “bad” music and were riding high as arena rock titans, all set to have the torch passed to them after the likes of Metallica and Iron Maiden call it quits.
And then Temper Temper happened. As musically weak as its childish name would suggest, Temper Temper tries to be an amalgamation of every Bullet style up to that point by mixing hard rock and 21st century metal, but instead comes across as ‘diet metalcore’, making the bizarre decision to keep itself restrained and, as a result, boring.
Only the first three tracks of the record – “Breaking Point”, “Truth Hurts” and the title track – are anywhere close to being passable, actually containing some semblance of effort and vitality. However, even then, they are plagued by Matt Tuck’s innocuous and bland lyricism, which has nothing profound to say throughout the entire album.
But after the ten-minute mark, Temper Temper descends into almost unbearable banality that is summarised perfectly in “Tears Don’t Fall, Part 2”, the entirely pointless sequel to Bullet for My Valentine’s best-known song. Nothing but a shameless retread, it adds no value to either the original or the album as a whole, basically making it a waste of time.
A fitting metaphor for the rest of Temper Temper. For over two years, this record damaged Bullet in a manner that they are only just beginning to recover from thanks to the Venom (2015) record and a recent co-headlining tour with Killswitch Engage. Seeing the band reclaim their kingdom has been quite the relief, and they definitely more than deserve it, since Temper Temper threatened to single-handedly derail everything that they had going their way.