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41QAQL1zn2L. SL160 Although the album has been out for a couple of weeks now, a copy of FEVER just arrived on my desk this past week. I have to be honest and admit that I’d not been very familiar with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE in the past. Aside from hearing a few tracks here and there, I’d never picked up a BFMV album. In fact, the thing I remember most about the band is their “war of words” with ROB ZOMBIE back in 2006. Ultimately, there was no real reason why I’d not delved into their back catalog, but based on what I’ve been spinning in constant rotation the past few days, that will change.

FEVER is one of the more surprising albums to hit my ears so far this year. The lead single “Your Betrayal” marks a fine start to the album with heavy guitars, vocal whispers, and melodic chorus breaks. The title track roars in with a thumping kick drum backing tastily palm-muted crunch, keeping the momentum flowing straight into “The Last Fight” and “A Place Where You Belong.”

For me, the true standout track on the album is “Pleasure and Pain”, comfortably tucked in the #5 slot on the album. With a lead riff that brings to mind MEGADETH’s “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due” welded together with a lead that sounds borrowed from CARCASS’ “Heartwork”, the track grinds as well as it sails. Radio-friendly choruses bring an almost IRON MAIDEN-esque level of cross-over appeal into the mix. Suffice to say, this track has been on repeat quite a bit.

Continuing through this, “Alone” and “Begging for Mercy” are great songs, leading to a conclusion in an album that never really slows up.

Bottom line is that BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE’s FEVER is a great rock record, period. Despite obvious influences rearing their heads throughout, the songwriting and performance on display here is damn near perfect.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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