Originally published in Guitar World, May 2010
The Welsh metallists heat up their twin-ax attack with Fever.
Bullet For My Valentine have two highly successful albums under their belts: 2005’s The Poison and 2008’s Scream Aim Fire. So it may seem foolish for the Welsh metal act to tamper with its winning formula.
But that’s just what BFMY did when they set out to make their newest release, Fever. The group said, “See ya, mate!“ to its trusty British producer, Colin Richardson, and went with a Yank, Don Gilmore, whose credits include Linkin Park’s first two albums, among others.
“Our main goal was to kick up the vocals and make them stand out,” says guitarist/vocalist Matt Tuck. “Not to sound conceited, but we don’t need help with our guitars. Don contacted us and said he was a fan of ours, but he agreed that our vocals had to go to that next level. It was a lot of work, but the results speak for themselves.“
Co-guitarist Michael Paget concurs, but he says there were moments when Tuck and Gilmore butted heads. “Matt wanted to be pushed, but I don’t think he always appreciated it,” he says with a laugh. “Don brought Matt out of his comfort zone, and I think the record slams because of that.”
Not to imply that the band gave short shrift to its vicious twin-ax attack. Fever’s first single, “Your Betrayal,” is a marvel of brutal, stop-start guitar orchestration. And “Alone” is a dizzying masterstroke, with a stinging, melodic solo that gives way to flurry of double-tracked, sweep-picking madness.
“We’ve got a good system of working out our parts,” Tuck says. “I try to do all the flashy Dave Mustaine–type leads, and Padge does everything else.”’
Paget says, “By intuition, I can tell what Matt is going to play, and I try to complement his parts. The worst thing a two-guitar band can do is clash, with each guitarist going nuts with his parts and everything sounding like a big mess. We try to keep things hard, precise and spot-on.”