I imagine that there is a huge pressure for a veteran band like Bullet For My Valentine to appease the fans that have been following the group since 2005’s The Poison era while also staying relevant in an ever-changing and diverse music genre like metal. While the Welsh rockers are no stranger to reinventing their sound, Gravity, the bands’ 6th album set for release on June 29th, 2018 is a huge step in a very different direction for the group, but not in a bad way.
“Over the last 12 months, I’ve been thinking about the word contemporary a lot and I feel this is a contemporary record. It’s not an old school, heart-on-your-sleeve influences thing. We’ve done that so let’s move forward and make the band more interesting. We don’t want to alienate anyone… but we don’t want to write the same shit anymore.” – Matt Tuck
The album starts off strong with the track “Leap of Faith” and off the bat, you can hear an exceedingly synth-driven style which I later found to be indicative of the rest of the album. But before you take that as a negative, hear me out. The softer electronic side of the album lays the groundwork as a great build-up for the heavier parts like in the songs “Letting You Go” and “Coma”.
Lyrically this record seems to be more intimate whereas past albums have always felt like they were written in third-person and telling a story of sorts. Matt Tuck laid out all of the cards on the table while writing this album and I really appreciated the honesty and grit of these songs as it feels more relatable on a personal level. The song Under Again is a great example of this vulnerability really driving home that overwhelming feeling of depression and darkness that many of us have experienced at some point in our lives.
The albums closing song Breathe Underwater, an acoustic ballad, is by far one of my favorites off the entire record and perhaps strategically placed at the end of the album as a nod to The Poison’s The End or Scream Aim Fire’ s Forever and Always, both of which which were closing numbers for those albums respectively.
Overall Gravity is a strong album from start to finish and while the band has gone in a new direction sonically, the metal vibe is still solid and present throughout. I urge longtime fans to listen with an open mind and really give this album a chance.
Review by Jennifer Devereaux