Every Bullet For My Valentine album ranked from worst to best

A press shot of Bullet For My Valentine in the Poison era, stood outside on rubble
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bullet For My Valentine have always split opinion. Since forming as Jeff Killed John – Jeff? As in, Jeff?! – in 1998, the Welsh four-piece have been branded as future Download headliners and wannabes, sometimes in equal measure. Wherever you sit, there’s plenty to discuss.

So join us as we replay the hits, the misses, and the ones where they kinda hit but nobody was really paying attention. Here’s Bullet For My Valentine’s back catalogue ranked in order of greatness. 

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7. Temper Temper (2013)

We all make mistakes. Some of us have that ex-partner, others have that old haircut. Bullet have that album. Temper Temper sticks Fever’s sweaty, sleazy hard rock template in a cold shower, scrubs it dry and imposes an age restriction on its mobile phone. 

Matt Tuck’s never been the strongest lyricist, but his embodiment of a soldier in P.O.W. is borderline treason. In a slightly less offensive display of ineptitude, Truth Hurts’ cry of, “Truth hurts like a bed of nails” becomes even naffer courtesy of that bloody silly Layne Staley impression.

Coming from a band of this stature – four albums down the line, no less – it’s not good enough. Riot’s about as edgy as a dildo, Tears Don’t Fall, Pt. 2 makes the original sound like Bohemian Rhapsody, and Tuck’s lyrical and vocal whoopsies throughout make Temper Temper a dud.

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6. Gravity (2018)

For an album called Gravity, Bullet’s sixth effort is well flat. Promptly unwinding all the goodwill and excitement surrounding 2015’s Venom, Tuck and friends have a stab at the Imagine Dragons big-drum-woah-plus-some-electronics shtick. It’s about five years too late, though. 

What we’re left with is a sexless, lifeless go at ‘radio metal’ that’d make the staunchest Five Finger Death Punch fan rag the handbrake, do a U-turn, drive to Wales and whip Bullet For My Valentine with a wet American flag. 

The songs themselves aren’t even badly composed – there’s just barely any teeth on this thing. It’s all so safe and sanitised, Not Dead Yet and The Very Last Time’s twee, cloying lyrics even more noticeable given the beige instrumentation and delivery. When Don’t Need You’s throwback pace kicks off track ten – ten! Come on, lads – it’s like the girl from The Exorcist popping up in the Barbie movie.

Gravity’s not quite the shitted bed of Temper Temper, but it’s not far off. 

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5. Bullet For My Valentine (2021)

“I want to take people's heads off in a metaphorical way” isn’t a David Brent quote. Rather, it’s a straight-faced line from Tuck on the promotional trail for Bullet’s seventh, self-titled album. 

They were heavier, but more melodic (again). They went back to their roots (again). BFMV’s merits come from its meat-and-potatoes construction, but that’s where the cracks begin to show: there’s not much going on. It’s nice to hear them appear genuinely angry on Parasite and Knives, even though the latter only excels because it sounds like a Machine Head B-side. It’s all a bit clinical and second-guessed. 

But hey, the announcement of BFMV’s back-to-basics approach clinched them that coveted Download headline slot. Finally! OK, it was the 10,000 capacity, COVID Petri dish Download Pilot. Still. Squint, and the word ‘Pilot’ becomes very blurry. 

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4. Scream Aim Fire (2008)

So The Poison was kind of a big deal. The year after its release, Bullet were third from the top at Download Festival, kissing only the feet of their equally hyped-up Welsh brethren Funeral For A Friend and, well, Guns N’ Roses. And to be fair, if Bullet had just given us The Poison, Pt. 2, they'd have gotten a kicking anyway. Scream Aim Fire bypasses this crucifixion by extracting the whiffs of melodeath from their debut and making it a bit chunkier. Pacier.

Tuck’s shouted vocals have James Hetfield written all over them, Michael ‘Moose’ Thomas’ drum fills on Eye Of The Storm sound like the four horsemen rushing to call shotgun, and overall, Scream Aim Fire’s great.

Yeah, all right, Take It Out On Me could probably be binned were it not for Skindred’s Benji Webbe turning in a star performance, and Say Goodnight’s balladry falls short of the subdued Metallica/In Flames hybrid it hoped to spawn. But they can’t all be zingers.

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3. Venom (2015)

After a portion of their fanbase checked out after Temper Temper, Bullet screamed in the ears of anyone left listening with their fifth record, Venom. It’s still got Tuck’s melodic kick in stuff like Broken and Army Of Noise, while the thrashing, nosebleed-a-minute headbutt of No Way Out is glorious to hear. Refreshing, even.

You might call it a cynical step backwards, but due to guitarist Michael ‘Padge’ Padget being Kirk Hammetted and left out of Temper Temper’s recording, Venom feels like the record Bullet should have made following Fever. Cheese-laden lyrics and a couple of cack ballads aside, Venom is a genuinely great Bullet album that deserves more than it got.

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2. Fever (2010)

On the run-up to Fever, Tuck told Rock Sound that Bullet is “a hard rock band with metal influences, and I’ve said that from day one.” Never could that’ve been truer than on their third album. The tyre-slashing tempos are exchanged for undeniable groove, but you still get that faster, wind-up-and-ARGH sugar rush from tracks like Pleasure & Pain and Pretty On The Outside.

At a time when Killswitch Engage had become palatable as can be, when Trivium were still apologising for The Crusade, Bullet had the nerve to record a track like Alone. The orchestra-tinged, far-reaching limbs of that song grapple for heights only then scaled by their other contemporaries, Avenged Sevenfold. Fever is a blinder, despite the title track’s lyrics reading like Adam Levine’s DMs.

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1. The Poison (2005)

The setbacks. The bed-shitting. The transparent grabs at relevance. They’re all valid points to dismiss Bullet, but there’s a reason the band are still held to high standards today: The Poison.

Front to back, their debut LP is a shot of melody, heaviness and dexterity straight to the cranium and out the other side. The Gothenburg-inspired riffing’s here in buckets through Cries In Vain and the masterful Her Voice Resides, and Bullet’s ballads have never been as brilliant as they were back here. Tears Don’t Fall remains a masterclass in epic, sing-along soppiness and All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)’s instantaneous, loserish loneliness could’ve been a radio mainstay were it not for the, well, metal bits.

They’ll probably never recapture that crisp, fresh-out-of-the-box power they had on The Poison. But they’ve shown promise. There’s something left. In the meantime, dust off your New Rock boots, twiddle your thumbs, and wait for the inevitable anniversary tour of The Poison in full. Again. 

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Alec Chillingworth

Alec is a longtime contributor with first-class BA Honours in English with Creative Writing, and has worked for Metal Hammer since 2014. Over the years, he's written for Noisey, Stereoboard, uDiscoverMusic, and the good ship Hammer, interviewing major bands like Slipknot, Rammstein, and Tenacious D (plus some black metal bands your cool uncle might know). He's read Ulysses thrice, and it got worse each time.