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Oh Baby, Be My Lover and Pull That Trigger: Bullet For My Valentine @ Metropolis, Aug. 11

Posted by Jenny / August 13, 2008

20080811_bfmv.jpg Photo via the band’s MySpace page.

It’s been over two months since I came home from my indescribable UK vacation, and needless to say, I miss England like there’s no tomorrow. The sights! The culture! The men! But most importantly, the music.

We were lucky enough to catch hometown heroes The Editors and diamonds in the rough Enter Shikari while on British soil. UK shows emulate an incredible vibe –the fans go absolutely wild, and kids crowd-surf right, left and center– but the drinks are outrageously overpriced and the venues have a strict policy of closing by 11 PM sharp. So I was quite excited about seeing Bullet For My Valentine, of Wales, easily one of the most influential metalcore band in the scene, at the Metropolis last Monday.

The venue was packed before the show even began. Gripping my vodka tightly in one hand, I pushed my way past black-clad tough-looking boys and girls to the soundboard. First up were Toronto’s very own Cancer Bats, channeling their signature blend of hardcore punk and southern metal, which makes them sound more Arizona than Ontario. Their music was probably the least melodic of the three bands on the bill (the trio being rounded up by Orange County’s straight-edge metalcore sextet Bleeding Through, who, as far as I can tell, are best-known for their Scandinavian metal influences and sexy female keyboardist Marta Peterson) but, in terms of getting the juices flowing, it proved a successful strategy.

Sometimes I feel bad for bands opening for acts as famous as BFMV. No matter how good the openers may be, everyone’s really just waiting for the headliner. Tellingly, the Smirnoff was consumed in abundant amounts before Bullet finally hit the stage.

What I think sets BFMV apart from most of their metalcore counterparts is that they’re more about melody than noise, more singing than screaming. They may be playing in the big-kid metalhead sandbox, yet their blending of electric and acoustic guitar and sung vs. screamed vocals is more reminiscent of their Welsh homeboys Funeral For A Friend. And, at the end of the day, they sound more heart-on-their-sleeve melancholic than angry. They’re respectful of their fans and did not once order the crowd into a demonstration of middle fingers held up high, much unlike their Deadly Ailment + Flying Vertebrate = Awesome Band Name tourmates. Sure, there were circle pits and black eyes and torn fishnets – mine included. But all around me, bright-eyed boys were singing along to every word.

Oh! those British boys…

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