The musicians responsible for the Bullet for My Valentine albums are almost the anti thesis of rock stars. Unlike other musically inclined stars, the members of this band prefer to focus on their music instead of reinventing their appearances for commercial packaging. This in itself suggests that the group makes for an interesting case study.
Although they were more musicians than stage acts from the very start, the members of this UK group started out on a different note. The group was originally known as Jeff Killed John and were made up of Matthew Tuck on vocals and rhythm guitar; Michael Paget on lead guitar; Michael Thomas on drums and Nick Crandle on bass. From 1998 to a few years ahead, they were mainly known for their nu metal tone as apparent in their EP You Play With Me. Crandle left the group before the band could make a name for itself and was replaced by Jason James.
Because of problems with finances, the band had to adopt its current name. At the time that they did this, a more crucial shift happened for them as they changed labels and music genre. They released two new EPs under Sony BMG. It didn’t take long before the first Bullet for My Valentine album, Poison, emerged. This came out in 2005 and hit the Billboard 200 at 128. One year after its release, it achieved gold status and continues to be a hit among fans to this day.
Critics don’t argue much about the brand of music the group plays. Their tone has been categorized as metal under the sub categories of either thrash or heavy. The band stresses however that they are primarily a rock band with metal influences. Among the major influences they have cited are Metallica, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
The band followed through the success of their first album with the release of Scream Aim Fire in January 2008. Although the work followed much of the same tone pattern as the first one, it is considered a bit more forceful. The band however seems to have moved back to the original musical elements of their third release, Fever. Nonetheless, the marked aggression is still present especially with the absence of slow beat songs. The group considers this piece of work to be an indication of how far the band has matured. Of all their albums, this third one is perhaps the most enduring in quality and style.
Despite seemingly veering away from image building, the group has not gone unnoticed. In 2004, they were hailed as the Best Newcomer at the Welsh Music Awards. They were then named Best British Band in 2006 at the Metal Hammer Golden God Award. The Kerrang! Awards has added to their string of recognitions, naming the group Best British Newcomer in 2005 and Best British Band in 2008 and 2009. The single Tears Don’t Fall was awarded by Kerrang! As the Best UK Single in 2006.
Fans and followers can have different ideas on which genre the Bullet for My Valentine albums belong. Clearly though, this isn’t a major life and death concern for the members of the band. They really are more into playing their music than anything else.