One of the most successful U.K. metal acts of the new millennium, Welsh quartet Bullet for My Valentine take cues from '80s metal bands and punk-infused metal to make melodic, metallic, dark rock songs. Employing a sinister blend of caustic riffage and full-throttle drums, the group's pop sensibilities brought them to the mainstream via career-changing albums like The Poison (2005), Fever (2010), and Temper Temper (2013), and chart-topping singles "Scream Aim Fire," "Your Betrayal," and "All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)," making them the one of the biggest U.K. metal outfits since Iron Maiden.
Originating in Bridgend, South Wales — a breeding ground for like-minded groups like Funeral for a Friend and LostProphets — the group consisted of childhood friends Matthew Tuck (vocals/guitar), Michael Padget (guitar/vocals), Jason James (bass/vocals), and Michael Thomas (drums). Everyone in the group, with the sole exception of James, had previously performed together for a few years in Jeff Killed John. One day before entering the recording studio, though, Jeff Killed John's original bassist abruptly walked out, effectively breaking up the band with his exit.
Regrouping under the new name Bullet for My Valentine (with James on board), the guys reworked their sound and were signed at their second gig by London's Visible Noise. They released a self-titled EP in the U.K. in November 2004, and their debut album, The Poison, appeared the next fall. One year later they partnered with an American label, Trustkill, to begin releasing their material in the U.S. As a result, Hand of Blood — essentially a deluxe version of the band's first EP — was issued to American audiences in August. That same year, Bullet for My Valentine won Kerrang!''s Best British Newcomer Award and headlined the magazine's XXV tour. The U.S. release of The Poison followed in early 2006, as did a nationwide tour in support of Rob Zombie, and the album eventually sold more than 500,000 copies in America alone. Meanwhile, Bullet for My Valentine headed back to the U.K. in June for a third appearance at the annual Download Festival.
Scream Aim Fire appeared in 2008, marking the band's second full-length album and cracking the Top Ten in multiple countries (including the U.K. and U.S., where it peaked at numbers five and four, respectively). After touring, the band headed back into the studio, this time choosing Linkin Park producer Don Gilmore to helm the recording sessions. The result was 2010's Fever, another high-charting album with a slightly more mainstream sound than the band's previous releases. In 2012, Tuck took a quick break to record with his side project, AxeWound, but returned to the band to release Bullet for My Valentine's fourth album, Temper Temper, in 2013. The following year saw the group head back into the studio with producer Colin Richardson to begin work on their next long-player. The resulting Venom arrived in summer 2015. In 2018, the group issued their sixth long-player, The Spinefarm Records-issued Gravity, which charted respectably and was the first studio outing for new drummer Jason Bowld. ~ Corey Apar