Album Reviews

Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine Album Cover
Bullet For My Valentine – ‘Bullet For My Valentine’

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Bullet For My Valentine were the chosen ones, designated as metal’s big hope to take the genre into the future. They were tipped for festival headline slots and to carry the mantle that would inevitably be left by the Metallica’s of the world.

Well, that was the mid-2000’s and the album run of ‘The Poison’, ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Fever’ had them on the verge of achieving all that was foretold. Sadly, it hasn’t been smooth sailing since that point. Their recent headline slot at the Download Pilot Festival proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with onstage, so where did it go wrong.

The momentum killer appears to have been a very hit or miss output of recordings over the past decade. There have been some great moments but also far too many forgetful or even cringeworthy ones.

Line-up changes have also played their part, but the current line-up has been together long enough now to provide some stability on that front. So as this line-up releases their second album, ‘Bullet For My Valentine’, what does the future hold.

Listen to ‘Knives’ on our Hard & Heavy Playlist

The band can perennially play decent sized venues and festival slots, but if they want to take that leap and fulfil the prophecies they need to at least steady the ship. This album returns to the heavier and more aggressive sound of the bands formative years which certainly helps them.

Bullet For My Valentine – ‘Rainbow Veins’

Whilst there is a slight Bullet-by-numbers feel to the album, that comfort is what is needed from them right now. The likes of ‘Knives’ and ‘Rainbow Veins’ help to elevate the record and place it in the middle range of any ranking of Bullet For My Valentine albums.

Fans of the band will be happy with the album and critics of the band won’t have much to criticise. The ship has been steadied, now let’s see what the band do next.

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Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

Album Reviews

Limp Bizkit

Still Sucks

Limp Bizkit Still Sucks
Limp Bizkit – ‘Still Sucks’

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The tumultuous career of Limp Bizkit has always included an element of surprise, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the bands long awaited sixth studio album gets a surprise release. Well, not a complete surprise as the band did announce its Halloween release a couple of days prior. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the album actually arrived!

This album isn’t the long feted ‘Stampede of the Disco Elephants’ and none of the singles said to be for that record feature on this one. This album entitled ‘Still Sucks’, finds the nu-metal icons in typically self-aware mood, and features their recent single ‘Dad Vibes’.

Limp Bizkit – ‘Dad Vibes’

So is this a more mature release from a band that thrives on chaos? Thankfully not! Whilst clearly the band are older there is still that immaturity to their sound. There is still plenty of fun to be had on this record although now the dad vibes shine through and the jokes are more dad jokes.

That’s actually just what is needed though considering that much of their audience will now be in that age bracket themselves. ‘Still Sucks’ certainly feels like it is designed to appeal to the bands existing fanbase and where they are now in life.

Whilst there is plenty of tongue-in-cheek self-depreciation on the album, the band appear of assured and confident disposition. ‘Still Sucks’ is Limp Bizkit doing what only Limp Bizkit can do, and doing it well.

Listen to ‘Dad Vibes’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

After such a long wait for a new Limp Bizkit album, the desire for such an album has no doubt waned. The band has always been a marmite band, you either love them or you hate them. ‘Still Sucks’ acknowledges this and sticks a middle finger up at the haters.

Did we know we needed this new Limp Bikzit album in 2021? No. Did we? Hell yes!

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Album Reviews

Will Varley

The Hole Around My Head

Will Varley The Hole Around My Head

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Folk troubadour Will Varley has once again sat with his acoustic guitar and plotted the creation of a collection of songs. His latest album is entitled ‘The Hole Around My Head’ and it finds Varley in typically defiant and reflective mood.

There is a real tenderness to this album however that finds Varley unafraid to address the vulnerability of life. It’s a sombre reflection of life, love and the world that we live in, as always crafted with care and designed to captivate.

Watch The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Frank Turner

The likes of ‘Colour TV’ and ‘Dreamland’ will be held up to as standout moments, but the reality is that this isn’t the collection of songs we mentioned. ‘The Hole Around My Head’ is a singular piece of art that is perfectly melded together by Varley and deserves to be consumed in its entirety.

The name Will Varley is criminally underappreciated and the sad reality is that this album isn’t likely to trouble the very top of the charts. Put a name on the cover such as Ed Sheeran, James Blunt et al and ‘The Hole Around My Head’ is being touted as the best thing since sliced bread.

Will Varley – ‘Pushing Against Us’

There is an incredible pool of talent in this world that are plugging away and deserve a spotlight and Will Varley typifies this. ‘Live Again’, ‘Pushing Against Us’ and ‘The Lonely & The Brave’ close out an album of beautiful and powerful songs that deserves all the praise it will hopefully receive.

‘The Hole Around My Head’ is a delicate masterpiece from a songwriter of the highest level.

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Read our review of ‘A Matter of Life & Love’ from Skinny Lister

Album Reviews

Skinny Lister

A Matter of Life & Love

Skinny Lister A Matter of Life & Love
Skinny Lister – ‘A Matter of Life & Love’

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Skinny Lister have spent the past decade building a solid following on the back of their fun-filled live shows. They have also managed to accumulate an impressive run of albums and now they return with their fifth studio album, ‘A Matter of Life & Love’.

What follows is another collection of tales, witticism and shanties which again capture the magic of the band on record. Whilst some acts with a live show as revered as theirs might struggle to trap that lightning in a bottle when putting music on tape, Skinny Lister manage it perfectly.

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From the very beginning the likes of ‘Shout It Out’, ‘Tough Stuff Like Us’ and ‘Like It’s the First Time’ showcase the unique Skinny Lister branded folk/punk sound that fans have come accustomed to. At the same time however, it’s nice to hear that sound evolving throughout the record.

This is a well rounded record that doesn’t just capture their live energy but also captures all the various influences that make up each element of their sound. It’s almost like this album is a statement from the band saying we are Skinny Lister and this is what we do!

Skinny Lister – ‘Damn the Amsterdam’

The album is also home to ‘Damn the Amsterdam’ their shanty single featuring The Longest Johns who will be touring with the band shortly. The title track, ‘Embers’ and ‘Bavaria Area’ are all worth a mention too, but it’s the album as a whole that once again highlights the talents of the band.

‘A Matter of Life & Love’ is a well crafted and superbly delivered album that is well worth your time and attention, so pour yourself a drink, put on your dancing shoes and have a little sing-a-long!

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Read our review of Skinny Lister live at Lost Evenings Festival

Album Reviews

Don Broco

Amazing Things

Don Broco Amazing Things
Don Broco – ‘Amazing Things’

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As with many album releases in the pandemic era, the release of ‘Amazing Things’ from Don Broco has seen its fair share of issues. With the arrival date for the record already delayed once, the date of the physical release has again been delayed, but thankfully the digital release is now here.

This is the fourth studio album from a band that has grown naturally over the course of their career to the point of headlining Wembley Arena in February 2019. Continued momentum is essential for bands and the pandemic has played havoc for many.

Don Broco have a tour scheduled to happen imminently so the release of ‘Amazing Things’ now is very important for the groups trajectory. More important though is the quality of the album. After all we’ve seen poor albums completely kill the momentum of much heralded bands in recent years.

Don Broco – ‘Gumshield’

The long process of getting this album out has seen a number of tracks come out ahead of its release. ‘Gumshield’, ‘Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan’, ‘Endorphins’, ‘One True Prince’ and ‘Uber’ all whet the appetite and hinted at the quality and ambition of ‘Amazing Things’.

Listen to ‘Manchester Super Red No.1 Fan’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Thankfully for the band the preview, glimpses and hints all manifest themselves as an album of pure, unadulterated, adrenaline-filled pop rock pleasure. This is a fun collection of songs which all present as being built to be played live.

As you listen you can visualise the crowd reactions that the songs are bound to elicit. Far from being a momentum killer, ‘Amazing Things’ is set to push the band on to… well, amazing things!

Whilst that may be a cheesy pun, it fits, because Don Broco have always had a cheesy coolness about them. They may not take themselves too seriously, but the music industry should certainly take them seriously as the future of rock.

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Album Reviews

Biffy Clyro

The Myth of The Happily Ever After

Biffy Clyro The Myth of The Happily Ever After

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How does the saying go? Eat. Sleep. Release Album. Tour Album. Repeat? Well, it’s something like that normally isn’t it, but a certain pandemic has thrown best laid plans out the window for artists.

Take Biffy Clyro as a prime example. The release of ‘A Celebration of Endings’ was set to see the band play an arena tour which was even announced to the public. Alas the tickets never even went on sale due to the impact of the pandemic. Then the ‘Fingers Crossed’ tour was announced, a run of intimate dates that fingers crossed would go ahead.

Read our review of ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ from Architects

Well, even that got postponed until the end of this month. Now before even that tour gets to happen we have another album from the band! ‘The Myth of The Happily Ever After’ is said to be the sister album for ‘A Celebration of Endings’. The fact is the band will now be touring the albums hand in hand so how do the records sit with each other?

Biffy Clyro have never really had a set formula, the very thing that identifies their sound is their lack of boundaries, their quirkiness and willingness to experiment. ‘A Celebration of Endings’ was already an album packed with musical nuance and ‘The Myth of The Happily Ever After’ gleefully continues to ebb and flow.

This is a band that has been pretty prolific both in quantity and quality for some time now, so it’s no surprise that this is another solid album which only adds to their legacy. It’s unlikely to be held up like Simba by Rafiki as the future king, but that’s due to its unique birth and relationship to its predecessor.

Biffy Clyro – ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt / Unknown Male 01’

The description as a sister record feels right. This is a continuation of the creative process for ‘A Celebration of Endings’ and is basically the second record of another double album for the band. When held together the two albums are certainly up there in terms of the bands releases.

‘A Hunger In Your Haunt’, ‘Witch’s Cup’ and ‘Unknown Male 01’ lead the way for the record and ensure the likely dynasty for the album in future set lists. All in all this is another Biffy Clyro album that earns your attention and continues the bands momentum on their path to glory.

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Album Reviews

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes


Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes Sticky
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘Sticky’

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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes certainly have no issues in adapting and evolving. Each of their now four albums has managed to have its own identity in almost every way except one! That is that they are all clearly Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes records.

The trajectory of this band has often been signposted for the top since their initial inception just six years ago. With their headline performance at the special Download Pilot Festival this year, predications of headlining the main festival soon followed.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

There is no argument that this band is one of the most exciting live prospects on the circuit, but great live acts need great material to perform. ‘Sticky’ is the group’s fourth studio album and continues the hot streak of albums released in such a short time period.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘Sticky’

On this record the band focus on their punk capabilities with something of a throwback album. That is in that the ten songs are all on the shorter side and the album as a whole clocks in at just 28 minutes. This is a fast paced punk rock record for sure, but sonically it’s a progressive punk record which leans into the pop sensibilities of the band.

This is an album packed with rock club dancefloor fillers, designed to get you moving. The album blends perfectly as a singular piece of art but each song is also allowed to shine. This is helped by the array of special guests with Lynks, Joe Talbot, Cassyette and Bobby Gillespie all featuring on the album.

Following their stunning performance at Donington Park, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are heading to huge band status and a top notch album at this point is now surely going to solidify their status. ‘Sticky’ is exactly the album that the band needed to release at this point in their career.

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Listen to ‘My Town’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Album Reviews


In the Court of the Dragon

Trivium In the Court of the Dragon Album Cover
Trivium – ‘In the Court of the Dragon’

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Trivium are on a hot streak following the critical and commercial successes of 2017’s ‘The Sin and the Sentence’ and 2020’s ‘What the Dead Men Say’, and fans haven’t had to wait long for their next effort!

‘In the Court of the Dragon’ is the group’s tenth studio album, so can they continue their hot streak on this landmark release?

Trivium – ‘In the Court of the Dragon’

Some will have been surprised by the longevity of a band that polarised fans and critics for a time after their initial mammoth success. Trivium however have evolved into a much loved and respected act now embraced by a wide audience.

At this point, and especially following their recent releases, nobody should really be surprised by the quality of ‘In the Court of the Dragon’. The title track and fellow single ‘Feast of Fire’ had already teased that the hot streak was still in effect, but with the entire record now available it’s clear the answer to our question is yes.

Listen to ‘Feast of Fire’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

There are ten tracks on the bands tenth album including instrumental opener ‘X’, and it must be said that once again there isn’t a bad track on the record. There are naturally tracks that will lean themselves to being added to the bands live shows, but this is also an album to be savoured as a whole.

It has been a long and at times difficult road for them but at this point Trivium have well and truly earned their place at the top table of metal. As a tenth album, ‘In the Court of the Dragon’ does justice to the band’s legacy as well as keeping the future looking very bright for the band.

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Read our review of ‘Marching In Time’ from Tremonti

Album Reviews


Marching In Time

Tremonti Album Cover Marching In Time
Tremonti – ‘Marching In Time’

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When Alter Bridge and Creed guitar icon Mark Tremonti first announced his namesake band Tremonti, you could be forgiven for thinking that it would be a temporary project. A lot of so called side-projects come together and put out an album before disappearing again. Some last longer but only emerge sporadically to fill gaps of time from their main band.

Well, a decade and five albums on, it is fair to say that Tremonti has become much more than that. Given that these albums haven’t just been clear leftovers from Alter Bridge, you’d also make an argument now that Tremonti is as important to the main man as his other bands.

Listen to ‘If Not for You’ from Tremonti on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

Another thing to note is the scepticism from day one that Tremonti himself would sing. We knew he is an incredible guitarist, but a singer? Again at this point it feels natural to hear Tremonti on vocal duty. Over the past ten years he has grown into the role with ease and ensured Tremonti the band has a unique identity.

So what can Tremonti the man and the band offer on their fifth studio album, ‘Marching In Time’? The twelve tracks have a run time just shy of an hour so this is a meaty album which isn’t ever trying to be something that it’s not. Whilst Tremonti has surpassed all expectations, they’ve never tried to reinvent the wheel.

Tremonti – ‘Marching In Time’

There are no pop songs here, this is another delicately brutal, all out heavy rock collection which sees the band doing what they do best. That is not to say that there isn’t growth, there are certainly times when you can feel the band pushing their creativity.

There is plenty for fans to sink their teeth into, after all as we said this is a meaty album. ‘Marching In Time’ is everything you want from a Tremonti album and it continues to cement the band as a serious project. Not that they need to prove anything at this point, any band that can put out five albums of such quality in just ten years demand attention.

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Read our review of ‘The Ides of March’ from Myles Kennedy

Album Reviews

Planet Fatale

The Cycle Repeats

Planet Fatale The Cycle Repeats Album Cover
Planet Fatale – ‘The Cycle Repeats’

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Planet Fatale formed from the ashes of various Cambridge based bands, and on their debut album, ‘The Cycle Repeats’ a phoenix rises!

It’s all too easy these days for new metal bands to sound… well, generic. This album is a breath of fresh air that manages to avoid such pitfalls. You can certainly hear some clear influences on the record, but they are enveloped and honed into an assured, confident sound that acts as a statement of intent from a band ready to take the metal world by storm.

Planet Fatale – ‘Break For You’

From opening track ‘Talking To Myself’ and fellow single ‘Break For You’ through ‘Shotgun Riders’ and ‘Fight Club’ there is a undercurrent of considered fury. This helps set the tone for an album designed to get your head banging and your foot tapping.

Listen to ‘Talking To Myself’ our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

Whilst most definitely and defiantly a heavy metal record, there is a poppiness to the songs that makes then very moreish. It won’t take long for listeners to be lured into this spiders web of hard hitting goodness.

It can be all too simple to stick with what you know and not try anything new, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. This album is certainly worth your time and Planet Fatale have set themselves a high standard for future releases.

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We recently spoke with singer Hels Johnson for the ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast, where we discuss ‘The Cycle Repeats’ and their upcoming tour plans. Be sure to check out our chat here or watch the video edition below.

‘Discover’ New Music Podcast – Episode 5 – Planet Fatale

Read our review of ‘Senjutsu’ from Iron Maiden