Even the most tenured, highly recognized bands in the music scene have their doubts. That’s what a global pandemic will do. The constant thoughts of what is going to happen with everything that has been built up until this point, an unfettered disassociation creeping around, never truly going away. After a year and a half of fighting the ins and outs of doubt and uncertainty, forced to sit on the sidelines to wait and see what happens, things have finally started to take a turn for the positive.
One of those positives is the resurgence of metal legends Bullet for My Valentine, after an over-20-year presence that has been nothing short of excellent.
“To be honest, man, I thought it was all over,” admits guitarist Michael “Padge” Paget. “I thought that was it. That’s the end of the band, the end of live music.”
The band’s seventh LP, Bullet for My Valentine, is set for release on November 5 via Spinefarm, and is their heaviest album to date, which is really saying something. Put together in about five weeks with Carl Brown, who helped produce 2015’s Venom and 2018’ Gravity, the record is a poignant return to true metal.
“It’s just awesome to be back in the metal domain again,” shares Paget. “I think Bullet really sits well in the metal domain, and for me, it’s great. [We] started writing in 2019, and right from the [start], it was heavy metal. It just felt natural and right, so we just went with that and made it as heavy as we could.”
The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. Mental and physical exhaustion are now commonplace in so many lives. But the indefinite “down time” also opened up something deep, a hidden instinct to take a step back and re-evaluate current situations. A blessing disguised as a curse, isolation became the normal, day-to-day routine and allowed Bullet to sit down and grind out the best album in their career thus far.
“It just really pushed us to write harder, to write better,” explains Paget. “There’s so many songs that came up, so it was great to have lots of choices. There’s no sort of fillers, anywhere. Being in lockdown really benefited the writing of the record, especially pre-production, because it just gave us so much more time to concentrate on the music and the structure.”
It’s been two decades of anything and everything happening for Bullet: three million albums sold, three gold albums, and coming off another arena tour, yet none of that could hold a torch to what we have all been through the last year and a half. Live music, a safe haven of total inclusivity, especially in the metal scene, was abruptly put on the back burner. The return of live shows has been a long time coming, and no one is as ready to get back to it as the explosive Bullet for My Valentine crew.
“We’re in a really, really good place. It’s a super negative time, but we got it done,” Paget says with a sigh of relief. “We’ve never been so prepared to record an album. We just can’t wait to release it and get out there and start touring again. That’s what we really miss, playing live on stage to fans and to people around the world.”
Watch the video for “Rainbow Veins” here:
Photo courtesy of Bullet For My Valentine and Alan Snodgrass