Bathed in eerie green light, Matt Tuck and co. take to the stage at Alexandra Palace. They haven’t been here since 2008, during the Scream Aim Fire era that cemented them as true metalcore icons. Since then, they’ve released a good chunk of their best work, arguably their best album to date Fever and most recently Gravity.
Over the last decade both their sound and their aesthetic has matured, no more scantily clad, dead cartoon women on album covers (ahem, The Poison), and insane speed and technical prowess have fallen to the wayside in favour of huge pop-like hooks and arena filling choruses.
Opening with the golden triad of ‘Leap of Faith’, ‘Over It’ and career defining ‘Your Betrayal’, Bullet demonstrate their leap of faith (geddit?) from their earlier sound and show the resilience and endurance of the newer material. The stage production looks more like a The 1975 concert than the true metalcore lords they’ve come to be, but their stoic presence and thunderous sound bring the show back down to the core essence of metal. With ticker tape cannons and Co2 jets left right and centre before even the fourth song ‘4 Words (To Choke Upon)' is in full swing, we’re reminded of the undeniable cheese-factor that Bullet For My Valentine still love to indulge in.
From the primal thrash of ‘Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow’ to the more refined, melodic ‘Venom’, the setlist tonight spans their twenty-year career (if we’re counting the four years spent as previous bend Jeff Killed John) of self-proclaimed "big angelic choruses" and metalcore anthems. Tuck brings SHVPES frontman Griffin Dickinson back out for ‘No Way Out’, and with an encore of ‘Don’t Need You’ ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and ‘Waking The Demon’ everybody, fans both old and new, leave feeling satiated.