LIVE REVIEW: Bullet For My Valentine, JINJER, Atreyu, Roundhouse, London, 11/03/2023
Photo Credit: Sophie Garrett
In 2023, Welsh metallers Bullet For My Valentine will be celebrating two decades together at the top of the higher echelons of the UK metal rock scene. From breaking through their hometown barriers of Bridgend with their debut album The Poison to being still at the top of their game twenty years later, recently releasing their highly anticipated seventh Self-Titled record, Bullet For My Valentine are firing on all cylinders, a fire that has been burning for two decades and never losing its heat.
The band have just been announced to top the bill by headlining this year’s 2000Trees festival after a highly successful headline slot closing out the weekend of Download Festivals return event Download Pilot two years previous. With their brand of metal heavy riffs and stadium sized rock singalongs it’s clear to see why festivals are booking the band to top bills and why venues such as tonight’s closing show on their seven-week stint across the UK and Europe at Camden’s iconic The Roundhouse book a band like Bullet as they are seasoned favourites and metal veterans able to pull a crowd at the click of their fingers.
Before the mighty Bullet takes to the stage, some support acts have some warming up to do. Southern Californians Atreyu, who recently dropped their almighty new single Watch Me Burn bring a melodic post-hardcore edge matched with a metal influences fire that reverberates around The Roundhouse. 7/10
The newcomers of the night come in the form of Ukrainian cohort JINJER. A band truly breaking the boundaries of refusing to be boxed in, their music reaches far and wide across the genre spectrum. From heavy metal to hip hop, JINJER prove they are a triple threat, pulling no punches in their command of the crowd, their musical influences or their unmistakable stage aura. 7/10
By now Bullet For My Valentine have been around the live music block for a long time, but as the band marched onto stage at The Roundhouse, there is a sense of a landmark victory to their performance. “We are going to squeeze 20 years of Bullet For My Valentine into a 90 minute set” promises vocalist Matt Tuck and Bullet delivered in heavy doses of newness, curveballs and nostalgia. Where opener Knives, Shatter and Rainbow Veins put Bullet For My Valentines name to the test, taken from their self-titled album, songs such as 4 Words (To Choke Upon) and Hearts Burst Into Fire both “Turn the clock back to day one” and “Is a song requested by you people,” Tuck says respectively.
Pulling out their big guns for the encore, shortly after Tuck invites his younger brother onstage to perform guitar duties for Don’t Need You, a clear rockstar following in the footsteps of his big brother, the unmistakable guitar led intro to Your Betrayal and a surprise shortened down acoustic rendition of Bullet’s smash single Tears Don’t Fall build up to an always electrifying outing of their band’s biggest hit, and as the shouts that roar “Your tears don’t fall, they crash around me” smash through the rounded dome of The Roundhouse thirteen years later, two decades into their career, Bullet For My Valentine are visibly still firing on all cylinders and probably will be for the next two decades too. 8.5/10
Written By: Katie Conway-Flood
Photo Credit: Sophie Garrett