British metalcore giants Bullet For My Valentine just wrapped up a run in the states with Florida’s Trivium — holy nostalgia, batman — this was a tour package that my younger, high school-era self had always dreamed of witnessing! We caught up with them as they made their way to AURA in Portland, Maine. The venue was pretty packed by the time up-and-comer Toothgrinder opened the show. Although many in attendance were new to the band, they won them over pretty quickly with their raw, aggressive stage performance.

Trivium were up next. Lead guitarist Corey Beaulieu is actually from Maine, so this was almost a hometown show for the band. Due to the recent release of The Sin and the Sentence, much of their eight-song set was newer material, including the title track and “The Heart from Your Hate.” However, the band snuck a few deeper cuts in, most notably “Throes of Perdition” from 2008’s Shogun, and fan favorite, “Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr” from 2005’s Ascendancy. It would’ve been amazing to see them play a longer set and get some more older material in, as they’d been doing on their European tour just before this run, but I guess I’ll have to wait until their next headlining tour!

At last it was time for Bullet For My Valentine to hit the stage. The band has a new record coming out June 29 entitled Gravity, so fans were treated to two of their new singles from that, “Over It” and “Piece of Me.” The rest of the set was mostly older material with a few tracks off of more recent albums. The sing-alongs really kicked in for fan-favorites, “4 Words (To Choke Upon),“ “Scream Aim Fire,” and “Tears Don’t Fall,” the latter of which left me without a voice for the next couple of days–it was worth it!

As far as I know, this is the first tour stateside showcasing the band’s new drummer Jason Bowld, and wow what a difference he makes to their dynamic. His speed and chops were on full display in songs old and new, as well as a several-minute drum solo mid-set! The band opted to play a longer set instead of doing the standard encore at the end, closing with thrasher of a song, “Waking the Demon.” While this tour is now over, I would expect that the new album will see them back here soon, so keep an eye out for BFMV, perhaps in the fall or early next year!

Check out Bullet For My Valentine’s “Over It” music video here.


When he's not out in the woods, clomping around in streams, or looking at shiny rocks, you can find our U.S. Managing Editor and contributing photographer Nathan Katsiaficas in the photo pit, covering everything from heavy metal to punk, alternative, indie, and hip-hop.