Photography by Klare Sherwood KS Photography


    07/03/2023 O2 ACADEMY, BIRMINGHAM

    It’s Tuesday night in Birmingham and the mighty Bullet for My Valentine are in town. It promises to be a massive night for metalheads in attendance as they are joined by none other than Jinjer & also Atreyu. It’s fair to say the line-up is stacked full of talent tonight.

    Atreyu are the first ones up to get things underway for us. I think this is the perfect tour for Atreyu to open for, admittedly they are a band that has passed me by, but what better way than to get an introduction to them putting them as the opener for this incredible line up. You instantly get that they have a good sense of humour as ‘Sandstorm’ by Darude is played just before they take to stage. I have heard before that vocalist Brandon Saller has a reputation for being a fantastic frontman, and that is confirmed as he commands the crowd with ease. Songs such as ‘The Time is Now’ & ‘Becoming the Bull’ go down a treat. A great way to get the night underway.

    Up next and taking things up a level are Jinjer. Vocalist Tatiana Shmayluk needs absolutely no introduction as her voice is one of the best in the industry. Her contrast of harsher vocals paired with her harmonic cleans are almost envious as you can only wonder how she pulls it off. She wears a striking body suit that looks like it could be from an 80’s sci-fi movie, as if we needed another reason to believe she might be from another planet.

    Of course, it’s not just the genius of Tatiana that this band has to show off, she is backed by the technically brilliant Roman Ibramkhalilov on lead guitar, Eugene Abdukhanov on bass and Vladi Ulasevich on drums. They rip through their set one by one, with ‘Copycat’, ‘Judgement’ & ‘Vortex’ being particular highlights.

    It’s crazy to think that it’s been 2 whole decades since Bullet for My Valentine burst onto the scene, it seems only yesterday they were the new kids on the block. Right from the get go it’s riffs galore as they burst into ‘Knives’ from their recent self titled release. It’s fair to say that Bullet at this point in the career boast a back catalogue like no other, we have huge songs like ‘Piece of Me’ and ‘Scream Aim Fire’ appearing early in the set and things are just getting started here.

    Vocalist Matt Tuck is on fine form as ever, his piercing vocals cutting through the entire room. The band as a whole are really tight-nit, everything is so polished and executed so flawlessly, you’ll struggle to find many guitarists who can do it like Michael Paget can, he is one of a kind. I don’t think there’s many bands who will get the O2 Academy shaking as much as Bullet have here tonight.

    During the encore it’s time for the heavy hitters to appear, with ‘Your Betrayal’ & the genre defining classic ‘Tears Don’t Fall’. Circle pits pop up without Matt having to even ask for them as everyone seems to lose their mind for a second. We’ve seen a huge night of metal music here tonight, Bullet for My Valentine continue to show why they are one of the finest bands to come out of the UK in recent times, few can do it like them!


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