Since their inception in 2003, the Welsh quartet Bullet for My Valentine have been taking cues from '80s metal bands and the punk-infused metal of the new millennium to make melodic, dark rock with, well, metal tendencies. Coming from Bridgend, South Wales -- breeding ground for the likeminded Funeral for a Friend and LostProphets -- the group consists of childhood friends Matthew 'Matt' Tuck (vocals/guitar), Michael 'Padge' Padget (guitar/vocals), Jason 'Jay' James (bass/vocals), and Michael 'Moose' Thomas (drums). Everyone in the group, except James, had been performing together for a few years in Jeff Killed John, when the day before entering the recording studio, their bassist Nick Crandle abruptly walked out.
Regrouping under the new name Bullet for My Valentine with James on board, the guys reworked their sound and were signed at their second gig by London's Visible Noise. They released a self-titled EP in the U.K. in November 2004, and their debut full-length, The Poison, appeared that next fall. May 2005 saw the band sign to the U.S.-based Trustkill, re-releasing their EP, titled Hand of Blood, in August. That same year they won Kerrang!'s Best British Newcomer Award and headlined the magazine's XXV tour. With February 2006 came the U.S. release of The Poison, followed by a nationwide tour in support of Rob Zombie before Bullet for My Valentine headed back to the U.K. in June for their third stint at the Download Festival. ~ Corey Apar, All Music
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