Welsh metal act plans U.S. invasion.

Let the massacre begin.

The metal band Bullet For My Valentine has already exploded in the United Kingdom. Now they're locked, loaded and ready to take on the States.

Last week, the band's debut full-length, "The Poison" (Trustkill), entered Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart at No. 2 and The Billboard 200 at No. 138.

Hailing from the small town of Bridgend, Wales -- which is also where Lost Prophets and Funeral For A Friend started out -- it didn't take long for word to spread about the band's vigorous live shows. In fact, the group was signed after just two gigs.

Since then, bandmates Matthew Tuck (vocals), Michael Padget (guitar), Michael Thomas (drums) and Jason James (bass) have toured the United Kingdom with the likes of Chimaira and Hawthorne Heights, and are gearing up for a U.S. tour with Rob Zombie and Lacuna Coil.

"What separates us from most other bands is keeping our metal roots [and] all of the aggressiveness and brutality that we've grown up on, but at the same time writing good songs," says Tuck in the band's press materials. "And when you put it all together in one good looking rock band, you can't fail."

During a recent BBC Radio interview, Thomas expanded on exactly what those "metal roots" are.

"Obviously we grew up on Metallica, Testament, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest," he said, adding that nu-metal bands were all the rage when Bullet For My Valentine first formed. "We thought we'd have a go at doing that, but in the end we thought, 'OK, we're not going to try to sound like anyone. We're just going to write music that comes naturally.'"

The music they've created is filled with dark, crooning rock riffs and romantic lyrics. "Some of the music's actually quite uplifting," says Tuck.

Add to that a knack for shocking visuals both onstage and off and you've got a band that's destined to follow in the footsteps of Slayer. Case in point: the video for "Hand of Blood," where blood rains down in a crowded club to create a disco bloodbath a la the film "Blade."

With bravado like that, it's no wonder Bullet For My Valentine has already scored a direct hit with metal fans around the world.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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