Artist: Five Finger Death Punch
Album: The Wrong Side Of Heaven, And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol. 1
Genre: Modern Metal
Release Date: 26th July 2013
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH seemed to be on a bit of a sceptical slope regarding their last album 'American Capitalist' which seemed a bit lacklustre after their first two very successful albums. While the production and skill was there, the songwriting seemed too much of a re-hash. So, when the band announced they were going to do a double album for their fourth and fifth album release, it perked interest. Would it be different? Would it tell a great story? Or was it going to feel like a rarities and demo album and have a fifty/ fifty chance of flopping again. The first single released- 'Lift Me Up'- was catchy, featured guest vocals from Rob Halford which is a first for the band when it comes to including guest vocals at all, but the sound still sounded way too close to the other singles that have made FFDP so popular. After this somewhat mediocre track though, the album really starts to kick off. One of the signature changes fans will notice in the music is the bass, contributed by the new addition of Chris Kael. On the track ‘Watch You Bleed’ the thundering backing sound is a welcome addition along with the guitars from Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook which is a good mix of soft and hard riffs that give that blend of metal and rock that makes the band so attractive. And, of course, the mix of singing and screaming from Ivan Moody still hasn't let down.
As the album moves along, fans will see how FFDP got their fire back. The anger is there. The melodies are there. True, some may complain the band really cashed out on their success of tracks like ‘The Bleeding’ from their debut album when considering the title track but the lyrics are excellent and vocal harmonies really come into play. On the other hand, tracks like ‘Burn MF’ fall flat in their attempt to rage for the sake of rage- it just doesn't hit like a raw piece of music; it feels forced. Other surprises include a rap cover from LL Cool J with Tech9ne- ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ will bring back the nostalgia of rap metal of the early 2000. The band also continues to bring in guests to flesh out their music such as Maria Brink from IN THIS MOMENT on ‘Anywhere But Here’. Her vocal performance on the original version is a bit closeted, but on the deluxe edition she shines a lot better. ‘I.M. Sin’ features Max Cavalera from SOULFLY, but between his snarls and Moody's snarls, it can be hard to tell the difference. The biggest surprise, and progression for FFDP is the closer ‘Diary Of A Deadman’ which is a spoken word poem and also a montage of FFDP riffs from other tracks. It is a lucky experiment that works to the band's advantage and closes the album on a high note that will leave fans waiting for more.
For those who are luck enough, the deluxe edition features a 15 track live collection that showcases the band's live talents. Where YouTube and poor cell phone videos fail to bring the Five Finger Death Punch experience, this disc captures it all. The band doesn't sound like a carbon copy of their records, and there is plenty of crowd interaction so listeners can really get the feel of the live atmosphere, especially on the track ‘White Knuckles’. There are also some heart-warming moments too to show the band is not all about anger and hate when Ivan Moody talks about his kids and how the youth of today deserve as much as support as they do to keep metal alive. Fan favourites such as ‘Coming Down’ and ‘Bad Company’ are performed but the real highlight is a drum solo near the end of the show. It will be quite unlike anything anyone has heard from FFDP so far, and hopefully the next album will include a sequel live disc.
01. Lift Me Up (feat. Rob Halford) - 4:06
02. Watch You Bleed - 3:43
03. You - 3:03
04. Wrong Side of Heaven - 4:31
05. Burn MF - 3:37
06. I.M.Sin - 3:39
07. Anywhere But Here (feat. Maria Brink of In This Moment) - 3:45
08. Dot Your Eyes - 3:15
09. M.I.N.E (End This Way) - 4:06
10. Mama Said Knock You Out (feat. Tech N9ne; LL Cool J cover) - 2:47
11. Diary of a Deadman - 4:44
Ivan Moody – vocals
Zoltan Bathory – rhythm guitar
Jason Hook – lead guitar
Jeremy Spencer – drums
Chris Kael – bass
Total: 8 / 10