Five Finger Death Punch... The New Superstars Of Metal?
Admittedly before this album I had only heard a few tracks by Five Finger Death Punch (FFDP) previously. A band solidly established within the metal genre, their previous two albums (Vol 1 & 2 of the Wrong Side of Heaven and The Righteous Side of Hell) both debuted at #2 on the US Billboard Chart and featured 3 number 1 hit singles (Lift Me Up, Battle Born, Wrong Side of Heaven), one of which has since racked up just under 40 million views on YouTube. But as with listening to any new band, let’s just say I was unknowing of what an entire album of theirs could produce.
But I genuinely needn’t have worried! It took about 30 seconds into the first track and first single of the album, Jekyll and Hyde (which has understandably already racked up 6 million views since its release!), for me to be unashamedly hooked onto the arrival of the new (and undeniably authoritative) Death Punch sound.
What can only be described as an unforgiving, in your face and unapologetic rage against the world and narrated battle against your inner demons; the recognisable Death Punch sound of crashing guitars and drums definitely comes at you with a vengeance in this promised “no wandering around... slam to the face” record.
Each promise (“focused, condensed, high potency, heavy”) – is confirmed track after track by frontman Moody with fierce vocals (and at times insane screaming), some truly venomous lyrics, a plethora of athematic (and extremely addictive) choruses, and not to mention the continually ruthless (yet undeniably exceptional) efforts of guitarists Jason Hook and Zoltan Bathory, bassist Chris Kael and drummer Jeremy Spender throughout.
The result is a genuine mash up of confusion, anger, self-loathing, acceptance and most characteristically defiance as Moody unleashes some really fantastic lyrics that battle through the intensity and real lows of human emotion. Moody’s soul searching and ever changing emotional contradictions - at times accepting and embracing himself as a fellow outcast in a world increasingly trying to tear him down (This Ain’t My Last Dance, You’re Not My Kind – deluxe album) and at others exposing real pain and regret about his past actions/decisions (Digging My Own Grave, My Nemesis, This is My War) – will undoubtedly find solace in the hearts of many fans.
I have no doubt this could in fact lead the way for FFDP to become the new leaders of the next generation of fans in the genre - a guiding role the band surely feels they are ready for with fans given the title of the album comes from the military term meaning roughly “I’ve got your back covered”.
With some brilliantly addictive and in your face opening tracks (Jekyll and Hyde, Got Your Six), some really stand out heavy tracks (Sudden Movement and Boots and Blood) - in which you can basically feel the circle pits forming around you, and an endless set of athematic choruses for a generation (of particular note are tracks Wash It All Away, This Ain’t My Last Dance, My Nemesis), FFDP have delivered a really exceptional album here. At times reminiscent of the sound of Seether (Digging My Own Grave) or Slipknot (Meet My Maker) I would argue that the album is an accessible and instantly likeable choice for any heavy metal fan.
This is a statement album for sure. And with the band set to co-headline Wembley this November alongside stars of the genre Papa Roach I can’t help but echo Metal Hammer in saying; “[after listening to this record] Kick, scream, bitch, moan, fold your arms all you want… this is happening. Five Finger Death Punch are Metal’s next superstars.” They’re surely one of the most exciting things to happen in the genre in a while, so watch out for them – they’re gonna be BIG.
To find out more about FFDP click here.
To visit the FFDP Facebook page click here.
Words by Shannon Jackson