Album Review – Five Finger Death Punch / The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Volume 2 (2013)

5FDP release the second part of what sounds pretty much like something in between Slipknot and Stone Sour.

Rating6

5FDP_Vol2It seems that there’s a huge problem with bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold and many others from the same style and time: the lack of a true and honest musical direction in their careers. I’m not saying they shouldn’t experiment new elements and/or different approaches in their songs, but their “musical spine” looks too shallow.

Every time I listen to this band from Los Angeles, California, they sound to me more and more like a hybrid between Slipknot and Stone Sour, but with the more mainstream looks of A7X instead of the scary jumpsuits and masks. Don’t get me wrong, I consider Ivan Moody a very talented singer, as well as all other musicians (especially guitar Jason Hook), and their music is far from being boring or “MTV garbage”. However, there’s nothing that really pumps me up when I listen to 5FDP. By the way, this acronym is extremely funny to me: 5FDP in Brazilian Portuguese literally means 5 sons of a bitch (“5 Filhos Da Puta”).

Let’s focus on the music now, starting with Here to Die, the opening track and also the coolest song of the album: although it’s a good song, it’s not original at all, sounding 100% like Slipnkot. The same can be said about the next two tracks, Weight Beneath My Sin and Wrecking Ball, both with nice riffs and chorus, and ready to become hits on the radio. In Battle Born, it felt as if I was listening to Stone Sour instead of 5FDP; it’s not a bad ballad, but again too predictable.

five-finger-death-punchFans will certainly enjoy Cradle to the Grave, especially the drums which fit the song perfectly, while Matter of Time is just filler with nothing new to offer. The Agony of Regret is an average intro to the interesting ballad Cold, with its orchestral elements and beautiful lyrics. The next track, Let It Go, makes me wonder if this album is some kind of tribute to Slipknot, and songs like My Heart Lied and A Day in My Life confirm 5FDP are trying hard to be the next big Rock N’ Roll radio hit and make some money out of it, but they don’t work well with more extreme metal fans like myself. Maybe the most enjoyable moment of the album is not one of their own songs: House of the Rising Sun is a well played heavy version for a traditional folk song which author is unknown, with the band The Animals playing the most beautiful version of it in 1964.

I didn’t fully listen to The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Volume 1, only Lift Me Up (featuring the one and only Metal God Rob Halford), but based on the reviews I’ve read so far the material was not that different from Volume 2.

One thing 5FDP have mastered doing is producing some really astonishing album covers. I thought the front cover from War Is The Answer was their best one, but that was until they released The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Volumes 1 & 2. Their comic-inspired representation of the endless war between Heaven and Hell is fantastic and deserved a full comic series with their mascot, Knucklehead, as the anti hero. That would undoubtedly make this album a lot more interesting, at least for me.

Best moments of the album: Here to Die, Wrecking Ball and House of the Rising Sun.

Worst moments of the album: Battle Born, Matter of Time, My Heart Lied and A Day in My Life.

Released in 2013 Prospect Park

Track listing
1. Here to Die 3:00
2. Weight Beneath My Sin 3:36
3. Wrecking Ball 3:13
4. Battle Born 3:43
5. Cradle to the Grave 3:18
6. Matter of Time 3:16
7. The Agony of Regret 1:42
8. Cold 3:47
9. Let This Go 3:16
10. My Heart Lied 3:35
11. A Day in My Life 3:44
12. House of the Rising Sun 4:07

Band members
Ivan Moody – vocals
Zoltan Bathory – rhythm guitar
Jason Hook – lead guitar
Jeremy Spencer – drums
Chris Kael – bass

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