Review Summary: Five Finger Death Punch mature. The result - a well done hard rock record.
Five Finger Death Punch, possibly the most arrogant and self-centered metal band ever, is back with a new album, and despite the band members being pretentious dicks, the music is what counts. And quite honestly, the guys have actually stepped it up on their sophomore album. Going for a more hard rock-ish sound on War Is The Answer
, Five Finger Death Punch (5FDP) ditch a bunch of their groove/thrash metal influences, possibly in order to gain more mainstream attention. Whether the motives for this change in sound were noble or not, War Is The Answer
is still a fair deal better than the band’s debut Way Of The Fist
"Dying Breed" starts things off in a thrashy manner, and isn't all that different from Way Of The Fist
(if to exclude the super-catchy chorus). Fast double-bass kicks and decent lead guitar-work dominate the track and there is a skillful solo in the middle of the track too. Second song, and the first single for War Is The Answer
, titled "Hard To See" demonstrates the hard rock side of this album. It has the most memorable chorus on the whole album (and that is saying much as all the other songs have really memorable one’s too), a well-executed solo, and a more laid-back guitar sound. The clean vocals in the chorus are very well sung, and the production is also very good, keeping the sound heavy yet clean.
I could go on and on about every track here but I don’t feel like I have to. A lot of the tracks are very similar in build-up as they all have great guitar-work that is complimented by fast double-bass kicks, angsty vocals, and clean choruses. Song structures are also very standard, mainly going like this: verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus. There aren’t any real letdowns in the bunch and the growth the band has gone through is clear. Songs like "Crossing Over" and "Far From Home" exhibit the really soft side of Five Finger Death Punch, and while the lyrics are a bit cliché, the acoustic passages and the warm performance along with well-executed soft-like solos more than make up for it.
The guys in Five Finger Death Punch may still be disturbingly cocky and the lyrics are still damn cheesy, but all in all, you can’t really bag them too much for it as the sheer musical quality makes up for it all. The instrumentation is very strong throughout the album, especially the guitar leads, and guitar-work as a whole. Drumming is good, it’s not overly complex, but the drummer Jeremy Spencer does provide some sweet fills here and there. The vocals on War Is The Answer
are also great, screaming and singing have both improved a lot and are actually enjoyable this time around.
Altogether, War Is The Answer
isn’t a revolutional album by any means, but it is a damn fine hard rock record and a solid sophomore release from Five Finger Death Punch that displays the band's growth. With a more mature approach on War Is The Answer
, the band exhibits that if they really try, they can be one of the better modern hard rock outfits out there. The instrumentation and talent are there, and if the guys could just spit out a bit more diverse/mature lyrics, then I see a bright future for them.