Review Summary: MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!
Rising through the ranks of heavy metal popularity are American patriots, Five Finger Death Punch. Since releasing their debut album ‘The Way Of The Fist’ in 2007 they have received divided acclaim to their music. On their side are pounding riffs, accessible lyrics, memorable live shows and most of all: media attention. But across no man’s land lie mundane and clichéd lyrical concepts, inconsistent albums and while being fronted by egotistical band members. Will this be the first album that unifies both sides as one army?
Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook are the men that save this album from utter failure. ‘Question Everything’ features a very dominative riff that cowers and exposes at coordinated times according to the tone of Ivan’s abrasive singing. ‘No Sudden Movement’ has a fast and twisting rhythm that the guitars lay down however it follows the same structure that most of the album’s content is based around. The guitarists and Jeremy Spencer on drums manage to replicate a warlike tone to all Five Finger Death Punch’s albums and this is no exception. They can go from fully automatic tremolo to submissive melodies will precision and the crisp production of “Got Your Six” compliments their talent.
There seems to be a finite amount of lyrical themes that Five Finger Death Punch can think of, even after 8 years. You’ve got the “I’m going to stand against you” (‘My Nemesis’), “higher authorities are making bad things happen” (‘No Sudden Movement’), “I’m an invincible war machine” (title track) and finally “reminiscing about some stuff” (‘Digging My Own Grave’). All this themes make an appearance that ultimately points the finger at Mr. Moody for the tediousness of “Got Your Six”. On ‘Boots And Blood’ Ivan shouts obscenities left right and centre but they aren’t emotionally igniting or hooky-even the most angst teen will say that they are unnecessary.
[Related side note: when Ozzy Osbourne screams “Yooou Bastards!” during ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’, one of the finest Black Sabbath vocal hooks was created and in turn is a good example of where vulgar language can increase a sense of restlessness and overall enjoyment.]
There are a number of experimental moments that do gauge some interest in “Got Your Six”; albeit few. On leading single ‘Jekyll And Hyde’ the rhythm is based around some sort of dramatic breakdown with a groaning war cry leading it forward. This feature is definitely different from any song they have done before and nearly deters you from the unbearably naff lyrics like the unexciting chorus: “There’s a demon inside, just like Jekyll and Hyde/ All this anger inside, I feel like Jekyll and Hyde.” Influence is another progressive feature. Clear nu-metal influences find their way onto this album that are new to Five Finger Death Punch but outdated to the rest of the world. The simple stamping riffs and escalating chorus on ‘Wash It All Away’ sound unmistakably like Disturbed and is the same case with the following track ‘Ain’t My Last Dance’ but a riff that sounds distinctly like Korn’s ‘Here To Stay’ crawls in at the last minute.
Clearly the masses enjoy Five Finger Death Punch’s accessible sound of marching guitars and abrasive vocals and their reward is that they’ve been enlisted in a regiment of bands that have made the step up from headlining big venues to renowned stadiums with sucess. The simple fact is that no matter how this (or any) album is interpreted, this band can only grow in popularity.