Sunday, July 28, 2013

Five Finger Death Punch - The Wrong Side of Heaven And The Righteous Side of Hell - Volume 1 (2013)

The band with one of the coolest names in metal is once again back, and this time they have created so many songs that they have decided to make a double album. "The Wrong Side of Heaven And The Righteous Side of Hell - Volume 1" is the first part of the double album while the other half will be released in November. Even if it is exciting that the band is trying this out, they are not alone on attempting this method. Last year, Green Day released a triple album, Stone Sour released a double concept album and even Soilwork released a double album. So 5FDP is just another band that keeps this trend up.

The album itself is typical Five Finger Death Punch. A overflow of bad ass attitude, heavy riffs and memorable choruses. Actually, the only surprising part with this release is that the band has invited several guest artist to back them up. We have Max Cavalera (ex-Sepultura, Soulfly), Maria Brink (In This Moment), Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) and rapper Tech N9ne. But they all fade out compared to the Metal God himself. That's right, Rob Halford from Judas Priest makes an appearance on the first track and first single "Lift Me Up". I did not care too much of the song when I first heard it, but it grew on me and now I can still catch me hum the chorus from time to time. Halford only makes an effort in the second verse, second chorus and in the ending, but he still does a good job and shows why he is called the Metal God. Otherwise I think that the rest of the guests are just redundant, especially since 5FDP made a version with and without the guest in every song they participated in (except "Lift Me Up" and "Mama Said Knock You Out"). The worst part with this is that the band has put both versions in the CD. I would not have minded if they had put one of the versions in a deluxe CD, but they did not.

One of the strength with 5FDP is the variety. The band can create anything from heavy and fast metal songs to emotional rock ballads, something that definitely shows in this album. The heaviest piece is "Dot Your Eyes" that crunches you with its heavy riff and hard stomping lyrics. A clear favourite in this album. Two other heavy tracks are the melodic and epic "I.M. Sin" and the fast, but not so strong "Burn MF".

If we go from "hell" and go to the "heaven" part of the album, then we will first see the title track that is the most beautiful song that the band has created so far in their career. I also like the lyrics in the song, which shows that the band has matured a lot since the last record. The other ballad, "Anywhere But Here", is the only song in the album where the guest artist is doing some service. Maria Brink does a great job together with Ivan Moody to create a tender and fantastic duet. The song itself is also good and holds a surprisingly groovy rhythm.

I also want to give a shout out to my personal favourite "Watch You Bleed". This song has a addictive beat and a epic chorus that really encourages the listener to sing a long. The guitar solo is also the best in the album.

Does this album have any bad sides then? Well, I would say that the naggy "You" and anonymous "M.I.N.E (End This Way)" does not help to lift the album up, and the semi instrumental "Diary of A Deadman" is okay as a closer, but overall nothing special. But the rotten piece of the album is the LL Cool J cover of "Mama Said Knock You Out". I understand that the band wants to turn a song from a completely different genre to a heavy metal song, but they failed miserably with that mission, especially since rapper Tech N9ne (what kind of name is that?) takes the song back to its origin. If the band did create 20+ great songs, why the hell did they leave this cover in the album? It makes no sense.

Five Finger Death Punch is with this release taking their music another step up the ladder. The music is still the same up your ass attitude, but the lyrics has improved a lot since "American Capitalist" and the variety is still at an all time high. This album may have a title that is way too long for comfort, but it is a album that has a lot of quality, but unfortunately also a shitty cover and two versions of the same songs. The second volume will be released in November, so until then, I will keep listen to most of this record, since it is another proof that 5FDP knows what they are doing.

Songs worthy of recognition: Watch You Bleed, Lift Me Up, Dot Your Eyes, Anywhere But Here

Rating: 8,5/10 Deadmen

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