Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Five Finger Death Punch - Got Your Six (2015)

There comes a time in your life when you just wonder why you even started to listen to a certain band in the first place. To see a band that you used to love to death become boring, stale, or simply immature. A band that at first sight looks cool, has an edge to it, but cannot stay among your favourites in the long run. For me, and I guess to a lot of other metal fans out there, Five Finger Death Punch is starting to become one of those bands. They are still a strong force in the industry and has a good following to every show they do, but their music works more like a gateway portal to the wondrous world of metal. You enjoy it at first, but you quickly discover other bands that simply makes better music.

Because for every year that passes, I am starting to realize why most of the metal community despise 5FDP. They are loud, close to obnoxious, and does not seem to evolve too much, neither musically nor in the lyrics. So when I first saw the cover to the band's sixth album "Got Your Six", I almost puked. Just look at Knucklehead! How much steroids did has he been taking? He made a complete Axl Rose, going from a sort of skinny, cool character, to a humongous joke. I really do not even here, seriously.

And it does not get better whenever I get into the music that is inside. The title track does not make any sense to me, like when Ivan Moody sings that he got my six, I have no freaking idea what he is talking about. Does he mean a six pack? Has he six fingers in one hand? Somebody tell me! Well, the band has never been well known for writing intricate lyrics in the past, and that reputation will not change one bit with this album.

It has always been the music that got me into 5FDP, and I do admit that "Got Your Six" has some good power to it, something the band never fails to deliver. But judging by the cover, I expected a shit load of power running me over like a steamroller. But no, "Got Your Six" is surprisingly calm, containing several 5FDP styled ballads, and is actually also missing that insane, double bass pounding face crusher a la "Dot Your Eyes" and "Under And Over It". This makes "Got Your Six" seem a lot softer compared to its predecessors, something you could either see as a sign of maturity, or just a lack of energy from the frequent album releasing (6 albums in 8 years is quite a rate).

Another thing this album lacks of is memorability. For a new listener, it might be easy to remember the songs, but for one who have heard the band's entire discography, it is easy to forget these tunes in favor of early, similar material. The only song I can really remember on the top of my head is "Jekyll And Hyde", a boring, sluggish ice hockey anthem that should go well on live shows, but just feels all around lazy in disc format. The worst part about it though is that it is the only song in the album that shows some kind of evolution in the music, so the future does not look very bright.

But are there any gems in here that should be mentioned? Yes, in fact, there are some good tracks in here that does save the album from total annihilation. "Question Everything" does a nice job in balancing between the heavy and the beautiful aspects of the band, "Wash It All Away" has a fairly nice flow to it, and even if I do not understand the lyrics, I do feel like "Got Your Six" is the only song that does have some big balls to it, making it an instant stand out among weaklings. Those are the only few highlights in the entire album, which absolutely sucks since the band has a history of creating some great catchy songs, both heavy and slow.

I will probably never give up entirely on 5FDP, just because they are a powerful bunch of men that brings their own thing to the world of metal, and can create some stellar music when everything clicks together. Unfortunately, there is not much in "Got Your Six" that works all too well. It all feels stale and unimaginative, a big brick of washed up ideas and nonsense. I think the band needs to slow things down a bit (not musically speaking) and take their time with their next album, just to make sure that they do not toss out some half finished projects. This is the worst 5FDP album up to date so far, but if they stay in the loop that they have gotten themselves into, it might be overtaken in the near future. Let us hope that it does not happen.

Songs worthy of recognition: Question Everything, Got Your Six, Wash It All Away

Rating: 4/10 Steroid Junkies

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