Monday, May 21, 2018

Five Finger Death Punch - And Justice For None (2018)

So I am still sitting here wondering why the hell the immensely popular Five Finger Death Punch chose "And Justice For None" as the title for their 7th full length record. The band claims that they ended up with the title after the legal battle they have had with their previous record label Prospect Park, which sort of makes sense since that event did influence the album, but did they really have to be this close to the classic Metallica record "...And Justice For All"? Why not name it "Justice For The Blind", "Justice Inc.", or "Give Me Justice Or Give Me Death", just do not make people question your title!

Well, the title does serve one purpose at least, telling the listener what you should expect of this 13 song disc. It is more or less the exact opposite from the Metallica record, so instead of being a complex and innovative album with piss poor production, "And Justice For None" is a very straight forward album with very predictable 5FDP material, all presented with sparkling clean production. In other words, it is exactly what you would expect from the band, even with the chaos that has surrounded them in recent years.

Seriously, there is very little evolution here from last album, it is the same type of macho metal that we have gotten to know from the band, only that it is not as impactful as before. The impact is gone because the band is using the same techniques over and over again, without making any significant changes, which steers the mind to better, similar tracks from the guys. You will definitely not find anything in here that will match up to what songs like "Lift Me Up", "Hard To See", and "Under And Over It" achieved.

Now, I would not say that the entire album is under qualified, we got a couple of songs in here that certainly stand strong. "Will The Sun Ever Rise" and "When The Seasons Change" are two great tracks, with some real nice emotional performances that do show what the band is capable of at their best, and "Top of The World" show the other end of the spectrum, a heavy party track with some nice weight behind it. I would also recommend "Fake" in that latter category, but only if you ignore the extremely juvenile lyrics that uses the word motherfucker more often than Samuel L Jackson. It is one thing when a band like Strapping Young Lad, a very childish and angry band, does it, but these guys are supposed to be serious. God damn.

In some way, I almost wished that they would just go full "fun mode", because you never know how it will turn out when the band goes more serious in its expression. Some times it works, some times it does not, and some times it is all over the place, like in "Sham Pain" where they try to hit back at all their haters (including Prospect Park), but it has this rap aura over it that makes it kind of... interesting, to say the least. If they would just ease off a bit more, then it probably would be easier for us to swallow their music.

What makes me the most mad about this album though is not the macho style, not the uneven quality, not even the childish lyrics, but the two covers. 5FDP feels more and more like a cover band in the making, because they do make some great covers, but it starts to take over from their own music a little too much, and it is very telling when the two covers ("Blue On Black" by Kenny Wayne Shepherd and "Gone Away" by The Offspring) are arguably the best tracks of the record. They have passion, great instrumentality, everything you would love to see in any original material they make, which is just strange to think that they put all this heart and work for two useless covers. It would be one thing if they were a part of the deluxe version of the album, but nope, they sit nicely in the official release as well, taking up two spots that could have been used for something more original instead.

So yeah... this album is sort of a mess I am afraid, but it is a step forward at least from the really lack luster "Got Your Six". It feels more and more like the band's original style is being watered down more and more for each release that surges up to the surface. It probably will not affect the band's popularity, but they do secure their spot as the 10's perfect gateway band for young and hopeful metal heads, and that is not too bad at all. Another positive thing, President Knucklehead has a bigger button than Trump, and more muscles too.

Songs worthy of recognition: Will The Sun Ever Rise, Top of The World, Blue On Black

Rating: 5,5/10 Rock Bottoms

More reviews of Five Finger Death Punch
Wrong Side of Heaven And The Righteous Side of Hell - Volume 1
Wrong Side of Heaven And The Righteous Side of Hell - Volume 2
Got Your Six

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