If there’s one thing you can credit Five Finger Death Punch for; it’s consistency. Whether you love them or hate them, the feeling is consistent throughout their entire back-catalogue. And, inevitably, ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1’ won’t change opinions. Instead, it cements them. After all, this is Five Finger Death Punch’s best album to date.
With more bands coming up with ways to sound ‘different’ in today’s scene, it’s refreshing to hear that the American moshers have stuck to their guns, and are continuing to hash out the same heavy-fucking-metal that they always have done. And with 9 new/original tracks on ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven...’ (plus a couple of bonuses – yes, FFDP really do cover LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’), album number four is headbang-heaven. Opener ‘Lift Me Up’ (featuring the legend that is Mr. Rob Halford) kicks things off in the appropriate manner – with foot-stomping, fist-bumping verses and an equally killer chorus. It’s a wonder that Five Finger Death Punch manage to keep to the high standard of this song throughout the entire album, but what did we tell you? They’re damn consistent!
It only takes three songs for frontman Ivan Moody to bring back his signature rapping on ‘You’, and the jury is still out on whether that’s a good thing or not. But for the most part, ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 1’ pretty much follows on from 2011’s ‘American Capitalist’ – ‘Burn MF’, ‘I.M.Sin’ and ‘Dot Your Eyes’ (with additional vocals from Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta) in particular, sounding overwhelmingly abrasive. It’s like FFDP have taken the best elements of their previous albums, along with heavily-focused Stone Sour and Disturbed influences, and mashed it all together. Ah, what a wonderful concoction it is.
The only down side to this album (besides a couple of dodgy ballads) is the fact that it’s a little predictable and repetitive, at times. If you want to just shut up and bang your head, then that’s fine. If you’re looking for something a little deeper, though, then you’re not going to find it. But you probably already knew that. And Five Finger Death Punch don’t care, anyway. The real question is: can Volume 2 match it? Only time will tell. But you’d be an idiot to bet against Five Finger Death Punch. 2013 is their year.