In this day and age, releasing a double album is risky business in the music industry. Unless your name is Biffy Clyro, chances are that you probably can’t get away with doing the job successfully. Most recently, Stone Sour tried and (sort of) failed; the second part of their House of Gold and Bones volumes falling slightly flat. Pop-punk kings Green Day tried it, too, though they went one step further; releasing a succession of three albums last year, to a largely muted reception. So, what were Five Finger Death Punch’s chances of doing the same?
In our review of The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell, Vol 1, we claimed that 2013 was Five Finger Death Punch’s year. And we were spot on. In truth, the world probably didn’t need part two of this album. Mostly because, well, it isn’t vastly different from the first volume. That doesn’t mean that the ground that Five Finger Death Punch are covering here isn’t enjoyable to listen to, though.
First track Here To Die sets the tone of the album within the opening two lines (“This wasn’t meant to be a love song – matter of fact, this one’s about hate”), while the likes of Wrecking Ball (not a Miley cover – don’t worry) and Let This Go are full of the sort of ferocity that we’ve come to expect from the Death Punch. If anything, Vol 2 is actually a little darker – and marginally heavier – than its predecessor. There are the obligatory emotional slow moments to be found here, too, like recent single Battle Born. Proof that Five Finger Death Punch still know how to make their metal-head fans reach for their hankies.
The only thing that really lets Vol 2 down in Five Finger Death Punch’s ambitious double album series, is that there’s a lack of stand-out tracks. Vol 1 had a bunch of them – ‘Burn MF’ and ‘Lift Me Up’ are just two examples – but Vol 2 lacks any real ‘hits’. It’s just full of consistently good songs. Why else did the band fail to air any of these new tracks on their recent support slot with Avenged Sevenfold? Exactly.
Even so, The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell, Vol 2, is the sound of Five Finger Death Punch staking their claim at the top of the radio-rock/metal hierarchy. And they won’t be moving from there any time soon.