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Five Finger Death Punch - The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 1

Five Finger Death Punch
The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 1
by YngwieViking at 12 August 2013, 1:00 PM

With their third album, “American Capitalist” the highly successful and critically acclaimed, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH became an gold-selling, chart-topping and a regarded act, with some very serious expectations to fulfill, as one of the most significant member of the so called "New Wave of American Heavy Metal", they simply don’t have the right to fail, but as FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH  aka 5FDP isn't a normally acting band, they didn't take the most easy path concerning the releasing of their fourth and fifth albums under , the abstract name of “The Wrong Side of Heaven and The Righteous Side of Hell Vol. 1 & 2”, here I am trying to analyze the first part of this high profile planned double album musical conception (part 2 comes along in October).

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is definitely the kind of Metal squad that everyone seems to love to hate, and at the same time, in this difficult period for the music industry, the fact that they have had numerous Top 10 rock singles and that they had been selling tons of albums is weird, questioning and even destabilizing, for my part I was always been supportive with them, I always found this quintet from Las Vegas entertaining and talented (my favorite album is still the great and warmly recommended "War Is The Answer" from 2009).

For this album, I believe the Marketing trick is quite evident, so, they try to convince each & every Metalhead that they have wrote a so excessive quantity of quality songs, that they opted to release two records in quick succession, same for the impressive list of the big name guests, I don't believe it's an artistic choice but it only add to the commercial appeal of “The Wrong Side of Heaven and The Righteous Side of Hell Vol. 1., they try in vain to gather the whole Metal community by enlisting some old and new celebrities to be featured in a bunch of tunes. Their smartest move by far, was to succeed in bringing for a short cameo in the opening number "Lift Me Up" the legendary, the one, the only, the Metal Priest himself, Mr. Rob Halford in a duet that also features a strong vocal performance from frontman Ivan Moody: I should admit that the song is bloody efficient and quite infectious and Rob is fantastic.

Another very good point, the production is colossal, and once again the studio work is provided by Kevin Churko (OZZY/HINDER/IN THIS MOMENT), the sound and the mixing are perfect as always and every audio element is updated and designed to strike without mercy, and this album should give, sonically-wise at least, a run for their money to most Melodic Metalcore and Groove Thrash Metal bands out there that want to publish an album. The full of anger-violence-hatred lyrics as a recurring theme, is maybe too redundant but it's the perfect weapon to target their male Teenage audience, nevertheless I think that this usually the weakest point in 5FDP, with some more subtle textual content and some less futile subjects , they could have improve easily that sector, it’s that disappoint most here.

Stylistically speaking, it's somewhat confusing, 5FDP managed to give a small something to everyone here, and it's maybe the most discussed motif about their integrity, the main obvious reason of many contestable facts denounced by many or the strongest letdown parameter of this album, the really problem is the lack of a precise and clear Musical direction. It's heavy, yes it is, even damn heavy and intense and well played, but sometimes it's a little self-indulgent, generic, predictable or too radio friendly, and when 5FDP will peak again at its very aggressive limits, with "Burn MF" and the fierce “Dot Your Eyes" both representing the most extremist side and the best Thrash offerings on the album, with their scorching razor guitars and hyper compressed propulsive double-kick onslaught beat, they are quite ferocious.

But, as a good rollercoaster ride, after such those blistering moments, then is time to keep the pace down and to quieter , so we have one or two softer cuts (“Anywhere But Here” / ”M.I.N.E (End This Way)”) where the singer Ivan Moody, shows brilliantly that it can juggle smoothly between an harsh, yet also powerful and then sweet temper, it's rapidly addictive but it’s always a bit disturbing to watch/hear them switching from one mood to the other, so quickly. 5FDP is a bunch of ambitious guys and their ultimate goal is to end high up in the Metallic elite, (nothing wrong about that of course) and in order to reach out at the biggest Metallic crowd available, they use a strategic access by recording some quite diverse genre, an spread them in the running tracklist, as "Watch You Bleed" or the ultra-catchy title track .

Their quest for an absolute unanimity logic is leading them to make its biggest misstep and to record a cover of LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out", and to add more to the confusion, this is also time for the album's most surprising guest appearance that comes by way of rapper Tech N9ne (!) : A Nu-Metal song today with Rap verses I just felt it out of place and it seems like a step backward for 5FDP. Another big error is the almost total absence of guitar solos, but I think it’s nowadays a constant in the American Metalcore trend, more Breakdowns less and less lead guitars spots, except for a weird track with spoken words “Diary Of A Deadman” that reveal a couple of cool guitar licks and a few soloing interventions. A bag of mixed emotions for me and as I have enjoyed the listening of 80% of this album, it’s a think an overall positive review, even if I had felt the need to write about my doubts toward their honesty, but at the end of the day, I let the music do the talking, and that's a fine piece of Modern Metal like DISTURBED meets A7X meets PANTERA meets STONE SOUR. However, I think the group stays true to what as it was, and to what he was known for, a punchy delivery, a really attaching collection of fist in the air Headbanging songs, some highly sticky sing along hymns, and actually a solid release full of future stage anthems, I’m really curious to listen to the volume N°2… I wish for a more focused release with a real rational identity in their tone.

The 5FDP fans will love this one, the detractors will also add some bitter grist to their mill, and the world will keep on turning.

3 Star Rating

Disc I
1. Lift Me Up \[Feat. Rob Halford]
2. Watch You Bleed
3. You
4. Wrong Side Of Heaven
5. Burn MF
6. I.M.Sin
7. Anywhere But Here \[Feat. Maria Brink]
8. Dot Your Eyes
9. M.I.N.E (End This Way)
0. Mama Said Knock You Out \[Feat. Tech N9ne]
11. Diary Of A Deadman
12. I.M.Sin \[Feat. Max Cavalera]
13. Anywhere But Here \[Duet With Maria Brink]
14. Dot Your Eyes \[Feat. Jamey Jasta]

Disc II
1. Intro \[live]
2. Under And Over It \[live]
3. Burn It Down \[live]
4. American Capitalist \[live]
5. Hard To See \[live]
6. Coming Down \[live]
7. Bad Company \[live]
8. White Knuckles \[live]
9. Drum Solo \[live]
10. Far From Home \[live]
11. Never Enough \[live]
12. War Is The Answer \[live]
13. Remember Everything \[live]
14. No One Gets Left Behind \[live]
15. The Bleeding \[live]
Zoltan Bathory – Lead Guitars
Ivan Moody – Lead Vocals
Jason Hook – Lead Guitars
Jeremy Spencer – Drums
Chris Kael - Bass
Record Label: Eleven Seven Music


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