Five Finger Death Punch "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Tue, 16 Jul 2013 09:10:11
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"Like it or not, I'm still a part of you," says Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody on "Diary of a Deadman", the final footnote to the band's anxiously awaited, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1.
The line itself seems to be directed at an estranged lover, but he could very well be speaking about his band's place in heavy metal. Five Finger Death Punch aren't going anywhere, and that's a relief for rock 'n' roll fans everywhere. They've rightfully risen through the ranks to the top of hard rock and heavy metal. They're co-headlining the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival all summer, and they're releasing their best album to date on July 30 via Prospect Park. Make no mistake about it. This is Five Finger Death Punch's masterpiece thus far, and we're only graced with the first half. The ambition extends to new heights, reaching the level of their impressive Iron Maiden-size stage production.
"Watch You Bleed" slips from an elegant acoustic intro driven by Moody's soulful vocal mourning just before snapping into their signature dual guitar neck snap courtesy of Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook. Jeremy Spencer anchors a mind-numbing double bass drum chug as Chris Kael holds down a potent bass wallop. "You" showcases just how airtight of a unit Bathory and Hook remain as Moody growls his ever-living heart out. "Burn MF" might just be the heaviest salvo in the band's catalog exploding on impact as Spencer, Hook, Bathory, and Kael lock into a veritable sonic steamroll. Mind you, Moody's hook will be screamed back to the band for years to come at headlining festival spots worldwide.
As always though, Five Finger Death Punch take flight on the more intimate moments. "Wrong Side of Heaven" glides from a warm lead into Moody's introspective ruminations on heaven and hell. Elsewhere, "Anywhere But Here" drives down another road altogether.
The guest spots round out the sound, expanding it massively. Tech N9ne's rapid-fire cadence blasts through the cover of LL Cool J's "Mama Said You Knock Out", while the "Metal God" Rob Halford's howl casts a spell over "Lift Me Up". Maria Brink of In This Moment infuses operatic soulfulness on to "Anywhere But Here", while Hatebreed mainman Jamey Jasta's rugged stomp parts the waters on "Dot Your Eyes" and "I.M. Sin" channels legendary bombast from Max Cavalera of Soulfly.
Welcome to The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1. It's one of the best hard rock records of 2013.
Are you excited for the record?