Fans of heavy metal outfit Five Finger Death Punch will be pleased to know that the band have split their latest album The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell into two volumes, which means 2 releases for 2013. They will also be pleased to know that Volume 1 shows a lot of promise.
Interestingly enough, several songs feature 2 versions – one with an appearance by a guest vocalist and one without (Dot Your Eyes, I.M.Sin). They’ve also done a cover of LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out with a little help from Tech N9ne. Also, 2 versions of a track called Anywhere but Here featuring Maria Brink of In This Moment appear on the record – one as a duet and one featuring guest vocals. Other guests on the record include Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed (Dot Your Eyes), Max Cavalera (I.M.Sin) and Rob Halford of Judas Priest who features on the album’s first single Lift Me Up.
The album is well produced and sounds quite impressive despite some poor to mediocre teenage angsty lyrics (“Burn mother f***er burn/Burn mother f***er burn”… “Better back the f**k up and shut the f**k up/I do what I want and I never give up”). There are some great lyrics though, especially in Wrong Side of Heaven where God is interestingly referred to as a “she” (ponder that at your will). The riffs and hooks are catchy and heavy – a trademark of FFDP over the years – and Ivan Moody sounds just as angry as ever. The melodies are great all through and complement the vocals fantastically – being powerful without being overbearing.
The record shows depth from the band, weaving between more mainstream-friendly metal pieces like the title track Wrong Side of Heaven and opener Lift Me Up and heavier anthems like You and Burn MF.
Special mention must go to one track – Diary of a Deadman, but unfortunately not in a good way. It’s effectively four and a half minutes of introspective and awkward whining spoken over guitars with sporadic wailing. One redeeming feature however is the epic guitar riffs and solos, especially towards the end of the song.
This isn’t the album you want if you’re looking for a metal album which redefines the genre or blows you away with its originality. It’s nothing we haven’t heard in hard rock/metal or the band themselves before. It is, however, a solid assembly of tunes offering great talent and musical maturity which shows why FFDP have been so successful. Anyone who has enjoyed their previous efforts should be pleased with The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, and anyone searching for something new to enjoy banging their heads to should check it out.