FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

"The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1" (Prospect Park; 2013)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I think this is the longest band name and album title I've ever typed! This is the fourth disc from these groove metal monsters. This disc starts off heavier than the world with the first track "Life Me Up" and has legendary Rob Halford blasting his vocal along side lead singer Ivan Moody. It's got plenty of flipped off middle fingers to show that 5FDP aren't laying down just to let you pass. In fact, you've got to get through them! Good luck, you're going to need it!

This disc has a lot guest vocalists on it: "Anywhere But Here" has Maria Brink from In This Moment, "I.M. Sin" has Max Cavalera and the last track on the deluxe edition, entitled "Dot Your Eyes" has Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed. 5FDP also cover the rap track "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J and they put their metal dukes all over it! Every track on this disc is hard hitting and is sure to get your blood pumping. Since these guys had so much music recorded they decided to break it up into two discs. Volume II will be reviewed soon.

5FDP: Ivan Moody - vocals; Zoltan Bathory - rhythm guitar; Jason Hook - lead guitar, backing vocals; Jeremy Spencer - drums; Chris Kael - bass, backing vocals.

For more info - http://www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com.

"War is the Answer" (Prospect Park; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the second punch (a right cross?) from a band who originated in Los Angeles, California. Their first CD was a left hook since they took heavy metal and combined it with thrash and added in groove metal to give it a funky feel. The first track here just kicks into high gear and they never let up. They are named as a tribute to a vintage kung-fu film; I love kung-fu films and heavy metal so I'm here for the duration.

If you love Korn or Disturbed then you'll want to grab this release. The vocals are clean and gravelly, the guitar is nasty and with riffs that groove instead of just pound your eyeballs you'll love this stuff. There are plenty of solos so my cup runneth over. The drums are a force to be reckoned with - they pound! I think the bass guitar is down-tuned as well. The music is heavy but done with great melodies so it's got that metal feel that's been missing in today's music.

The album title comes from the band thinking about how life is a war, because it's you against the world; you fight for everything. Sometimes you need to just start swinging and other times you need to find a deeper answer. They have a couple of acoustic intros that lead into slower songs, we're not talking love songs at all but the mood changes considerably.

A track titled "Canto 34" is a rockin' instrumental with so many things thrown in you'll want to hit repeat just to hear it over and over. They also cover the song "Bad Company" by the band of the same name; great vocals can be heard here and they also add their own dig by singing "The Death Punch sound is our claim to fame." They may have covered it but they make it their own.

You need to pick up this CD! Don't make me five finger punch you!

Five Finger Death Punch: Ivan Moody - vocals; Zoltan Bathory - rhythm guitar; Jason Hook - lead guitar; Matt Snell - bass guitar; Jeremy Spencer - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com/.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2014 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Mar 2017 12:56:13 -0500 .