Five Finger Death Punch’s new album And Justice For None has been quite some time in the making. Legal disputes with the record label has had this album sitting in the can for over a year. Now with a release date on the horizon, it’s time to see what all the trouble was about.
Which is a great place to start, Trouble is full of driving beats with sing a long chorus about ‘trouble finding me’. It’s heavy guitars from Zoltan Bathory and Jeremy Spencer’s drum rhythms are classic FFDP which continue straight into Fake. A snarling burst of venom through the first couple of tracks, it begins to become clear that some of those past issues will be finding their way into the album’s lyrics.
Five Finger Death Punch has a sound, a sound they are quite rightly proud of, which by the time Top Of The World comes to a screeching halt, you’re under no illusion who you’re listening to. Vocalist Ivan Moody living up to his moniker as he screams to wake him up ‘when it’s over’.
New video Sham-Pain name drops a few people in Moody’s firing line about the trials and tribulations of being in a hugely successful metal band, before we finally get a breather on Blue On Black. A classic, quiet slow burner complete with loud chorus, it is at this point I begin to think this could’ve been a Nickelback song.
That being said, Five Finger Death Punch have never hidden away from their influences and as drummer Jeremy Spencer starts Fire In The Hole with a drum rhythm similar to Manson’s The Beautiful People, it simply drags the listener onto the metal rollercoaster that is the songs style.
I Refuse slows the pace again, starting with a piano intro and emotional vocals as Moody tells us that he won’t give up. Classy, dynamic and with the right amount of light and shade, this has the hallmarks of a chart topping single. Put those tissues away though as Zoltán Bathory guitars pound into It Doesn’t Matter backing Moody’s screams of ‘Fuck You’ jolting you back to earth.
Then the albums flow changes. A much more brutal first half of the album with the odd gentle song thrown in, is flipped on its head on the second half. Softer radio friendly songs like When The Seasons Change and Stuck In My Ways, showing a gentler side of the band are now being broken up by more brutal tracks such as Rock Bottom.
The lead off single, Gone Away, a rather cooler, slower and heavier version of The Offspring classic is set to become the album’s highlight, with the lyrics taking on a much deeper meaning than first heard 20 years ago. However even that is upstaged with Will The Sun Ever Rise, a song that should be a single which its hooks and catchy chorus however is far too heavy for radio, comes on. Guitarists Jason Hook and Bathory perfectly in sync on the song which has the hallmarks of ‘is it too early to say classic’ about it.
There is no doubt a lot of the lyrics can be attributed to the legal disputes the band has had over the last couple of years, yet at the same time the more melancholy moments show a musical maturity that we’ve possibly not seen before by the Americans.
You know what you’re getting when you listen to FFDP, the same way you do with Maiden or AC/DC. You’re getting bass heavy grooves, you’re getting huge dynamic songs and choruses you’ll be humming for days. This album may well be called And Justice For None, however if you’re going to purchase any album, make it this one. There will at least be justice for one Moody singer and his band then.
Album Review by Iain McCallum