Band: Five Finger Death Punch
Album: And Justice for None
Label: Eleven Seven Music/Sony (Release Date May 18th 2018)
Five Finger Death Punch, over the last few years have been tightening their grip on the title of leading Heavy band of the 21st century. Their new album “And Justice for None” pretty much chokes out any competition.
5FDP burst on the scene in 2005. 6 RIAA Certified Gold Albums in a row, and a #1 album in their last album “Got Your Six”, the band continues to fill huge arenas around the world. The band made up of guitarist Zoltan Bathory, drummer Jeremy Spencer, vocalist Ivan Moody was taken from strength to strength with the addition of Jason Hook on Guitar in 2009 and Chris Kael in 2011. This line-up took 5FDP to the next level of metal bands and made them a force to be reckoned with.
2018 sees the band return with easily their strongest album to date “And Justice for None”, their first since their much publicised split with their old label Prospect Park. A cover of The Offspring’s “Gone Away” was released as the lead single from the album, and while remaining true to the original, it has been “Death Punched” for sure.
The album kicks off with “Trouble” which sets the tone straight off the bat. “There’s no excuses, this is who I chose to be, I don’t look for trouble, trouble looks for me”, Moody exclaims, maybe a nod to some of his past problems. “Fake” is up next and is just a steamroller, I really hope this becomes a part of their live set, hopefully as an opener. Just great stuff!
“Top of The World” doesn’t let up. Moody absolutely growls with passion, but then takes it to a stadium ready sing-a-long chorus. The next track is “Sham-Pain” which is as of this writing is set to be the next single, and the band are currently video. It’s very radio friendly (well with some beeps here and there), the band are telling the story of their career so to speak, and all the shots they took to get where they are. The harmony work in the choruses really stand out. One of the album highlights for me.
A cover of Kenny Wayne Sheppard’s “Blue on Black” is included, and look let’s be honest, the band have so many killer tracks on the album, I really don’t see the need to have the covers (unless they are bonus tracks), but in saying that, it may have some personal meaning for one or all of the members, and it is an outstanding version. The original pales in comparison. “Fire in The Hole” is classic 5FDP, but also to me is like what a super heavy Alice Cooper would sound like. Its creepy story line and vocals make it a Halloween ready song. “I Refuse” brings it down a bit, I guess it’s a death punch version of a ballad, but still delivered with conviction, power and passion. “It Does Not Matter” while heavy is so full of groove and has some really cool tempo changes, and it shows the quality of the guys behind the instruments. Moody stands his ground with his lyrics against the naysayers in this one, that’s for sure.
“When the Seasons Change” is a great stripped back number but the positive message about picking each other up when we fall “I won’t let them bring you down, when the seasons change”, sings Moody. A good message for us all to live by. “Stuck in My Ways” is introspective as such but also comes across as someone who wants to break free but doesn’t think they can. “Rock Bottom” starts off with a machine gun guitar riff and pounding drum beat. It doesn’t let up throughout the song. Sounds like its telling the story of the last few years for Ivan. “Gone Away” is up next and you already know all about it, it’s getting played all over the world, a great cover.
“Bloody” sounds like the ultimate goodbye song. “Does it have to burn, does it have to sting, when we say goodbye?” The pain is being felt in lyrics and vocals. A really cool vocal break down brings a false sense of security as the band rips right back in to the chorus. “Will the Sun Ever Rise” has very a very country like feel and it’s nice to hear the band in this stripped back format, the Death Punch sound is still there, its full of emotion and rawness. A nice left turn. “Bad Seed” is very, very radio friendly, and will definitely appeal to casual fans, first time fans and long-time knuckleheads alike. It’s the definite driving song from the album. Which is what “Lift Me Up” from “The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Volume 1” was for me. As is the album closer “Save Your Breath”. Windows down, stereo turned up loud, belting out the huge choruses. You will think you are standing on those stadium stages the band are about to step on themselves.
Come December this album will easily be in many peoples top 10 for the year. Its consistent, its powerful, its unrelenting, but it’s also inviting to the listener. The band have really spilled out the last few years of their lives into song. I know every band completes an album and says that it’s their best album to date, well this really is the best Five Finger Death Punch album to date. Zoltan, Jeremy, Ivan, Jason and Chris, well done! You should be damn proud. Everyone needs to add this to their CD collection.
Top Of The World
Blue On Black
Fire In The Hole
It Doesn’t Matter
When The Seasons Change
Stuck In My Ways
Will The Sun Ever Rise
Bad Seed (Bonus Track)
Save Your Breath (Bonus Track)
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