The last couple of years have seen some turbulent times for Vegas five piece Five Finger Death Punch. From addiction, to rehab, to claims they had disbanded following members quitting- these things have all helped weave the angst riddled web that is their newest album And Justice For None.
Fake is the stomping opener that is needed to get the listener prepared for some of the most lyrically bracing content FFDP have brought to the table thus far (which is saying something as FFDP have never been ones to hold back). Meanwhile Top Of The World encapsulates a similar pounding urgency to Under And Over It- for this reason (amongst others) it has the potentially to be a new live favourite.
Sham Pain does not tread lightly- get ready for some of perhaps the most directness you’ve ever known from the band. This track is moderately chilled out musically, compared to its predecessors, however in terms of lyrics there’s not a shred of effort in working the disgust toward being an adored icon into clever metaphors; Sham Pain really is what you see is what you get. In a substantial vibe change, Blue On Black has quite the western, cowboy drinking-hold kind of feel, that at points isn’t a dissimilar sound to Black Stone Cherry. This album’s ballad is I Refuse- featuring not the most positive of lyrics, but a beautiful guitar solo in the bridge.Latest single, When The Seasons Change is reminiscent of last album’s I Apologize, meaning its another slightly slower tempo number. The stand out moment though, is their cover of The Offspring’s Gone Away; a haunting alternative to the original, the song almost sounds like it was written for Ivan Moody’s voice. There’s not a bad element about this cover; doing justice to an already excellent track, whilst putting their Death Punch stamp on it through and through. This is one of the best executed covers in a long time, and definitely FFDP’s best yet- no mean feat considering their back-catalogue of covered songs across their career.
Final track Will The Sun Ever Rise is more of a watered down version of the trademark Death Punch sound, which makes for more of a rolling rock anthem, with a country/bluesy feel featuring a melody that’s pretty hard to shake. It ties together the end of the album perfectly, focussing on the previously little-explored elements that Five Finger Death Punch have delved deeper into this time around.
As bands progress through their careers, naturally their sound evolves over time. In the case of Five Finger Death Punch, their brand is purely unmistakeable and rather And Justice For None sounds like building blocks atop work they’ve already put out- a culmination of work rather than an evolution. This is by no means a negative though, FFDP know what they do and they do it better than anyone. Their recent trials and tribulations have only helped in fuelling their anger, resentment and distaste, making for an album with perhaps more depth than most of its predecessors. Five Finger Death Punch are unfaltering, making them a very important, reliable and sturdy stake in the modern metal scene.
And Justice For None is out tomorrow, Friday May 18th via Eleven Seven!