Saturday, 5 September 2015

Album Review; Five Finger Death Punch - Got Your Six

Released Via Prospect Park
Genre: Groove Metal

Track Listing:

1. Got Your Six
2. Jekyll And Hyde
3. Wash It All Away
4. Ain't My Last Dance
5. My Nemesis
6. No Sudden Movement
7. Question Everything
8. Hell To Pay
9. Digging My Own Grave
10. Meet My Maker
11. Boots And Blood

Five Finger Death Punch have been real contenders for the big metal throne since their inception. It felt like only a matter of time before they followed in the footsteps of the metalcore-transcending Avenged Sevenfold and played Wembley Arena and headlined Download Festival. Their Wembley date is fast approaching, and I'd easily bet on them being a good shout for that festival headline slot in 2017 if not '16. The only thing that remains is to see whether or not 'Got Your Six' is the album that should be taking the band to these heights.

The opening title track is the kind of muscular throw-down that you would expect of FFDP, and a good ode to mosh pit mentality that is bound to set bodies flying even in the esteemed Wembley arena. 'Jekyll And Hyde', on the other hand is exactly the kind of track that makes you err and umm about this band. People talk about how their music is dumbed down, but this track is really shameless when it comes to this, and sees Ivan Moody repeating lines that have been used in previous albums. I mean god damn, it's catchy but that doesn't help the cheap taste it leaves in your mind.

Following two tracks 'Wash It All Away' and 'Ain't My Last Dance' are about as close to balladry as the band has ever gotten, though the latter still has moments of chunky riffing that help it along a bit. Ultimately, while it is nice to see a band show their lighter side, people look to FFDP for knuckle-headed workout anthems. 'My Nemesis' is a bit closer to this, but still contains the kind of self-pity in its lyrics that can make some post 'American Capitalist' songs drag a bit.

'No Sudden Movements' has more bit to it, complete with a good rhythmic drive and some of Ivan's better growled roars. An interesting riff that differs from Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook's usual chug-like-an-industrial-train style. It's more the kind of song one expects of the band that set fury to the road with 'War Is The Answer', whilst offering a little twist on the usual formula. 'Question Everything' has moments of good propulsion to it as well as those lighter verses that just don't quite translate. It's not the clean singing, before that assumption is made; Ivan's singing voice is great but the song itself just doesn't feel focussed enough.

'Hell To Pay' is a little more in line with the band's earlier years, and is all the better for it. Catchy, well written and strong enough to start justifying FFDP's lofty position. 'Digging My Own Grave' goes back into ballad-territory, though it has a much more honest feel to it than the previous ballads on this album. 'Boots And Blood' on the other hand is easily the most aggressive thing on this record. It's constantly profane and a big middle finger to those who have wanted this band to fail. If you're looking for the word "Fuck", this is where you'll find it. You might just get to vent as you do.

There is a lot to fault with 'Got Your Six' and it's clearly not the band's best record. It's better than the second half of the double album that they released but there are too many of those whining songs that we've heard this band do a little too often, and very rarely with as much impact as 'The Bleeding'. Are Ivan, Zoltan and the crew trying to prove that they're more than purveyors of anger and violence? Perhaps, but I think I would rather that they did bring some more of the brawn of the first two albums. When they sound angry, they really do but it isn't present often enough on this album. I've seen this band live a good many times and I have long been willing them to succeed but if this is the terms they are succeeding on then I'm not entirely sure that they wont lose as many fans as they gain, as this album comes across more as a hug than a death punch.

Rating: 6/10


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