Five Finger Death Punch – F8 (Album Review)

Five Finger Death Punch – F8
Released: February 28, 2020

Lineup

Ivan Moody | vocals
Chris Kael | bass
Charlie Engen| drums
Zoltan Bathory | guitars
Jason Hook | guitars

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After public meltdowns and the struggle with addiction, Ivan Moody bravely took some time out for rehab. Returning with a clear mind, Five Finger Death Punch are about to release their 8th studio album, simply titled ‘F8’. All the antagonists have something to say about 5FDP and let’s be real here, who cares? This hard- hitting outfit from Vegas are one of the most successful bands of the last decade. Let the haters hate! Music is such a personal journey and although I was a latecomer to 5FDP, they are a band I have grown to love. With relatable lyrics and subject matters, I find it hard to dislike anything about them. I was keen to sink my teeth into this album, with Zoltan Bathory (guitarist) describing ‘F8’ as “the rebirth of 5FDP”.

The intro, track title ‘F8’ is a very despondent instrumental, adding to the despair with the inclusion of violins. With progression comes intensity; leading into the first single released from the album, ‘Inside Out’. With an instant 5FDP familiarity, Moody reaches into our souls with his vocals.  Charlie “The Engine” Engen, brings the heavy on drums.  Guitars and bass are noticeably crisp and precise. I’m instantly caught in their web, as I bang my head and throw my fist in the air; wondering if my neighbours are doing the same.

‘Full Circle’ is the second single released from F8 and what a track it is. Pounding drums and attitude from the get go. “This is not a test, this is not a test”. Moody displays his diverse ability with the slow, fast and clean vocals. There’s a heavy industrial feel throughout and the guitar solos are a delight to my aural senses. ‘Living The Dream’ proves that not even Superheroes or amnesty can save us. From what? Ourselves, the judgment of others?  I guess it depends whose dream (or nightmare) you’re living.  Despite the great music; the lyrics were the selling point of this track, for me.

Slowing things down with the semi-acoustic ‘A Little Bit Off’; I hate to admit it but I felt a definite Nickelback vibe from this one. This song was a flip-off to the world. I’m sure we can all relate, as Moody sings “just a little bit off today and you can all fuck off, today”. ‘Bottom of the Top’ brings back the heavy, with drums replicating a machine gun. It’s angry, it’s aggressive, it’s Five Finger Death Punch! With a nice little reference from Russell Crowe’s Gladiator movie, “Are you not entertained”? Deliberate or not, it works well and yes I am entertained!

FFDP

Photo Credit: Stephen Jensen

‘Mother May I (Tic Toc)’, ‘This is War’ and ‘Scar Tissue’ deliver the goods with their frantic tempo elements and change in pace. Nothing but brutal from these tracks.
‘Making Monsters’ actually had me dancing, or something that resembles the description. Wailing guitars, rolling drums and an energy that had me bouncing. Stand out album track ‘Brighter Side of Grey’, wasn’t even one of the heavier songs, though it packed a mighty punch with its lyrical depth. I found myself in tears and have immediately reserved this song to be played at my funeral. Pay attention family and friends.

This album truly could be a rebirth for 5FDP, encapsulating all aspects of the band’s capabilities and sound with refinement and clarity we may not have been aware was missing, until hearing this new offering. It’s overflowing with meaty riffs, catchy grooves and pulverising drums while being inclusive of the raw, strip backed emotional stuff. Moody definitely has a knack for expressing his emotions through his vocals; that certainly hasn’t changed, only strengthened.  It’s everything I want from an album; I’ll definitely be securing myself a copy.

FFDP-aF8

Five Finger Death Punch – F8 tracklisting

1. F8
2. Inside Out
3. Full Circle
4. Living The Dream
5. A Little Bit off
6. Bottom Of The Top
7. To Be Alone
8. Mother May I (Tic Toc)
9. Darkness Settles In
10. This Is War
11. Leave It All behind
12. Scar Tissue
13. Brighter Side of Grey
14. Making Monsters
15. Death Punch Therapy
16. Inside Out (Radio Edit)

Rating: 8.5/10
F8 is Out February 28, 2020 via BETTER NOISE MUSIC. Pre-Order here 
Review by Trudy Johnson

 

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