Following the career of Five Finger Death Punch has been pretty interesting over the years. While the band has managed to attract a legion of fans, having so many fans has seen them also become a target as tall poppy syndrome is still rife amongst heavy music fans. Like Korn before them FFDP are a band that are cool to like and cool to hate.
For me that is what makes F8 such an important album. While the band themselves see this as an important album because of the fact it shows them back and still strong after their addictions, I see this as an important album because it shows a side of FFDP that we have never seen before, a side that sees them more than willing to experiment and mix up their sound a little.
From the opening strains of the album you know that this time around is going to be different. F8 begins with classical music that then explodes into the grunt with a killer self-titled opening track. That classical element remains on ‘Inside Out’ a track that you realise very quickly is the work of a band on a mission – a mission to see themselves be taken seriously and not just as a fad. Ivan Moody’s vocals are on song with a strong melody while Jason Hook delivers the goods with some amazing guitar work on as well.
The naysayers that claim that Five Finger Death Punch are ‘not hard’ and then slapped onto their asses with the brutal ‘Full Circle,’ a track that despite its brutality still keeps a great melody while bringing a slight electronic element.
With F8 Five Finger Death Punch do take the listener on an incredible journey where you never really know what they will serve up next. One of the most aggressive tracks on the album is also one of the softest as the strong lyrics of ‘A Little Bit Off’ is a track that we can relate to, while the very catchy ‘Living The Dream’ references Captain America and Superman while delivering some true instrumental magic.
‘Bottom Of The Top’ feels like it is aimed at the band’s haters as it aggressively asks ‘is it heaver enough for you?’ while both ‘To Be Alone’ and ‘Mother May I (Tic Toc)’ are thought-provoking tracks that really knock you for six. The former really captures what it is like to be truly alone while the latter sends you on your own path of reflection.
The serious side of FFDP returns with the beautifully poetic ‘Darkness Settles In’ which has a nearly country feel to the guitars while ‘Brighter Side Of Grey’ is a true song of hope. And for the lovers of the heavy stuff then you are going to very quickly warm to ‘Making Monsters’ and ‘This Is War’… the latter certainly a track written from the heart and aimed at someone with meaning.
F8 is a phenomenal album that shows just how good Five Finger Death Punch can be at their best. The band themselves believe that this is one of their best albums and as a listener you can only agree. This is the kind of album that is created when a band is at the top of their game and deliver an absolute classic.