Funny how the discovery of new music never fails to recharge my excitement for heavy metal.
Until recently I was beginning to think there were few truly great American metal bands.
That is until I realized that Five Finger Death Punch was that great band.
Sure, the success built over their first seven releases has made some in the metal community scoff at them.
You see every album they released has gone gold or platinum. And metal fans are sticklers about being too commercial.
I just think if the music works well just be satisfied they are one of ours! The bands’ influences are evident on every track.
Pantera, Metallica, Exodus, and Venom all inspired their ferocious sound.
Now comes the arrival of a pivotal album in this band’s career.
Dispensing their cover art of a skull pressing down on brass knuckles, their mascot called Knucklehead, we receive a red/orange coin. A snake eating itself in profile/ an infinity symbol.
Minted by any other group I might not have noticed such a new approach. The Latin, Novus Ordo which plainly states a new kind of order.
Throwing down a gauntlet of epic proportions with protest lyrics challenging our extreme apathy.
Is it FFDP’s ‘Fate’ to become an infinite metal beast that will self-destruct?
This is not a test. ‘Full Circle’ is a snide backbiter of a track. While “Bottom of the Top” screams can I become the best of the losers?
FFDP is proud of their defiance. Hate them or love them the band will not depart from a sound that is derived from their earlier efforts.
The band has such a consistent sound even after 8 records it still has all of the chops of their earlier material. Like AC/DC they will not change what works. Their sound remains the same.
Vocalist Ivan Moody’s battle against alcohol addiction is heard in songs like ‘To Be Alone’ and ‘Mother May I (Tic Toc)’.
Tearing into the artifice of a culture with a clock that is running out, addicts need hard truth.
And help from people who are willing to do the best they can for their loved ones.
Mr. Moody sings more here than on any of the band’s previous seven. On this album this approach pays off.
FFDP has delivered bruising and banging records for over 15 years.
Always mixing up spoken word sound with growling metal howls and melodic vocals, F8 is full throated melodic. This will probably get a mixed reaction from hardcore ‘Knuckleheads’ (also the nickname of their fanbase).
Perhaps unfair, but they can get away with this much more than Metallica did on “Load”.
FFDP was never just a thrash band. Their mix of traditional metal with alternative nu-metal set them apart. Mr. Moody states Mike Patton (Faith No More) influenced his vocals. I admit he sounds similar. I feel this is a great asset.
The second half unloads that banging ferocious growl we love. “This is War” sprays riffs all over the villains of life although never specified. A Pantera inspired killing joke of a track.
The collection concludes with ‘Brighter Side of Grey’. This is the most unusual song in their canon. A living eulogy for Ivan Moody, in case his rehab for alcoholism fails.
Too many have perished in this world, especially rock/metal musicians from addiction.
F8 should be played on 10.
- Current Line-Up of FFDP:
- Zoltan Bathory…..rhythm guitar, lead guitar
- Ivan Moody…lead vocals, piano
- Jason Hook…lead guitar, backing vocals
- Chris Kael…bass, backing vocals
- Charlie Engen….drums, percussion
Every title in their discography uses the graphics of Kung Fu cinema where the band derived its name.
Zoltan Bathory is the only remaining original member. He is also a martial artist.
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