Five Finger Death Punch

Got Your Six

Written by: PP on 26/10/2015 21:07:32

Despite all the shortcomings of Five Finger Death Punch as songwriters - the predictable alternative / nu-metal riffage, the cliché-riddled lyricism of Ivan Moody, their tendency to lean a little too much on radio hit singles - it's difficult to deny the band's meteoric rise to popularity. Not that many years ago, they played at the modest surroundings of The Rock in front of just a few hundred eager fans; next week they'll be headlining the 6000 capacity TAP1 at the Carlsberg complex in Copenhagen. It's an impressive success story that owes everything to it's clever - at least from a marketing perspective - combination of dumbed down macho lyricism, straight forward and crunchy nu-metal riffs spiced with stadium-sized heavy metal solos, and the huge, anthemic choruses their radio singles rely on. Just heavy enough to have some street cred for the mainstream masses, but melodic and accessible enough to not scare away the moms and dads taking their younger teenagers to their concerts. Basically, the very definition of a stepping-stone band into heavier music just like Slipknot was and continues to be for many.

"Got Your Six" is their sixth studio album, which follows the rather well-received 2013 albums "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell" volumes one and two, which modified enough of the band's simplified sound to finally appeal to many critics who had previously missed the band as essentially having the artistic integrity of Disturbed. The band's newfound soundscape is heavier and more aggressive than before, but not devoid of their signature choruses that are massive to say the least. "My Nemesis", for example, is the very definition of an anthemic arena-sized metal song. Think Avenged Sevenfold's mainstream material and you're in a similar boat. Likewise, "Wash It All Away" and "Ain't My Last Dance" are monumental: Moody's verse vocals are testosterone-driven and aggressive alongside heavier guitars, but the expansive clean vocal choruses echo loud and clear on the radio waves across modern rock stations of the world. Opening title track "Got Your Six" and "No Sudden Movement" later on offer a more hardcore-fueled approach, albeit in a surprisingly high-energy tempo, but their stomped vibes feel a little bit artificial and, dare I say it, stupifying in places.

Still, as you make your way through the album, you'll take note of tracks like "Digging My Own Grave" and "I Apologize", which showcase quality groove metal riffage despite what the million dollar production machinery (or so it sounds) might otherwise suggest on paper. Somehow producer Kevin Churko has been able to find the right balance between a great, polished sound and a level of punch, oomph and crunch to their soundscape that elevates Five Finger Death Punch above the vast majority of other mainstream metal and hard rock bands you'll hear on the radio waves. Sure, the lyrical content and overall expression still isn't particularly stimulating intellectually given its formulaic nature, but the accessibility of their Big American Metal Sound (tm) sound combined with a knack for writing great choruses compensates for that factor well enough. "Got Your Six" is, therefore, a continuation of the journey from the past two albums where the band have moved away from being an easy band to bash for the lyrical content approaching idiocy to a worthy contender for the throne of mainstream metal alongside Slipknot, Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold.

7

Download: Wash It All Away, Ain't My Last Dance, Digging My Own Grave
For the fans of: Disturbed, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold
Listen: Facebook

Release date 04.09.2015
Prospect Park

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