Ten years ago, a band came onto the scene with what was widely perceived to be a rather silly name. Five studio albums, a mass of arena and large festival performances and huge widespread critical acclaim later, and Five Finger Death Punch have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a credible force in the metal world.
‘Got Your Six’ marks the sixth studio record from the American hard rockers following on from 2013’s ambitious double album effort, ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell’. This album has the FFDP trademark stamped all over it, which, considering the divisiveness of the band, you’ll either love or hate. 14 tracks spanning 48 minutes is what you get here, but while the majority of the album has a familiar flavour, there are several flourishes of originality that shine through.
The album’s title-track, ‘Ain’t My Last Dance’, and ‘My Nemesis’ are all fairly substandard songs that continue to build on the galloping guitar riffs and call-to-arms vocal performances that the band are so well suited to delivering. Where it starts to get a bit interesting is through single ‘Jeckyll And Hyde’. Here, we see near-spoken word verses combined with a low rumbling guitar riff building up to a humongous stomping chorus with atmospheric gang vocals chanting “oh, yo, yo” in the background. Familiar sounding, yet challenging enough to make you sit up and take notice.
‘Question Everything’ is the standout track on the record. A combination of superbly haunting 80s infused verses gives way to a heart-wrenching chorus, which is then spliced with a vibrant broken down section. On top of this, a melodic flamenco-esque guitar solo flourishes towards the end of the song before bringing in the final chorus seamlessly. As far as FFDP go, this is proof that should they wish to flex their muscles, there’s a lot more to their sound than the beige ‘wrestle metal’ mentality commonly associated with them.
‘Boots And Blood’ sounds a bit like Pantera in places, ‘You’re Not My Kind’ sounds a bit like Slipknot in places. The originality previously mentioned is slightly diluted by this, although ‘Diggin’ My Old Grave’, while being the staple ballad on the album, swings the balance back in favour by being hugely anthemic with saccharine style vocals.
While the record is sometimes formulaic in places, and admittedly a bit on the long side, it somehow manages to pack in enough variety to give the listener something different to pick out on repeated listens. It’s not going to revolutionise the concept of heavy metal music, nor introduce the casual listener to anything over and above what they’ve heard before. However, ‘Got Your Six’ is guaranteed to get your foot tapping, your head nodding, and your voice singing along to those catchy choruses.
Written by Neil Criddle