There’s always a point in peoples’ lives where an event happens that makes them feel old. For those who were brought up on Slipknot, Korn and Limp Bizkit, that event is witnessing the start of a new generation of metal bands, spearheaded by Five Finger Death Punch. Every FFDP album up until ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 1’ may as well be irrelevant, because this is the moment that will define them as a band and immortalise them in on the MP3 players of teenagers of generation whatever-we’re-on-now.
‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven…’ is the album that will push ‘Iowa’ into the “classic metal” section of record stores. FFDP are new, and even though they aren’t on Roadrunner Records, they may as well be with their sound. Debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 in the US is evidence that FFDP have been universally accepted as the new face of heavy metal, becoming the newest face of a fresh, watered down breed of metal along with Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine.
That’s the problem with ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven’, it just tries too hard. Everything is cliché. There’s an expletive every other line. It reeks of a genre that’s slowly edging towards public acceptance, realising that it needs to cut its hair and start wearing clothes that fit it if it’s gonna start being played regularly on Radio 1.
It’s ironic in many ways how much FFDP sing about not caring about other peoples’ feelings whilst yearning for record sales and headline tours. That’s not meant as an elitist mark, but it’s painfully transparent what they’re trying to do. The large bulk of ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven…’ is about threatening people not to mess with vocalist Ivan Moody, like on ‘Watch You Bleed’, but is it all talk? It’s almost like FFDP are trying to steal the image from bands like Hatebreed and Terror, only to water it down with songs like ‘Wrong Side Of Heaven’ and ‘Anywhere But Here’.
FFDP are the perfect band for teenagers who draw skulls on school desks, calling out chavs for listening to mainstream music while not realising that the music they champion themselves follows the same by-the-books approach. Songs like ‘I.M.Sin’ may as well be written 20 years ago in the nu-metal era with their immaturity. ‘Burn MF’ is so laughable in its faux-aggression it’s just silly. The entire chorus of “Burn motherfucker / Burn motherfucker / Burn” is like something a 14-year-old would write after they’ve been bullied for having a fringe.
For all its stereotypical attitude however, ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven…’ is undoubtedly going to become one of the staple metal albums of our era. FFDP will be headlining festivals like Download very soon if this year’s performance is anything to go by, but to get there they’ll have to seek help from the very people who they proclaim to be so terrible in all of their lyrics.
Written by MG Savage (@MGsavagewriter)