After numerous delays, Five Finger Death Punch have released ‘And Justice For None’, the seventh record from the Las Vegas quintet. Delivering their distinct brand of stomping metal and dipping into ballad territory, the group have created a record that will satisfy the anticipation of their fanbase.
Originally released on last year’s ‘A Decade Of Destruction’ greatest hits compilation, ‘Trouble’ opens the record with chugging riffs and frontman Ivan Moody‘s distinct vocals. Switching from percussive guitars to a melodic chorus, the track ticks all of the boxes of what you’d expect of the group, including the obligatory guitar solo.
Playing on expectancy, it’s not until we reach the end of the first quarter of the record that Five Finger Death Punch pulls an ace from out of their sleeve. Single ‘Sham Pain’ deviates from the formula, throwing a swinging groove into the mix. Moody brings multiple techniques to the table, ranging from low spoken vocals to clean choruses that take the track beyond its blues tinged structure.
Continuing in the vein of experimentation, a cover of The Kenny Wayne Shepard Band‘s ‘Blue On Black’ is next; staying close to the original, the first half of the track demonstrates that the group can work in other genres. As we reach the bridge, double kick accents punctuate harmonised guitars before delving into a layered coda.
The record is at its strongest when the band don’t play it safe. The piano-led ‘I Refuse’ focuses on structure, dynamics, and melody as opposed to sticking to their regimented blueprint. The same can be said with their cover of ‘Gone Away’ by The Offspring. Stripped of the usual rhythmic distortion, the space between phrases helps push the impact of the appearance of guitarists Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook.
This isn’t to say that the band should exclusively rely on ballads for future output, as tracks such as ‘Bloody’ and ‘Fire In The Hole’ leave an impression, but what makes these tracks stand out is the changes to their previous output.
Ultimately, Five Finger Death Punch have displayed a hidden depth to their sound and have delivered an album in ‘And Justice For None’ that their fanbase will devour every second of, even if it does bring virtually nothing new to the table