Returning with their eighth record, Five Finger Death Punch have doubled down on their riffs and tightened their structuring for the short yet aptly titled ‘F8’.
Taking the strongest elements of their now expansive back-catalogue, the quintet deliver a record that could arguably be their defining release.
After the tense string led introduction of the title-track, the band launch headfirst into ‘Inside Out’, a song that sits on the heavier side of the group’s cannon. Led by vocalist Ivan Moody‘s signature growl and croon, the track displays the trademarks of the group, complete with chugging guitars, wide choruses, and the obligatory Jason Hook solo.
The same can be said for the first act of the record, not that this is a slight on the quintet. For over a decade, Five Finger Death Punch have found a formula that works well for them, mixing dexterous guitar techniques with anthemic choruses to solid results. But, by adding flashes of variation to their blueprint, the opening tracks on ‘F8’ avoid becoming pastiches of their previous work; whether it’s the stuttering riffs on ‘Full Circle’, or the swinging groove that dominates ‘Living The Dream’.
Moving away from their comfort zone for ‘A Little Bit Off’, acoustic guitars and brooding vocals sit along solid pop hooks and expands on the group’s sound. A surprisingly well-crafted and earnest take on the genre, the song serves as another addition to their wheelhouse.
As the album progresses, the band deliver snappy, riff filled and stadium ready tracks in quick succession. Not allowing one idea to outstay its welcome, the streamlined efficiency of the record is one of its biggest strengths. As ‘Mother May I’ delves into thrashing riffs and guttural vocals alongside swimming choruses, the group prove why they’re one of the most popular metal acts of today.
Closing the record with ‘Brighter Side Of Grey’, the group yet again craft another solid and stunning display of Moody‘s clean vocals and a laser focused combination of melody and hook. With the inclusion of bonus tracks, the record ends with three slabs of chunky metal for good measure.
At this point in their career, audiences either love or hate Five Finger Death Punch and with ‘F8’ that opinion isn’t about to change. For those who are willing to look past any predispositions of the group, ‘F8’ delivers an enjoyable run through of large and stomping metal tracks.