Ladies and gentlemen, from Las Vegas, Nevada please welcome Five Finger Death Punch. With a name like that, that’s how they need to be introduced in my opinion. Now I am not a huge fan of this band, I sometimes find the dulcet tones of frontman Ivan Moody a bit of an annoyance but you can’t dispute the fact that they have put some great tracks together over the years and live they are a punishingly good band.
So let’s see if they can take that handful of great tunes they normally come up with on an album and see if they can stretch it to last the whole slab of vinyl that is And Justice For None, out on Prospect Park. “Fake” is heavy as shit from the off with an almost mechanical like riff pumping out of the mix. The vocals are good as they spit out venomous lyrics but the chorus is full of macho testosterone. How many times can you say motherfucker in one song? It’s ridiculous. “Top of the World” starts off sounding like the last track. It is a much better track than the previous one and the chorus has a punch to it (pun intended) and is quite catchy.
I love the opening riff on “Sham Pain” as much as I love the play on words. This is more of a rap than a song at first but the chorus is very melodic and makes you want to sing along. “Blue On Black” kicks off with a nice bit of acoustic guitar that has a familiar ring to it, Kenny Wayne Sheppard anyone? The vocals sound much better on this track he actually has a fairly good voice when it’s used properly. Again another great chorus and definitely something you would pick up on American rock radio.
Marilyn Manson anyone? “Fire In The Hole” is almost Marilyn Manson‘s “Beautiful People” sung by Pete Steele from Type O Negative. The chorus is absolutely ridiculous on this one but the raging solos save it in the end. The piano-driven beginning of “I Refuse” is a refreshing change but then when the song starts proper it reminds me of the Backstreet Boys. We’re back with the heaviness with “It Doesn’t Matter” especially when the screamed vocals rasp over the opening uber riff. I love the guitar riffs through the chorus and in parts throughout.
“When The Seasons Change” is acoustic driven from the off but it sounds like so many other bands these days. The chorus is strong though and you can see arenas full of people just belting out the vocals when the tour hits town. A gentler start to “Stuck In My Ways” makes a difference. This is one of the best tracks on the album so far, it’s very catchy but again very poppy.
Heavy as shit is a way to explain “Rock Bottom” but again it’s full of macho bullshit vocals that you can expect from a band called Five Finger Death Punch.
They do a fantastic slowed up cover of The Offspring classic “Gone Away” which so far is the highlight of the album for me. “Bloody” is very electronic sounding but quite a good track, it caught my ear straight away and when it gets going it has a good chorus a good effort overall. Final track “Will The Sun Ever Rise” starts off acoustic and sounds a bit like a track earlier on in the album. They are definitely going for the radio hit on this one and a few others on here.
Final thoughts on And Justice For None
It’s not a bad album but not a great album either especially when one of the highlights is a cover song. To me, it sounds like Five Finger Death Punch doing Five Finger Death Punch and they do it well. The vocals are still a bit of an annoyance for me but not on all the tracks. The lyrics are a bit immature throughout but the musicianship as always is just amazing. Maybe when frontman Ivan Moody threw his toys out of the pram and went a.w.o.l. a few years back, they should have let him go and found themselves an actual singer. Thankfully my rating is based on the musicianship and the songs, not the lyrics and vocals as I have to look past them.
Decibel rating 7/10