Home Albums Album Review : Five Finger Death Punch – ‘The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Volumes 1 & 2’

Album Review : Five Finger Death Punch – ‘The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Volumes 1 & 2’

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Review by Justin Marque for MPM

An American institution, Five Finger Death Punch practically bleed rawness in both their attitude and music and what you see is most definitely what you get.

They may have been formed in Las Vegas but the only thing flashy about the band is their stage shows, the explosion of light and sound as dazzling as anything on the Strip. Underneath that all, a gritty heart burns full of defiance, rage against injustice and fight, lyrics hitting as powerfully as the tidal wave of riffs.

Already a fast-rising band through constant time on the road and a string of incendiary albums, the release of ‘The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell’ Volumes 1 & 2 in 2013 showed the band on ferocious form, material coming in constant waves.

It’s a testament to the five-piece that the tracks here spread over the two volumes are of a uniform quality, both 1 and 2 boasting some of their hardest hitting material. For the first time, we get a package of the two and this vinyl box set also includes additional tracks and a disc of live cuts, the whole an immersive experience that takes you into their punishing world.

Of the two original recordings, Volume 1 is arguably the most brutal, tracks like ‘I.M.Sin’, Anywhere But Here’ and ‘Dot Your Eyes’ a relentless unstoppable freight train to the senses.

There’s plenty of light and shade too and 5FDP’s use of melody brings a delicious counterpoint to lyrics that flail the skin off your body, giant hooks that make it impossible not to sing along. Alongside the volcanic vitriol of fan favourite ‘Burn M F’, metal ballad ‘M.I.N.E. (End This Way)’ and the multi-faceted ‘Diary of a Deadman’ stands the emotionally crushing ‘Wrong Side of Heaven’ that tells of the struggles of Veterans, this range setting 5FDP well above most of their peers.

This first volume also has added weight with the vocal firepower of several guests and with luminaries Rob Halford, Maria Brink, Max Cavalera, Jamey Jasta, Tech N9ne and Rob Zombie joining in the party it’s little wonder that this was hailed as a classic.

Whilst this was undoubtedly a hard act to follow, Volume 2 rose to the challenge and, whilst shorn of the cavalcade of additional artists, it still sparkled as a gem of dazzling quality. A little more experimental in nature, there’s a broader feel to the numbers included and the steamroller ethos prevalent in the first entry is replaced with something a little more measured at times.

Full of nice sonic touches, this is far from pastoral chill as swinging rocker ‘Cradle to the Grave’, a raw ‘Matter of Time’ and the hard as nails ‘Weight Beneath My Skin’ still pack a mighty punch. Against these is balanced more thoughtful fare and ‘Battle Born’, ‘Cold’ and ‘My Heart Lied’ add different depths to the set, the production by Kevin Churko and the band positively sizzling with ideas.

Closing with a full-blooded cover of ‘House of the Rising Sun’, the whole is an ambitious triumph for the Nevada rockers and ‘The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell’ Volumes 1 & 2 was metal history in the making.

Five Finger Death Punch
From left to right: Andy James (Guitar), Chris Kael (Bass), Ivan Moody (vocals),
 Zoltan Bathory (Guitar), Charlie Engen (Drums)
Photo Credit: Hristo Shindov
 
CONNECT WITH 5FDP:
Website | Facebook | Instagram | X | Tik Tok | Youtube | Spotify
 
Listen to 5FDP and watch the official videos here: http://5fdp.komi.io
FFDP: The Catalog Playlist

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