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| 20 March 2020 | Reply

Abstract red grunge background with scratched texture

Label: Better Noise Music

Release Date: February 28, 2020

Rating: 95%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

According to a recent press release: “Record-breaking rock juggernaut FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has a lot to celebrate as the band’s latest album F8 has earned top positions on the charts worldwide.” After buying this one and listening through, I have to agree – there is a lot to celebrate here.  Disc opener and title track “F8” is a cool instrumental that builds slowly, churning from an orchestral sound into the first single from the disc.  “Inside Out” is all out 5FDP, from the aggressive vocals to the chugging riffs to the big solos and the heavy handed bottom end.  This song takes everything the band has done previously and turns it up a notch.  In  a total shift, “A Little Bit Off” stumbles in and is instantly captivating… and only gets better.  This mellow rocker features some of the best guitar work on the disc compliments of Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook and the layered background vocals are amazing.  This is one of my favorite new songs… and then we get to the lyrics.  We can all embrace this song on any given day.  This song has elevated the bands stature in my opinion, as they branched out and took a chance; a chance that paid off in spades.  “Mother May I (Tic Toc)” is a track that blends the vintage 5FDP sound with the modern.  Ivan Moody’s vocals are straightforward and come across perfectly across the musical accompaniment.  This should be a cool track to hear live, with the different textures.  “Leave It All Behind” has some of the more interesting guitar interludes, especially on the intro.  The song builds from there and has a contagious chorus that gets you signing along on a second or third pass through.

“Full Circle” is another song that keeps the proverbial pedal to the metal.  The rhythm section of bassist Chris Kael and drummer Charlie Engen anchor this track while Moody’s vocals stomp, jump, and wreck havoc all over the track.  The guitar work on this one is stellar, especially the solo at the bridge.  “Bottom Of The Top” is a heavier track that has some killer drums and some of the heavier vocals on the disc.  I love the varied textures Ivan throws on the track.  The chugging riffs are solid and perfectly accompany the rest of the track, steering the track without taking over.  “Darkness Settles In” unfolds slowly and the song works its way into your head.  The song kicks in at the chorus and we are off and running.  This is another track that will add to the bands live show, with the different vibes and grooves woven into it.  “Scar Tissue” is another classic sounding Death Punch track, complete with a killer cadence and familiar vocal vibe.  The layered vocals on the chorus add punch and helps balance the heavier verses and bridge.  “Brighter Side Of Grey” is a beautiful track that opens with a cool acoustic sound that is woven into the songs DNA, even after the drums and bass kick in just before Moody’s vocals join the fray.  This is a definite lighter in the air song that will help bridge the bands varied material from its eight different releases.

“Living The Dream” slows the pace slightly, but keeps the intensity dialed up.  The shift in Ivan’s vocals adds depth tot he track and disc overall.  The lyrics are poignant considering the current state of affairs in the world.  The chugging riffs from Hook and Bathory help drive the track and keep things flowing.  “To Be Alone” is a great mainstream rocker that incorporates the rock quotient the band is known for, including the layered vocals, the huge hooks and solos, and the tight rhythm section.  The song helps tie together some of the heavier tracks with the not so heavy tracks.  “This Is War” is everything you would expect it to be, based on the title.  This has the heaviest vocal on the disc, but doesn’t detract from the musical path the band has taken with this material.  The drums (triggered or not) are killer and add a nice touch between verses and chorus.  “Making Monsters” has an a military like cadence opening the track, but it goes full on 5FDP once Hook and Bathory’s guitars kick in.  The song gets even ballsier and better once Ivan does what Ivan does best – be pissed off.  The vocals are strong and help drive the track from open to close.  “Death Punch Therapy” is typical Death Punch and a great way to close the disc.  The song has the chugging riffs we have all come to know and love, the vocals we have all come to expect, and the charging rhythm section that decorates all the killer tracks in the bands catalog.  We would be remiss to not mention Kevin Churko’s contributions to the songs from a production standpoint.  He is the 6th man on this team!

Tracklisting: F8 – Inside Out – Full Circle – Living The Dream – A Little Bit Off – Bottom Of The Top – To Be Alone – Mother May I (Tic Toc) – Darkness Settles In – This Is War – Leave It All Behind – Scar Tissue – Brighter Side Of Grey – Making Monsters – Death Punch Therapy

Lineup: Zoltan Bathory (guitars) – Ivan Moody (vocals) – Jason Hook (guitars) – Chris Kael (bass) – Charlie Engen (drums)






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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