At the end of July Five Finger Death Punch released the first part of their double album, The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, and in November the second part followed, so I figured I’d review them both at the same time to decide whether it was worth being split in two. I’ll try to keep it as concise as possible…so here we go!
First the facts: Vol. 1 counts eleven tracks that have a run-time of forty-two minutes (fourteen songs à fifty-two minutes on the deluxe version), whereas Vol. 2 has twelve songs amounting to forty-one minutes. Both records have been recorded at the same studio and therefor share the same, flawless, production. Every instrument sounds really crisp and brings that “stadium-metal” feel with it, thus serving the fans what they are looking for.
In terms of musicianship nothing has really changed: neck-breaking riffs, pounding drum beats and aggressive screams alternating with melodic singing. However, I will go as far and say that this double album might be the band’s best work so far…but then again, the selection is also twice as big this time around. As on the three previous albums, the band has done a cover song again: Mama Said Knock You Out featuring Tech N9ne by LL Cool J on Vol. 1 and the well-known folk song House Of The Rising Sun on Vol. 2.
The biggest new element on this cycle is that the band has guest vocals on Vol. 1…and I’m not entirely sure how I’m supposed to feel about them. Let me elaborate: Judas Priest‘s Rob Halford fits nicely on Lift Me Up, Maria Brink adds a nice touch to Anywhere But Here and the above-mentioned Tech N9ne appearance mixes things up a bit…but I feel like they’re more of a gimmick than an actual part of the songs. Especially on the deluxe edition that is plainly obvious, since the three additional songs are alternate versions of regular songs which feature Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed and Max Cavalera of Soulfly. A bit unnecessary in my opinion.
All in all, 5FDP have definitely not left their comfort zone or re-invented themselves on these fourth and fifth albums…but it works. I do believe that they could have dropped a song or two on each album and made a single one instead…but in truth I can’t complain, since both have their appeal. Be sure to give the song below a listen and feel free to visit the band’s Facebook page for more information.