Five Finger Death Punch is back for more with their seventh album: And Justice for None. The record is an enjoyable, angst ridden romp that will please Knuckleheads and metal fans. The band employs the same formula that made them a success, however they don’t reach all that far into new territory. Rest assured, the album is filled with items that have become common place for a Five Finger record: slick guitar work, thunderous drumming and Ivan Moody’s gravelly, yet soothing voice.
I have been a big fan of Five Finger Death Punch for years. I find the tone of their music is alluring. Their songs are overflowing with passion and energy. This spirited music is fun to play loudly in the car and, overtime it has helped me process a variety of emotions. So far, this record is no exception. This record is strong and fun. Additionally, it is sprinkled with some much-needed dashes of maturity that were absent in their previous album, I’ve Got Your Six.
And Justice for None fits well within the “Death Punch sound”. The record features a wall of sound that is thoroughly soaked in their trademark attitude. Ivan Moody laments about a variety of topics as the band alternates from thick metal chords to power ballads.
Arguably, Fiver Finger Death Punch’s secret weapon are wicked power ballads dripping with emotion. As always, these tunes are a wonderful blend of soaring guitar solos and lyrics that cut deep. “I Refuse” seems to be a front runner in this arena, as it was one of the songs listed on the little sticker that comes on the front of the album. Also, I think it is worth mentioning, this track has an acoustic guitar solo. “When the Seasons Changes”, one of the songs that was released before the album, is another track that may prove popular. However, my favorite is the closing song of the regular version of the disc: “Will the Sun Ever Rise”.
There is plenty of metal to go around. Like any good Five Finger album, most of the record is comprised of raging tunes. Broadly speaking, the band doesn’t offer anything new. Of course, they changed the lyrics, chords and rhythms. However, the formula is largely the same. However, there are some differences. Ivan Moody uses different vocal styles on some songs. For example, “Rock Bottom” and “Sham Pain” his voice sounds bouncy. Oddly enough, this works really well with the bands style.
There are moments when the album feels raw. This comes across best with Ivan Moody’s vocals. Other times, this shines through on a guitar riff. This a change in the band’s style. Usually this type of sound is not incorporated in their albums. I feel it adds some strength to the record. Not only does it diversify the sound and add another layer to the music, it makes it feel more passionate and strained.
There are numerous songs that I would consider “take away” tracks. So far, nearly half the album falls into this category. In time, however, my feelings may change as I come to know the album better.
Without a doubt the songs released before the record dropped are worth seeking out and listening to. “Trouble”, “Fake”, “Sham Pain” and “When the Seasons Change”. The band’s dark cover of The Offspring’s hit “Gone Away” is also worth looking into, especially if you like Five Finger’s slower tunes.
Five Finger Death Punch covered another song, in addition to “Gone Away”. “Blue on Black” is originally a bluesy rock track by Kenny Wayne Shepard. The band sprinkled their heavy metal charm of this song as Ivan Moody approaches, though never reaches, something similar to a country twang. I would recommend this song, especially to those who are interested in covers or have enjoyed the band’s other covers.
In the End
And Justice for None falls short of being Five Finger Death Punch’s best record, however it is certainly not their worst. You can read my ranking of the band’s albums here. I have updated them to include And Justice for None. While it isn’t a perfect album, nor is it their best, the record is worth investigating. Like the rest of their discs it is very fun, even though it is drenched in heartache.