When it comes to death/doom metal I am not a fan of the vocals at all. Usually the music is stellar, but the growling, gravel eating vocals destroy the song for me. When it comes to Five Finger Death Punch, I never gave them many listens. I had heard one or two songs on the radio and thought they were okay, but the growling vocals immediately had me stereotype the band and not explore them more. When it comes to The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume One, I am a huge fan. Five Finger Death Punch has won me over and I will definitely be seeking out their back catalog.
Having not listened to much Five Finger Death Punch, I did not know what to expect when I slipped in my ear buds and fired up The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell. What I received was amazing music that blew my senses away. It was a symphony of spectacular sounds drifting through my eardrums and creating a grin on my face. Nothing brings me more joy than discovering a new (to me) band that I want to listen to over and over again.
“Lift Me Up” gets the disc started and it was this song that captured me instantly. There is so much happening on this one little song that it causes an explosion in the brain. With a cataclysm of sound, “Lift Me Up” is a terrific album opener, especially if it is one of the first times you are listening to Five Finger Death Punch. The song drew me in immediately and by the time it was completed, I was hooked and had to hear more.
“Dot Your Eyes” is another excellent song that just demands you jump around, scream and shout. Ivan Moody’s voice is strong and the rhythmic beats and blistering guitar solos will find fists flying in the air on first listen. The power that “Dot Your Eyes” delivers is unrivaled. The song demands attention and action. This would be the perfect song to work out to, rally behind, or start your day with. It’s an instant shot of energy and emotion and one of the best songs that The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell has to offer.
My favorite song on the album is “Anywhere But Here.” The song is just magnificent. It revisits a familiar theme of what would you do if there was no tomorrow, but Five Finger Death Punch put their own spin on it. Most songs dealing with the theme of today being your last day on Earth discuss how the final moments should be enjoyed and treasured. Five Finger’s version is a little darker. “Anywhere But Here” approaches the world ending by proclaiming that no tears would be shed and that being anywhere but here but would be for the best. The narrator of the song is clearly not happy with where he is in life and it is time to get out and move on to something better. Throw in a magnificent Jason Hook guitar solo and some fantastic drum beats from Jeremy Spencer and it is easy to see why “Anywhere But Here” is one of the best tracks on this record.
Sad as it is to say, “Mama Said Knock You Out,” is a poor cover of the classic LL Cool J jam. The idea of a hard rock cover of this stupendous hip hop song gave me high hopes, but Five Finger just didn’t deliver as crisply as I had hoped. It is but one of two weaknesses on the album. The follow up song, “Diary Of A Deadman,” is not great either. In short, it’s a blatant rip off of Sixx AM’s Heroin Diaries. Thankfully, these are the last two songs on the record, so there are only two bad songs to endure. The other 9 tracks are flat out stellar.
It’s also worth noting that Five Finger Death Punch included 2 different versions of 3 songs. The first version was their own recording and the other version included guest vocals by Jamey Jasta (“Dot Your Eyes”), Max Cavalera (“I.M. Sin”), and Maria Brink (“Anywhere But Here”). It was interesting to hear the two different takes on each of these songs, and it has added some replay value to the record.
Overall, The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume One is a superb record that has me waiting in earnest for volume 2. If you are yearning for a modern rock sound with a real hardcore edge, I highly recommend this record. It has made me a Five Finger Death Punch fan.
Rating: Out of 10
- Lift Me Up (featuring Rob Halford)
- Watch You Bleed
- Wrong Side Of Heaven
- Burn MF
- I.M. Sin
- Anywhere But Here
- Dot Your Eyes
- M.I.N.E. (End This Way)
- Mama Said Knock You Out
- Diary Of A Deadman
- I.M. Sin (featuring Max Cavalera)
- Anywhere But Here (featuring Maria Brink)
- Dot Your Eyes (featuring Jamey Jasta)
Five Finger Death Punch Is:
Ivan Moody – Lead Vocals
Zoltan Bathory – Rhythm Guitar
Jeremy Spencer – Drums
Jason Hook – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Chris Kael – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Reviewed by Ryo Vie