REVIEW: Five Finger Death Punch – ‘F8’

Review by Greg Maki
Ladies and gentlemen, Ivan Moody is back—a focused, reinvigorated and, most importantly, sober Ivan Moody, that is.

It’s been a tumultuous few years for Five Finger Death Punch, with a nagging back injury forcing the exit of band co-founder, drummer Jeremy Spencer (he’s been replaced by Charlie Engen, formerly of Scale the Summit), and frontman Moody battling addiction. The volatile vocalist has emerged on the other side energized and engaged in a way we haven’t heard in some time, and he’s helped lift Five Finger Death Punch up to what could go down as its defining musical statement, its eighth studio album, “F8.”

The record has everything we’ve come to expect from the Death Punch sound—huge, chunky, fists-in-the air riffs and rhythms (guitarist/band architect Zoltan Bathory doesn’t seem to get the credit he deserves for being a true master of his craft); blasts of pure rage and aggression; huge, soaring, singalong hooks; and, from time to time, a softer, more contemplative side.

But while the previous two albums—”Got Your Six” (2015) and “And Justice for None” (2018)—felt a little like running in place, there’s just more on “F8,” of everything. The heavy tracks are more bone-crushing than ever (“This is War” might be the heaviest song the band has recorded to date). The ballads are more heartfelt and meaningful, with Moody opening up in a way that couldn’t have been easy (and the man’s pipes are as strong as ever, whether he’s belting out with a ferocious roar or singing at a soft, tender moment). We even get an acoustic number, “A Little Bit Off,” that everyone can relate to (probably more often than they’d like) and seems destined for massive airplay, while orchestration adds a new layer of dynamics to the bombastic lead single “Inside Out.”

For sentimental reasons, the band’s debut album, “The Way of the Fist” (2007), probably always will remain my favorite. But objectively—as objective as any review can be, I suppose—“F8” feels like what Death Punch has been building to, its most accomplished, powerful and impressive record to date.

Rating: 9/10

Better Noise Music – February 28, 2020


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