By Clara Sadler, September 17 2015 —
I picked up the new album by Las Vegas heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch, Got Your Six, on a whim. The chainsaw-swinging zombie adorning the cover caught my attention, and I expected a tirade of full-force metal when I started the album.
But rather than going all out from the start, the album opens with a title track featuring melodic guitar lines before adding heavy power chords and harsh vocals from lead singer Ivan Moody. The softer guitar licks interspersed throughout the song create a balance that keep the track from becoming stale.
This genre-mixing is prevalent throughout the album. “Jekyll and Hyde” balances a chorus with synthetic vocals and dark heavy metal verses to create a dichotomy much like the famous trope. And a near alt-rock sound dominates “My Nemesis,” as energetic guitar plays over a droning synth.
While the blended sounds help keep the songs distinct and interesting, some tracks, like the lackluster “Hell to Pay,” feel dull and repetitive after a few minutes of listening.
Despite these excursions into other genres, Got Your Six shines through as an exemplary metal album. Songs like “No Sudden Movement” and “Meet My Maker” showcase the band’s impressive rapid-fire guitar and intense vocal work. These songs create a thick and engulfing wall of sound. Late album cut “Boots and Blood” encapsulates the heavy metal genre with bassy instrumentals and obscene vocals.
The album closes out with a bonus track titled “Voicemail,” a recording of an actual voicemail message that Moody left for guitarist Jason Hook, detailing his ideas for the song “Jekyll and Hyde.” The audio clip adds to the personality of the band and the album as a whole.
Five Finger Death Punch can come off as intense and inaccessible but fans of metal will certainly enjoy the album. Even though it sounds formulaic early on, Got Your Six shines in its second half and closes out perfectly.