February 28, 2020 Five Finger Death Punch – F8 (Album Review)
When you’re hot, you’re hot! It was barely two years ago when Heavy Metal powerhouses Five Finger Death Punch released their seventh studio album, And Justice For None, in May of 2018 and reaching No. 1 on two different Billboard album charts. As quickly as these two years went by, it is even harder to believe that more than a decade has passed since Five Finger Death Punch jolted the Rock scene with their debut and sophomore hit albums 2007’s Way of the Fist and 2009’s certified platinum War Is The Answer.
Over the last decade plus, Five Finger Death Punch have proved to be “Bad Company” with a no nonsense Heavy Metal attitude. Listening to the music of Five Finger Death Punch is like getting into a fight – it just hits you hard! Notoriety of this kind has earned this band awards from numerous media outlets like Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, and SiriusXM Octane. While touring all corners of the globe over the last two years, Five Finger Death Punch still made time to write new music and their new album, entitled F8, drops on Friday, February 28, 2020 thanks to Better Noise Music.
A new face, F8 is now the first album with new Drummer Charlie Engen who joined Vocalist Ivan Moody, Lead Guitarist Jason Hook, Rhythm Guitarist Zoltan Bathory, and Bassist Chris Kael in late 2018. A whole lotta new music, for their eighth release, Five Finger Death Punch are gifting fans a whopping fifteen new hard-hitting songs produced by Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed, Slash). That said, let us get right into the music. F8 is briefly intro’d by the eponymous title cut that makes a point in a big way. Then the fun really begins with the two singles that introduced fans to F8, Five Finger Death Punch’s ninth straight No. 1 single “Inside Out,” and the razor sharp “Full Circle.” Both tracks prove to be an effective start to F8.
Revealing, “Living The Dream” attacks the realities we face everyday where we find a perfect world is not what it seems and this is highlighted by Moody’s sarcasm when he sings “So it seems, we’re all living the dream.” Certainly the most different track on F8, “A Little Bit Off” is a versatile Modern Rock song laid out in an acoustic guitar melody and an essence about being in a bad mood. Heavy as heck, “Bottom Of The Top” and “Mother May I” bring things back around while the ballad “Darkness Settles In” says everyone else needs to save me, not me.
Carrying on the Five Finger Death Punch fascination with the subject, “This Is War” is a combative tune fought on an emotional battlefield that hits hard. More stand-out tracks to behold, the aggressive “Scar Tissue” precedes “Brighter Side of Grey,” a ballad emotional in a way unlike anything Five Finger Death Punch has written – possibly about someone who passed away. Showing who they are, Five Finger Death Punch finish things off like a torpedo with the addictive “Making Monsters” and “Death Punch Therapy.”
Never the type of band to get cute, on F8, Five Finger Death Punch stick with what works and that is their trademark Heavy Metal mindset that has defined the band for years. A hair-raising package, there is a bounty of good new music on F8. For the band, Moody is in rare form as the boisterous frontman and the band sound as good as ever. With that, F8 is one of the most highly-anticipated and stimulating new Heavy Metal albums of 2020 and fans should snatch up their copy. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock awards F8 4 out of 5 stars.