Five Finger Death Punch’s overall history can feel like a roller coaster of the unknown. These Las Vegas metal kings are considered one of the biggest bands, and with that level of exposure, the group, of course, runs into a mob of haters. Given, their reputation has had its highs and lows, including onstage meltdowns. However, these instances have mainly been a reality check that they are human, and just like the rest of us, shit happens. The band’s overall eighth album (hence the title), F8, has finally arrived today (28th) via Better Noise (order here).
Addiction is an issue everyone faces. Whether it’s yourself, a loved one, friend, or acquaintance, most of us are sadly surrounded by someone going through substance abuse. Combine this with depression, mental illness, losing a loved one, and learning to accept that one day you will die, brings you the material behind F8. Musically, there are a few songs that feel a bit off and may need a few extra spins to get used to, including “A Little Bit Off.” However, there are some aggressive and catchy material in songs “Inside Out,” “Full Circle,” “Living the Dream,” “This Is War,” and “Leave It All Behind,” that sucks you in making you believe it’s their strongest record to date.
You “hear” the band coming to terms with their past and moving forward with sobriety and, in general, their next chapter during the first tune “F8.” The group’s explosive singles soon follow with “Inside Out,” and “Full Circle.” Ivan Moody placed several hidden messages in the lyrics as you can hear comic book references in “Living the Dream,” where Ivan is basically asking a Superhero to help him erase the road to hell he created for himself. While musically, it’s not the best song, but lyrically, “A Little Bit Off” discusses heartbreak, death, and loss, which could be his reaction to losing artists, including Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. A few tracks later, we have “Darkness Settles In,” which opens up battles with alcoholism and the need for someone else to change who they are instead of facing responsibility and taking the necessary steps themselves. One of the best lines from the album is in the song “This Is War,” when Ivan screams out “narcissistic demon child.” Whether you’re a fan of their music or not, just check out this track for the golden lyrics. For anyone who feels like they are drowning in a pool of misery due to your personal mistakes and regrets, listen to the song “Scar Tissue.” It holds a powerful message that surpasses the catchy riffs.
Whether you’re a fan of Five Finger Death Punch or one of the haters, the song “Brighter Side of Grey,” is one beautiful anthem. By the time the track ends, there will be a pool of tears because it involves your death, and the wondering of what would you do “in case” you’re “gone tomorrow?” Aside from the bonus tracks, this is the official album closer, and despite having a few weaker songs, this is a strong way to end the album.
Coming to terms with your flaws, mistakes, along with the embarrassment and turmoil that comes with it, is never easy to do. Most would hide and ignore it all as though these feelings never happened and remain numb to the world. Instead of keeping all of these emotions locked inside, Five Finger Death Punch managed to literally pull themselves “Inside Out” to face the music inside their waking lives resulting in F8.