Album Review: Five Finger Death Punch – And Justice For None

unnamed (2)Release Date: 18th May 2018

Label: Eleven Seven Music

Genre: Metal

There aren’t too many more divisive bands out there at the moment than 5FDP. Everything they do is loved by some and hated by others with very few sat smack bang in the middle. I personally pride myself on sitting nice and comfortably on that fence, taking each rant, each track and each social media backlash in as it comes. So, what does album number seven bring? Well, on And Justice For None there’s a whole lot of your classic 5FDP going on, as you’d expect. Some tracks that make you appreciate a lot more what the band has to offer…oh and a fuck tonne of controversy. Where would we be without that?

Now you’d have to live under a rock to not be aware of the problems that frontman Ivan Moody has gone through and, with recent tragedies in the rock and metal communities, it’s a massive credit to Ivan that he has gone and got help for those problems before they become all encompassing. This album was written before the rehab, before the help, and it shows.

‘Sham Pain’ is the ultimate example of this and something that I’ve never heard tackled by such a well known band before. With lyrics like “Everybody seems like they’re waiting for me to die / Talk shit behind my back, can’t look me in the eye”, aim is taken at fans, blogs, labels and anyone that has ever looked in on 5FDP. When you consider each and every person that the finger is pointed at has a part to play in the band’s success it’s even more surprising, but is it something that needs to be said? A lot of younger fans seem to think they have a ‘right’ to the attention of their favourite bands, even before they ‘make it’. Social media has made this easier as the disconnect means constantly hounding them through tags has no ‘visible’ effect. Maybe this will allow them to take a step back and think of the effects this could have.

Anyway, back to the music. Is there anything that hasn’t been seen from Five Finger Death Punch before? Tracks like ‘I Refuse’ show a more refined version of some of the more ballad style tracks attempted before and here have an air of Disturbed’s cover of ‘The Sound Of Silence’. This one specifically is a soft, delicate track with Moody’s vocals taking the focus for the most part and it works. It stands out as one of the highlights and the lyrics continue to see darker topics brought to the fore. If the ‘mainstream’ is going to pick up on any track it will be this one.

Several tracks on the album take shots at ‘You’. An unnamed person or persons that have wronged Ivan/5FDP somehow. The anonymity means that songs like ‘It Doesn’t Matter’ could quite easily slip into a live set. The anger that they drive will resonate with the sort of fan that needs heavy music at the end of a hard day. The kind of fan that goes to gigs for the pits. “You can’t convince me life is fair, ’cause you were never even there” quips Moody, a line that will hit home for many.

And Justice For None sees a band on the mend taking a big step forwards. Musically it improves on almost every element when compared to the last three albums. It’s immediately recognisable as 5FDP but a more cohesive, slicker version. There’s still raw energy in tracks like ‘Rock Bottom’, but a cover of The Offspring’s ‘Gone Away’ shows that this is a band maturing. I’ve not made it through an album of 5FDP‘s so easily since American Capitalist and this album secures their progression towards the top of festival lineups worldwide.

Rating: 7.5/10

Standout tracks: Sham Pain, I Refuse, Rock Bottom

When can I see them: With tour dates throughout the US until September I’d keep an eye out for European dates on poster around the site at Download Festival.

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