REVIEW: FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – A DECADE OF DESTRUCTION (2017)

FFDP celebrate a decade 

Come on, we’ve all done it.

All of us have gone to watch a band at a big arena show and assumed that the support is going to be crap with barely any knowledge of them.

If you don’t admit it, you’re a liar.

MV has. More than once. One of the most recent was at an Avenged Sevenfold (we did the same with them in the interests of full disclosure, when they were on with Maiden at Twickenham) gig a few years back. We turned up thinking that Five Finger Death Punch wouldn’t be very good.

We were wrong. They had a sound made for arenas and they looked bang at home on the big stage. On the blog I used to do – the forerunner to MV if you will – I wrote that [the band] is massive, dumb fun and their entire set is built on big riffs and bigger choruses. Plus any band that a) covers Bad Company’s eponymous theme song b) plays “House of the Rising Sun” as they exit and c) can fetch Rob Halford out as a guest is alright by us.”All of which we stand by when it comes time for the career retrospective.

A Decade Of Destruction” has all those elements, it also has two new songs. These are what start the 16 tracks. “Trouble” might not get them many new fans, but crikey it will keep the old ones happy. It seethes with rage about something or other, over a groove that is subtle as a Sherman Tank and a chorus that is designed to be sung by people in their thousands.

“Gone Away” – the other newbie on offer – is more proof that even their ballads are mighty, indeed anyone looking for anything stripped down can look elsewhere. Or put another way, as Ivan Moody sings on “Under And Over It”: “Did you hear the one about me giving a shit? Cos if I ever did I don’t remember it…..”

In case there is any lingering doubt, there is absolutely nothing demur here. “Lift Me Up” (the one that Rob Halford duets on) is as excited as anything that has Rob Halford on should be, but that said, the songwriting here is cleverer than it might be given credit for. “Wrong Side Of Heaven” for example casts God as a woman, while the Devil is most definitely male.

Even when it reflects, as on “I Apologize” , it only says sorry for not getting involved enough. While Moody – who has battled his demons in public throughout much of the decade – lays them bare on the absolutely crushing “Jekyll And Hyde” and “Remember Everything” is raw and bleak, yet somehow becomes anthemic. It’s the only way for these boys it seems.

As a kid growing up in the mid 1980’s MV was in the thrall of Bon Jovi. That might be why we’ve always been drawn to bands who cast themselves as outlaws. FFDP do that superbly on “Battle Born” – where they too have (almost) seen a million faces and rocked them all. It’s also the vibe which is all over their cover of “House Of The Rising Sun” which, in common with “Bad Company” does what all great covers should and owns the song.

That says much about Five Finger Death Punch. More skilled than you might imagine. And better than you think. “Decade Of Destruction” might whet your appetite for them too.

Rating 7.5/10