Overall Score: 7.5/10 Consistency: 8/10 Stand Out Tracks: 7/10 Repeat Listen Value: 8/10 Pros: Solid throughout | Ivan's vocals | Battle Born Cons: Doesn't quite live up to Volume One's high standards
Five Finger Death Punch have had an amazing 2013. They’ve toured the arenas of Europe with Avenged Sevenfold, winning legions of new fans in the process. They’ve turned in show stealing performances on the Mayhem touring festival in the US, and they were one of THE bands of Download Festival 2013 (as can be seen from our review here). In July The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume One became the highest charting FFDP album on both sides of the Atlantic. Now five months later Volume Two has been released and Rocksins is going to see how it matches up to the first instalment, as well as the rest of the Death Punch back catalogue.
“Wrong Side” Volume Two very much picks up where Volume One left off. There is definitely not a noticeable dip in quality as there is with so many double albums, just perhaps that Volume One contains many memorable stand out tracks whereas volume two is “just” a thoroughly enjoyable album. The albums lead single Battle Born is a rare thing in this day and age; a well executed hard rock / metal ballad. With a chorus the size of the Grand Canyon, you can easily see why this was chosen as they lead single; The Death Punch make few bad decisions and this wasn’t one of them.
That’s not to say there are not other songs besides Battle Born worthy of extra attention. Here To Die gamely picks the ball up from where the end of vol 1 left off and riffs its way straight into Weight Beneath My Sin, two tracks that will get voices singing and pits moving in equal measures. Matter Of Time sees FFDP combining their heavy and melodic elements and achieving the best in both aspects. Cold is another slow number that showcases Ivan Moody’s vocal talents to their full potential and Let This Go is another headbang, foot stomping worthy track. Like Volume One, Volume Two features a cover song, House Of The Rising Sun, originally made famous by The Animals in the 1960’s. Whilst enjoyable, it doesn’t come close to matching the phenomenal cover of LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out from Vol 1.
Overall, The Wrong Side Of Heaven Volume Two is the second highly enjoyable album from Five Finger Death Punch this year, and it slots in nicely alongside the rest of their previous albums. Not many bands can say they’ve put out two high quality albums in the space of six months but FFDP are now one of them. 2013 has definitely been the year of The Death Punch, 2014 will have a lot to live up to.
The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume Two is out now on Eleven Seven Music. Five Finger Death Punch recently announced a return to the UK for a set of shows in March and April 2014 with Upon A Burning Body – full details can be found here.