This is the arena metal that Five Finger Death Punch was born to play. The first of two (!) albums due in 2013, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Vol. 1 is filled with expertly crafted heavy metal masterpieces that barely last over the three and a half mark yet still leave memorable hooks and a lasting impression. If …Vol. 1 is just the opening salvo then God help us all as to what we can expect when …Vol. 2 drops later in the fall.

The production is the best it’s ever been (Kudos again to Kevin Churko!), the band is on fire and vocalist Ivan Moody is a beast. Ivan’s machine gun-like delivery on “You” and “Burn MF” especially is something young artists should aspire to be able to remotely emulate half as good as Moody some day.

The whole album is like a victory lap, as if everything has been leading to this. From the opening shred groove of “Lift Me Up” featuring none other than Rob Effing Halford through to the brutal closer “Dot Your Eyes” with Jamey Jasta, Five Finger Death Punch step up their game completely. They also showcase a unique chameleon-like talent to morph with each and every song yet still retaining their signature FFDP stamp. Whether it’s the hardcore aesthetic on the aforementioned “Dot Your Eyes”, the vicious tribalism of “I.M.Sin” with Max Cavalera, or the lush melodies incorporated into “Anywhere But Here”, FFDP continually metamorphasize into something greater than themselves.

It’s hard to imagine them being greater than this album you’ll be holding in your hands soon but if …Vol. 1 is any indication then …Vol. 2 is sure to deliver! The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Vol. 1 is out on July 30th through Prospect Park. Get your very own right here.

Grade: A



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