Sound — 6
Five Finger Death Punch (FFDP) was founded in Las Vegas in 2005, and in a lot of ways they represent the spirit of Las Vegas. They're kind of flashy and corny at the same time, the talent is there, but it isn't always displayed to the strongest effect. The band has been wildly popular since they started releasing music, and critics have been critical, but the albums sell. Obviously, FFDP is selling albums at a much higher rate than a lot of their contemporaries and they're filling venues pretty consistently. "Got Your Six" is the band's sixth full length studio album, with their most recent releases being "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell," both volumes 1 & 2, were released in 2013. "Got Your Six" has 11 tracks with a total runtime of approximately 38 minutes. Two singles have been released for the album - the lead single is "Jekyll and Hyde" which released in mid-June, and it was followed by "Hell to Pay," which was released in July.
The album opens up with the title track, "Got Your Six" with a nice dramatic scream of "CHARGE!," and some groovy heavy riffing. The lyrics focus on how badass the narrator is, but how he also has your back... so, yeah, then there is a quiet breakdown where Ivan Moody narrates in a spoken voice that "I will never accept defeat, and I will never quit," then back to business with the heavy riffing after a short guitar solo. "Jekyll and Hyde" is the first single from the album, and is about how the songwriter knows they're supposed to be happy, but there is too much responsibility on their shoulders to enjoy life. This song does have my favorite lyrics from the album, which stood out because I thought they were decent: "You've got rocks in your head, I can hear them rolling 'round/ You can say that you're above it, but you're always falling down." The solo for "Jekyll and Hyde" is pretty badass. "Wash It All Away" opens with a quirky arpeggio and is essentially about giving up on everything, from family to politics. There is a nice melodic solo on this one, but otherwise it is a fairly non-descript track.
"Ain't My Last Dance" opens up with some fairly powerful drumming and lyrics open up with "I'm the apocalypse with a fat lip." The chorus tends to neuter the aggression of the verses and intro as it is a sing-a-long type of chorus. "My Nemesis" actually has a fairly catchy opening, but the song doesn't ever seem to go anywhere. There is, of course, a squealing guitar solo, which is the highlight of the track. "No Sudden Movement" is just a piss poor song, lyrically - the chorus is "click clack/ reload/ click clack/ unload." "Question Everything" is a stand out track on the album because the lyrics were at least thought out a little bit and it is musically solid, with a cool little acoustic section near the end. "Hell To Pay" is another song that is kind of mediocre - it doesn't do anything to stand out, and besides having a few really bad lines in the lyrics the track seems to just pass by uneventfully. "Digging My Own Grave" has a very cool percussion and acoustic intro and could have been a really awesome track, but the lyrics are just weak. "Meet My Maker" has a catchy rhythm part, and the solo is intense, but the rest of the song and lyrics are repetitive. "Boots and Blood" starts out with "think of one word to change the world/ and now put it into action/ FUCK!" and the song goes on from that point... musically it is repetitive but kind of a cool riff for the first little bit.
Lyrics — 6
Ivan Moody... holy cheesus, man, take some creative writing courses or something. You can sing well enough, but I can't take your lyrics anymore. The vocal delivery is pretty much standard fare for hard rock or radio metal, meaning it is in key, there is some occasional screaming but not enough to make a casual metal listener uncomfortable, and mainly just sticking to a slightly gruff delivery. The lyrics, though, are ugly. I'll list a few brief examples. From "Jekyll and Hyde": "There's just so much God damned weight on your shoulders/ That you can't just live your motherfucking life/ The story's getting old and my heart is getting colder/ I just wanna be Jekyll, but I'm always fighting Hyde." For some reason the transitions between second person and first person hit me the wrong way. From the title track, "Got Your Six" you have: "I'm a fucking soldier/ Just like I told you/ While I'm just warming up/ you're getting colder/ Out on the battleground." I'm assuming that this goes along with their track "Battle Born" from "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 2" that is supposed to be appealing to soldiers. The difference in the two track is that "Battle Born" sounds like a single and has a clear message, while some of the lyrics are contradictory and confusing on "Got Your Six." The lyrics really are a liability at this point - maybe somebody else in the band should give writing lyrics a try.
Overall Impression — 6
I mean, this is what it is - a subpar release from a renowned hard rock band that is one of the few bands in the genre having any true level of success. If I had to guess, than I would guess that this album will sell well enough, they will still sell tickets to their shows, but maybe after a few months they'll play less songs from the new album and go back to their tried and true crowd favorites and this album will just be a minor diversion from the bland radio metal that FFDP are known for. Again, musically it is catchy enough but it just doesn't deliver lyrically and none of the songs are especially catchy. Props to Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook as the guitar parts are solid, if not especially creative. My favorite songs from the album are "Question Everything," "Digging My Own Grave" (if you ignore the lyrics) and "My Nemesis."