The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 2 review by Five Finger Death Punch

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  • Released: Nov 19, 2013
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 5.2 (41 votes)
Five Finger Death Punch: The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 2
2

Sound — 7
While the earlier installment released mid-2013 received generally favorable reactions from fans and critics alike, the second half of the "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell" has yet to prove itself - so let's sit down and have a listen. First off, you have to approach Five Finger Death Punch understanding that they are basically "party metal." By "party metal" I mean that they are just a few shades too heavy to be called hard rock, while their lyrical themes are the same type of lyrics as a lot of their hard rock and radio rock contemporaries. "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 2" has a total of 12 tracks with a total runtime of just over 40 minutes. The last song on the album is a cover of "The House of the Rising Sun," which is the only cover song on the album. The first single from the album was "Battle Born," which was released in September 2013. Zoltan Bathory or Jeremy Spencer would be the MVP from the album, but it is a toss-up on which it would be. With that being said, Jason Hook delivers some lead-work that is better than he has done in a while on this album, but not enough to outweigh the rhythmic masterpieces created by Zoltan and Jeremy. The album opens up with the track "Here to Die," which essentially takes an up-tempo metal groove and adds some slightly sarcastic lyrics to create a really catchy break-up song. "Weight Beneath My Skin" has some seriously good drumming going on, as well as the exact right balance of rhythm to maintain a groove-heavy feel despite the plaintive lyrics. The guitar solo was also fairly memorable in the realm of Jason's lead playing. "Wrecking Ball" has the most memorable riff from the album, just immediately in the intro. The song kind of comes across as a sequel to "Under and Over It." "Battle Born," while being the lead single from the album, is probably my least favorite from the album – though the little arpeggiated riff is kind of catchy. "Cradle to the Grave" is up next, and it is reaching really hard for a specific "epic" feel, which it doesn't quite get in my opinion, but the rhythm guitar and drums kept me listening. "Matter of Time" has several cool little things going on with cadence throughout the track. "The Agony of Regret" opens up with the sound of drums mimicking a heartbeat and an acoustic guitar playing a really catchy little riff. The lead guitar plays a melody line behind the acoustic intro that reminded me of older bands like the Shadows for some reason. The track is instrumental, and a really strong track. "Cold" is trying really hard to be anthemic, with piano and string accompaniment building up slowly to include guitar and drums. "Let This Go" has a really cool drum/rhythm guitar intro, and builds from that to do some cool syncopated type stuff with the rhythm and vocals. "My Heart Lied" is a standard "rocker," which honestly seems like it was possibly just a space filler (or at least I didn’t get the appeal of this song). "A Day in My Life" has a really heavy riff and some growled vocals. It is actually one of the stronger tracks on the album if you were grading the tracks solely on groove. "House of the Rising Sun" is actually one of my favorites from the album after my first listen because of the differences between it and the original, and the lead guitar work. They definitely breathed some new life into their cover.

Lyrics — 6
Ivan Moody has a relatively distinctive voice for FFDP's genre of metal, which serves them well. Ivan definitely has the range to go from clean lyrics to a half-growled metal vocal with little trouble. As a sample of the lyrics, here is the first verse, pre-chorus and chorus from "Battle Born:" "Once upon a time I swore I had a heart/ Long before the world I know tore it all apart/ Once upon a time there was a part of me I shared/ years before they took away the part of me that cared/ I've been a thousand places/ and shook a million hands/ I don't know where I'm going/ but I know just where I've been/ I've flown a million miles/ and I've rode so many more/ every day, a castaway/ a vagabond/ battleborn/ battleborn." These lyrics aren't earth-shattering, but they are solid and fit with the music.

Overall Impression — 7
At the end of the day you have to realize that FFDP is essentially a "feel good" heavy metal band - to metal what AC/DC is to hard rock. In that role, FFDP are doing their job well. They aren't necessarily treading new musical ground, and even when they show musical growth it is in easily digestible increments. I don't think this is their best album, or even their best album this year, but it is still a fairly solid release for the genre. I would suggest listening to the tracks and buying them individually and get the ones you like. Standout tracks from the album, for me personally, were their cover of "House of the Rising Sun," "The Agony of Regret," "Matter of Time" and "Wrecking Ball." The lead single from the album, "Battle Born," was my least favorite song from the album.

50 comments sorted by best / new / date

    GuitarGod610
    While their music has always been extremely aggressive in a high school weight-lifter "yeah bro this is awesome" sort of way, they show literally no growth since Way of the Fist. The only difference is the production quality. Riffs, verses, choruses, etc are all done exactly the same way as they've always been. The formula remains unchanged. As a business model for a highly successful metal band, it's infallible. As music, it's dull. I'm just asking for a little innovation here.
    LordThon
    I almost feel that they ...receded after Way of the Fist. Nothing's been quite as consistently heavy/aggressive from them, since. Of course, this is usually the same from any band - no follow up ever lives up to the vibe of the first album. Granted, one can't stay so angry forever. Something's just felt off ever since War is the Answer (oddly, it could be Jason's influence. Which is ironic, because I love his leads).
    BCRichSOBA7X
    Hey guys, on the upside, Mastodon's working on a new album. Let's all just focus on how great THAT will be
    vppark2
    Bro rock at it's finest.
    RJDfan666
    I can half agree and half disagree with that. For every couple of "RAWR RAWR RAWR LOOK HOW TOUGH I AM, I'LL BEAT YOUR ASS" songs they do, they also have at least a couple gems on every album. Usually the slower songs that actually have intelligent lyrics and real meaning and emotions that you can feel if you really listen. That said, Part 2 > Part 1 by a mile.
    BCRichSOBA7X
    I can agree to that. Like on American Capitalist. The slower songs like Remember Everything and Coming Down, probably the two best songs off of the album.
    BCRichSOBA7X
    And there's nothing wrong with it
    crazysam23_Atax
    Except for the fact that Bro rock is about as intelligent as a stone.
    BCRichSOBA7X
    Much like you? C:
    Audible Warfare
    That fact that you used a "C:" shows that you have the maturity of an eight year old.
    BCRichSOBA7X
    It's called sarcasm. I guess it's hard to pick up through text lol. Next time I'll put (Sarcasm) Sorry Crazysam
    misfitidea
    That fact that you had to explain it shows that you have the maturity of an eight year old.
    SGofawesome
    I didn't really see how doing a double album was necessary when I first heard of its announcement, and I still don't. 5FDP would've probably been more well off if they took the best songs from both albums and condensed them into one album.
    MetalRock4ever
    I was relieved with this album... thank god they weren't another band to cover Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus... Pretty good album though, but kind of like Stone Sour's HOGAB part 2: the heavy songs weren't as heavy as I was expecting. Still, good tunes, made up for the heaviness
    djc707
    the heavy songs on gold&bones part 2 were so heavy. that album featured a lot more contrast than part 1
    Logan_B
    Honestly amazed this got such a low review score. This album to me (based on what I've listened to so far) has elements of all of their previous work with some new stuff added in. Perfect combo for me. I absolutely love this album so far and think it is much better than Pt1. It had it's high points like Watch You Bleed, Burn MF, Anywhere But Here (MARIA BRINK.....YESSSSS), and Dot Your Eyes (Jamey Jasta, WIN)...But this album was exactly what I wanted it to be!
    henrihell
    Although, the lyrics to wrecking ball kinda seems like they're defending Miley
    margaret.reda.3
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    acdcfan34
    If you don't like this band then how about you just don't listen to them? A song doesn't need to be "intelligent" or "different" or "complex" to be enjoyable. The logic of many of these "metalheads" on this site baffles me.
    third(-)eye
    Well if you admit that you're not looking for intelligently-written music, I don't give a shit what you listen to. It's the fans that think they're all that that piss me off.
    acdcfan34
    Well, I mean, I listen to tons of different rock and metal bands, even complex stuff like Dream Theater, but it's always nice to take a break and just listen to some straight-forward metal. The whole poser-metal fan stigma represents a small portion of their fans I feel like though. I enjoy their music but I don't go overboard with them. And I expected to be downvoted, I just wish metal fans in general would stop bashing other bands in the genre. Metal is supposed to be a community but I see so more bashing than I do praising of other fans and bands.
    CollinsKChris
    I don't know why it's rated so low. It's actually a great album that a lot of people would enjoy!! It's great. Check it
    artificialcre
    As much as I enjoy 5FDP, this album just isn't as good as the others. It's almost like a b-sides album. I've got about 3 or 4 tunes that I dig, and that's about it.
    DeadMansHand
    I liked Five Finger Death Punch specifically because it was something I can listen to in the gym. This new album songs like the songs that should've been thrown out. The only exception for me is "Matter of Time" and the cover of HOTRS.
    BwareDWare94
    It takes forever to get user reviews published, these days . Granted, I reviewed a bluegrass album, but come on. I submitted it last weekend.
    BwareDWare94
    I'm surprised by the negative reaction, here. Do we want less user input at this site? I mean, I get it when people submit shitty reviews with a million spelling errors and horrible sentence structure, but why not release good user reviews, still?
    MusicMan24
    Personally, my favorites are Battle Born and Cradle to the Grave. The heavy songs just sound the same to me and are very repetitive I think. The first of these 2 albums is a lot better, even though I felt almost the same about it with it sounding the same and repetitive, but had more good moments than this album. With all that being said, I do think it's a solid release; I would listen to this before most other metal bands that have come on in the last 5-7 years.
    crazysam23_Atax
    You need to look into more Metal bands then.
    Thedarkchild
    Can you recommend a few from the last years? I'm always up for new interesting bands. But please no "core" bands unless it's something special, there are thousands out there that all sound the same
    kratos379
    Ne Obliviscaris is really good. Meshuggah and Gojira have been around for more than 7 years, but they have released some really good music in that time. Cormorant is an excellent band too. I really liked the Dwellings album. Scale the Summit and Animals as Leaders are both instrumental bands, but have such a unique interesting sound. I hope that helps.
    BwareDWare94
    First things first, make sure you're looking into Scandinavia. Makes American Metal look like the little league of Heavy Metal, and as far as newer bands go? Why the "core" hate? Music is music--the tag doesn't matter. If a person can't dig a "core" band such as Becoming the Archetype (prior to their newest album, anyway), they're just hating it for being a type of "core" metal.
    LordThon
    "'Feel good' heavy metal"? I feel energized as I rock out to it, sure. I wouldn't exactly put Death Punch up there with something like We Bought a Zoo, however. Otherwise, yes. This album was a little more... "friendly" than previous efforts. I enjoyed it, but still miss the days of Way of the Fist.
    tele boy
    ive only just started getting in to five finger death punch but ive liked all the albums so far includeing this one