I’ve been a fan of FFDP since I heard their 2006 debut, “The Way of the Fist”. They proved to metal fans that there are musicians out there who still want to play heavy, use double-bass, include guitar solos, but not overdo it with math-metal, all over the place stuff. Yes, their music could be quite basic at times…but so is a lot of Metallica and AC/DC riffs also…the complexity of the music doesn’t necessarily make it a good song. When I listen to an album, I like to hear diversity, anger, love, hate, war, peace…and everything in between…and that is what you get when you listen to Fiver Finger Death Punch’s sophomore release, “War is the Answer”. They really exceeded my expectations on this second album. The production is much better, the album art is fantastic…and most importantly, the music is composed much better this time around.
“Dying Breed” opens the album with a round-house kick to the teeth. Great double-bass from the ex-WASP drummer on this track, (and the rest of the album). The heavy, hard-hitting, verses of this song, lead to a great, melodic chorus (much like their first album’s opener “Ashes”) that leaves you craving for more. It than carries you into a more groovy approach in “Hard To See”, which will kind of remind you of FFDP’s single release, “Never Enough”. This shows how much better of a vocalist he has become. “Bulletproof” is another number with angry lyrics and aggressive musicianship. This song would have fit well on their first album. We then go into, “No One Get’s Left Behind”…a song about war, and couldn’t have been said any better. The views placed in this song would remind you of what Ozzy said in the Sabbath classic, “War Pigs”. Politicians start war for money, and our young American troops are dying, for little or no cause at all. Amazing, very punchy/groovy song. “Crossing Over” is a great vocal performance from a band of this nature. It has sort of a Stone Sour vibe to it. Even though this song may be a little calmer than expected from this band, the lyrics are still very much aggressive in their own way. The next song, “Burn It Down” has a very trudging-like riff, that, once again, shows they aren’t losing sight of their roots they’ve had in their first album. The two most notable changes in between albums, is the progress the band and vocals have become, and the lyrics…this shows in the next song. “Far From Home”. Not only, in my opinion, the best song on the album…but a song that will be listed in my favorite song collections forever. This song literally changed me views on this band. This is song IS a masterpiece. The solo in this song would make any 80’s axe-man proud…I seriously could not believe how incredible this song really is. “Falling in Hate” is another heavy song that’s very catchy in it’s own way. “My Own Hell” is a Slipknot-type song, but very melodic also. The song, along with the rest, goes through emotions, which makes it much better than just an all out heavy song. “Walk Away” is a break-up song, that really packs a punch lyrically. A song like this can definitely be a radio single, easily. “Canto 34″ is an instrumental with attitude. There are many influences tied into this song. Much like a Maiden song, but yet, with Eastern-type influences. I will tell you now, the solos are amazing. Now we are hearing their cover of Bad Company’s “Bad Company”. I was very skeptical about covering a good song like; because most artists ruin classic songs like this. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this came out. The only downfall of this cover is the talking in the middle saying, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we all gotta die”. The rest of the song is very much a killer cover. I would like to know what Bad Company thinks of it themselves! The final track, “War is the Answer”. This song, in top form, is just meat and the potatoes. It is a very crunchy, heavy, double-bass driven track, with the most angry, aggressive lyrics and vocal style we’ve heard all album. And the scream at the end over the double-bass and fast snare hit is a great way to end this ferocious album.
Why 5 stars? Because this album has what it takes to even receive album of the year! It really does have it all…this is what a sophomore album should be. Improved on every level, but with the trademark sound! Definitely one to pick up!