The fact that Five Finger Death Punch falls under the groove metal sub-genre is either fitting or ironic for their latest album Decade of Destruction because I can’t tell if they’ve found their groove (metal) and are sticking to it or have been stuck in a decade long creative rut. For diehard fans of 5FDP the two never before released songs on this compilation album are able to justify picking this album up even if you have all their other albums, but for casual fans such as I who find most songs interchangeable, it gets really difficult to recommend. So to help here are two semi quick reviews of the new songs on the album.
The first track, “Trouble,” opens with lyrics that I hate to say feel like the band is satirizing themselves:
“I don’t look for trouble, trouble looks for me/That’s how it’s always been, that’s how it’s gonna be.”
The song is full of what fans love about 5FDP including aggressive vocals interrupted with anthemic chants, but there’s not much to say about it. If you love 5FDP’s emotional lyrics then this is another song to add to your collection when feeling down or angry at the world, otherwise it’s completely forgettable/replaceable. There’s nothing necessarily bad about the song it’s just another 5FDP song for better or for worse.
5FDP is known for covering songs, some from fellow metal bands, some from completely different music genres. Their track record is without a doubt a mixed track record. “House of the Rising Sun” and “Bad Company” are well praised and favorites among fans but then there’s songs like “Mama Said Knock You Out” originally by LL Cool J which is best not mentioned. Unfortunately the latest song to be covered by 5FDP, “Gone Away,” originally by The Offspring is most likely to end up sharing company with the likes of “Mama Said Knock You Out” instead of “Bad Company.” There’s just nothing about this cover that warrants its place on a greatest hits album and was also a wasted opportunity of a library such as The Offspring’s which is chock full of songs that fit 5FDP’s usual subject matter. Songs like “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright” would have been perfect songs to be covered by 5FDP, so to find out that “Gone Away” was the song 5FDP decided on is just truly disappointing.
Overall this is a mixed and confusing album and not just because it’s a “greatest hits” album with new material. While bands like Cannibal Corpse have also stuck to one sound, refusing to experiment, they have worked to improve that sound so that anyone can hear the difference between Vile (1996) and Red Before Black (2017) but 5FDP has relatively stayed the same for over a decade without improving their sound. In conclusion if you like 5FDP you’ll like this album because it’s full of “greatest hits” and two new songs but if you don’t like 5FDP then you should be used to this by now considering they’re for better or for worse the closest thing metal can get to mainstream music.
Key Tracks: Lift Me Up (feat. Rob Halford), Jekyll and Hyde, Remember Everything