“This is not a test,” vocalist Ivan Moody intones on “Full Circle,” one of the key tracks from Five Finger Death Punch’s appropriately titled eighth album, F8. It’s a song about previous civilizations destroying themselves, which is a fitting metaphor for a band that almost imploded in recent years under the weight of substance abuse. But guitarist Zoltan Bathory has said that sobriety prevailed for the recording of the album, bringing sharp focus to tracks like the crushing “This Is War”—one of the heaviest songs in FFDP’s ever-expanding repertoire. Elsewhere, lead single “Inside Out” distills the Las Vegas-based crew’s twin strengths of anthemic choruses and thudding riffs into a beefy metallic groove, complete with radio-ready bonus version. Meanwhile, “Living the Dream” name-checks a litany of superheroes and fictional royalty in the service of social commentary. All told, it’s a triumphant return for a band that could’ve easily fallen by the wayside.
February 28, 2020 16 Songs, 55 minutes ℗ 2020 Five Finger Death Punch, under exclusive license to Better Noise Music