Something Else! sneak peek: Five Finger Death Punch with Rob Halford, “Lift Me Up” (2013)

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I’ll grant that I’m only a casual fan of Five Finger Death Punch. I kind of liked the anger and heaviness of their first record Way of the Fist, but my interest waned. I thought their second, War is the Answer, was a mixed bag, and I’m honestly not sure that I ever heard their last, American Capitalist. But when you attach the name Rob Halford to anything my ears perk up. That’s how I found myself seeking out “Lift Me Up,” the first single from their upcoming album The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Right Side of Hell.

The song starts out with a big, heavy, angry guitar riff that offers just a tip of the hat to Judas Priest, while in keeping with 5FDP’s sound. Vocalist Ivan Moody delivers a memorable melody in the more melodic registers of his voice. They lyrics leave a little to be desired, but then, that wasn’t Moody’s strong point even on the first album.

When we get to the second verse, Halford is unleashed, snarling in the more aggressive tones that he used for his Fight project. The whole song is immediately lifted by Halford’s classic delivery, and though the music remains the same, he changes the tone of the song. His all-too-brief appearance on the verse leaves you longing for more. The song, while good as it is, really needs more Halford. I think his soaring vocals really could have taken the chorus over the top. I might hear him some in the harmonies after that second verse and at the end, but when you have Rob Halford appearing on your record, you shouldn’t have to guess whether you hear him or not. It should be out front and in your face. That spot at the end should be a piercing close to the song.

The guitar solo is kind of synthy sounding, which bothers me a little, but I walked away humming it in my head, which is always a good sign. Overall, the song has more of a classic metal feel, while retaining the modern metal stylings of Five Finger Death Punch. Maybe I’ll check this one out.

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Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips

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