War Is The Answer, the second full length release by Five Finger Death Punch was made available, and it’s clear that since their debut, the band has begun to mature and grow. The material on the album is definitely tighter, and a little reminiscent of the band Demon Hunter, but doesn’t really stray from the band’s already established formula. For an act that basically came charging out of nowhere, they prove that they are a force that’s not going anywhere any time soon on this release.
First of all, War Is The Answer is much heavier then anything you’ve heard from this band. The openning track “Dying Breed” makes that pretty obvious with it’s intense musicianship and shouting vocals. From this point, the music begins a gradual process from heavy to softer. This band’s Hardcore philosophy also seems to have become stronger on this one, which can be observed in the lyrics for “No One Gets Left Behind”. The heavy factor of the album seems to take a bit of a backseat after that track, because then we have a bit of a cluster of material that, while it sounds good, becomes a bit confusing. “Crossing Over” is a very well performed ballad track, then it cuts into the march-heavy drumming on “Burn It Down”, which is similar to “No One Gets Left Behind”, and then into a mix of alternative rock ballad music and glam rock with a very old school power ballad guitar solo.
And it’s about that point where the album seems to hit a downward spiral. While the start of the album was nice, it’s clear that the music is going to follow either the band’s “Shout the verse, sing the chorus” formula, or do another ballad. Well, the first appears through much of the latter half of the album, and the music on this part is good, but nothing as memorable as “Dying Breed” or “Hard To See”. Instead, the band tries to break up the repetition by having another very alternative rock inspired ballad with “Walk Away”, a Melodic Death Metal openning instrumental called “Canto 34”, and the track “Bad Company” which is essentially a hard rock anthem, and just doesn’t really bode well. At least “War Is The Answer” closes out the album by being a heavy song that doesn’t use the shout/scream formula, which is nice.
Five Finger Death Punch has matured, musically, but this has caused the band to kind of lose their direction. It seems the band cannot make up their minds of whether they want to continue writing the music that made them so well known on their debut full length, or if they want to be an alternative rock band, or even just a straight forward hard rock act. It’s sad because the heavier stuff on this is great, and the material from their new direction is actually rather lame. Other then that, there hasn’t been much of a change between albums as far as the production and song structures go, just the sound of the songs. War Is The Answer is still a solid album with only a few tracks that sound filler that any fan of the band will really appreciate, as well as any newcomer.