I want you to think about what Five Finger Death Punch would need to incorporate into their music in order to be even more intolerable than they already are. If your answer is that Ivan Moody needs to sound more like Creed’s Scott Stapp, then you have to look no further than Sixth Extinction’s X and Why to know exactly what that would sound like.
Perhaps that’s a little harsh. This album isn’t all that atrocious, but the increasingly tiresome vocals are my main takeaway from X And Why and is the reason I can’t sit through the album in one sitting and why I’m not tempted to give it a re-listen. It’s a shame, because the instrumental portion of the record, although not ground-breaking or memorable, is incredibly enjoyable, especially if you’re a fan of that modern over-compressed, fist-in-your-face type of sound. The downtuned guitars pack a punch, and offer some real aggression whether they’re playing grooving riffs, or cleanly arpeggiated chords.
It’s just those damn vocals.
If I can commend lead singer Liam Ryan on one thing, it’s that I’ve never heard an Irishman sound like he fits so perfectly in an American post-grunge band with some solid screams to boot. Ryan often flip-fops between both types of voices quite a few times throughout this album’s ten songs, and the result is quite a few almost-melodies that can pass for not being in tune. A lot of the melodies he does adopt sounds recycled from other verses and choruses, and is partially the reason why it’s so easy to get tired of X and Why.
If you’re a fan of metal, I still highly urge you to check this record out. A lot of my issues with it boil down to personal preference, and if you like all the elements I’ve been speaking ill about in this piece, then hell, you may have just found your favourite record since And Justice For None.
*edited by Danielle Kenedy