I remember reading the promotional sticker on the front of the CD case. It read something along the lines of: ‘like Pantera mud wrestling with Slipknot’. The description was for the debut album for a band named Five Finger Death Punch, which on first judgements, seemed to tick all the right boxes. The album, which was called ‘The Way of the Fist’, was an incredible debut, filled with everything from blistering solos, to melodic and screamed vocals and nu metal influences – it was sure to be the birth of a true metal heavyweight.
Their second record, ‘War is the Answer’, came out two years later and continued where they left off, with bigger songs and an aural hammering from vocalist Ivan Moody’s anger-filled lyrics.
Unfortunately their third album, ‘American Capitalist’ saw the band take a move in the wrong direction. Instead of evolving their sound, they were stuck on repeat, but the tracks they produced were very predictable and as a whole just sounded like a mediocre B-side collection. It’s a worrying sign when your favourite song off the album sounds like Nickelback turned nu metal, including its very own Chad Kroeger sing-along verses. After ‘The Way of the Fist’ in 2007, no one predicted they would be hit with the sickening lyrics:
“Hey ey ye yeah, Hey ey ye yeah, Hey ey ye yeah, Hey ey ye yeah, Hey ey ye yeah, Hey ey ye yeah , Johnny Cash and PBR, Jack Daniels, NasCar, Facebook, Myspace, iPod, Bill Gates, Smith and Wesson, NRA, Firewater, Paleface, Dimebag, Tupac, Heavy Metal, Hip hop… Disneyland, White House, JFK and Mickey Mouse, John Wayne, Springsteen, Eastwood, James Dean, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Playboy, Text me, NFL, NBA, Brett Favre, King James.” (From the song ‘The Pride’)
Hardly the Pantera mud wrestling with Slipknot!
Five Finger Death Punch are currently preparing to release their latest double album effort called ‘The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell’ and have just released a new single featured Rob Halford (vocalist of Judas Priest) called ‘Lift Me Up’. When I saw this news I had hope again for the band – Rob Halford would not want to associate himself with anything too tragic. How I was wrong. Sadly the new single is another continuation of the mediocrity from ‘American Capitalist’.
The members of Five Finger Death Punch are undoubtedly very talented musicians and their debut album proved they could write decent songs, but to be a success in the future they need to evolve their sound and truly experiment with their song writing. Although just look where the bland, formulaic rock of Nickelback has got them…