Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist – Review
Posted by Reggie
Five Finger Death Punch is one of (what I call) the new wave of American metal bands. Since their formation in 2005, they have quickly made a name for themselves. They have appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, had one of their songs featured in a videogame (Splatterhouse) and received a bit of heavy metal marketing (in the form of publicity) after having their set cut short at U.K.’s famous Download Festival 2010 for excessive crowd surfing (for which I witnessed first-hand). After releasing their first album, The Way of the Fist, in 2006 (went gold in 2011); they released their third studio album, American Capitalist.
American Capitalist is NOT a continuation of the militaristic themed album, War is the Answer, unfortunately. American Capitalist takes a different approach lyrically by telling real-world everyday life stories. Personally, I think 5FDP found their niche with the military themed topics on War is the Answer. Even their road mutants dressed in U.S. Army battle uniforms while getting the live stage set ready for a show. It was neat and something different. I think that style fueled their highly charged stage set. 5FDP brings their A-game to the stage; very intense and in your face. When you saw the crew and guns on stage, you knew what kind of music you were about to hear; something that was going to blow you away, almost literally. In addition to military themed music, I give them proper respect for playing shows on American military bases around the world. From what I understand, they were well-received wherever they played. I am sure it was a huge stress relief and morale boost for our deployed service men and women.
The new album is hard-hitting most of the time. After listening attentively, it is obvious that 5FDP explored a wider range musically. Some would call it growth and I respect that wholeheartedly. First of all, I am not going to say this is stripped-down metal, but for the most part this album is mostly toned down from War is the Answer and should appeal to a wider audience. Not that it is weak, but definitely not what I was anticipating. Even with release of their first single Under and Over it, I figured the rest of the album would be a continuation of the ferocity on War is the Answer. The double bass drum beat is prevalent in just about every song, but that doesn’t necessarily make a song heavier.
Zoltan Bathory’s guitar solos are clean and melodic as you would expect. The riffs are heavy and grinding; Ivan’s growls are present throughout the album as well as his cleaner vocals. I will give Ivan Moody respect where respect is due, he has a vocal range capable fierce growls and actual singing. His growling is such that it is fierce, yet understandable at the same time. Sometimes I wish he would just stick to one style and go with it. Either way, he is a good vocalist.
On American Capitalist his clean vocals are present more than I remember on any other album. Generation Dead and American Capitalist are probably their heaviest songs whereas Remember Everything is basically a ballad. Under and Over It is probably the most commercially accessible song on the album which explains why there is a video for it.
The bottom line with American Capitalist is that if you are a fan of the more accessible side of Five Finger Death Punch you will probably really like this album. When I say more accessible, I am talking about most of the songs they have videos for (Hard to See, Bad Company-cover, The Bleeding), plus Walk Away, Crossing Over, and Stranger Than Fiction to name a few. If you are looking for more thrash like Dying Breed, Burn It Down, No One Gets Left Behind, and Bulletproof than you might be a little disappointed. I guess it depends on what you like to listen to and what you feel a band’s level of growth and experimentation should be. Musically, I see growth on American Capitalist. I do like this album, it just expecting more thrash; more of War is the Answer.
It appears that the first release Under and Over it, was a precursor of things to come. American Capitalist is a very well-produced album, well-arranged and showcases Bathory’s talent as a lead guitarist. His riffs are killer and you will probably find yourself snapping finger; snapping neck…probably tapping foot as well. American Capitalist is 1 part groovy, 1 part thrash, and 2 parts rock. It is hard-hitting, yet will be accessible to a wider metal audience. I give American Capitalist 4 Devil Horns.
This first video is footage of the Download set mentioned above. You can’t see much of the crowd surfing, but I will vouch that it was an intense moment up front.
This is the second single off American Capitalist, Back For More. I like this one better than Under and Over It.
This is the video for their first single Under And Over It. This video has babes, boobs, butt-cracks, a swimming pool, fast cars, and shots of what appear to be Southern California…all the necessary ingredients for a Nickelback video. I read that this video is a parody of those “types” of music videos. It kind of comes off that way…