Released: 2007, Firm Music
While Los Angeles’ newbies Five Finger Death Punch are unquestionably lead by guitarist/founder Zoltan Bathory (main writer, founder of the band, artist etc.), the band will unquestionably get most of their notice for having ex-W.A.S.P. axe man Darrell Roberts in their ranks. Roberts played on the career resurgent UNHOLY TERROR (2001) album, as well as the three following albums before making his exit to focus on this band. And what exactly is this band? To put it simply, Five Finger Death Punch (5FDP) are ultra-melodic metalcore, with a twist: that being the more hardcore vocals of Ivan Moody (no real death metal screams here), as well as a focus on “tough guy” lyrics.
As I alluded to, the choruses and hooks that 5FDP spice their music with are quite catchy, but overall the music is certainly heavy enough to get by. However, the tough guy posturing gets old real fast – as in immediately. In 2007/2008, to hear a grown man screaming “step to me, step to me motherfucker” (“The Way of the Fist”) is just laughable. There is just no way I can take that seriously. Then again, I’m not an angst-filled teenager either, so perhaps I’m not the band’s target audience.
Musically, the band is spot on. Everyone is obviously knows their way around their instruments and are capable songwriters. The band is intelligent enough to break up the heavy assault with quieter, more introspective songs like “The Bleeding”, giving the album some lasting appeal.
Unfortunately for 5FDP, the metalcore ship has long since sailed and there really isn’t too much more room for a new band to make a mark, on these North American shores anyway. One quick flip through England’s Metal Hammer magazine will tell you there’s still plenty of room over there. Anyway, Five Finger Death Punch have the tools to make a mark, and are certainly recommended if metalcore is your particular brand of punishment.