Five Finger Death Punch

War Is The Answer

Written by: PP on 30/10/2009 14:52:42

Five Finger Death Punch exploded into mainstream territory in 2007 with their debut album "The Way Of The Fist", selling over 360,000 copies and gaining a bunch of 'best new band' nominations from the usual suspects of mainstream media. I for one didn't find the record that impressive, and neither did TL in his review of it, but since so many people purchased a copy they must have been doing something right. For their sophomore offering "War Is The Answer", Five Finger Death Punch have perfected their triple-genre hybrid sound and have matured as songwriters - if that's even possible given their...err...formulaic approach to songwriting. One month has passed since you could find the album in record stores world wide, and it has already shipped 93,000 copies which is an impressive number for any band these days, so the mainstream masses are definitely eating it up.

And that's also the key problem when it comes to Five Finger Death Punch. Everything about their big American sound is perfect in nature. The licks are sweet, production is on a level which should make any band jealous, and the melodic choruses are instantly sing alongable. It's not exactly generic, but it's just very, very formulaic in nature, consequently rendering the sound as 'fake'. It's mainstream targeted metalcore / hardcore / nu-metal of the kind that usually dominates the Billboard Modern Rock charts. I suppose if you're into bands like Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Cold, Hinder, etc then you'll find Five Finger Death Punch's seamless combination of the three genres quite good, because honestly, the songs are freaking catchy. The two first tracks in particular ("Dying Breed" & "Hard To See") possess great melody in the chorus section. Both tracks feel like the band are referencing Killswitch Engage, All That Remains and Shadows Fall all at the same time, though without the sense of artistic brilliance these artist possess (or have possessed when it comes to Killswitch & Shadows Fall). You've also got some ballads like "Crossing Over" and "Far From Home" which justify the Hinder parallel, and perhaps even a 3 Doors Down reference.

All bands mentioned are quite successful, and so is Five Finger Death Punch, so what's the problem? It's difficult to fault the band for technical issues because the songs are well played and the verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure works great for them. But it's equally difficult to like the band because they sound so fake. The big money production, the anthemic choruses, the huge professional soundscapes all emit a strong sense of a strict formula being applied on every song. They make the listener feel like Five Finger Death Punch only exists because they (and their label) wants to make as much money as is humanly possible, as quickly as possible. Just remember what happened to bands like Adema, Saliva, Trapt, and TRUSTcompany when they attempted the same earlier this decade. Where are they now?


Download: Dying Breed, Hard To See, No One Gets Left Behind
For the fans of: Killswitch Engage, Three Days Grace, All That Remains, Breaking Benjamin
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.09.2009

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