Five Finger Death Punch has released their third studio album and one thing is clear right of the bat: American Capitalist is not for the feint of heart. The rapid-fire delivery feels like what I imagine sticking my face under a moving lawnmower would feel like.
The title track starts things off and with about five swear words out of the first ten, letting you know exactly what you’re in for. Not one to be off put by swearing in the least, I sit back with an open mind and enjoy the ride to see where this takes me. There are heavy, speed-metal moments that remind you of a more “pure” metal such as Pantera and then out of nowhere, keeping the same speed in the chorus we get actual melodic singing from lead vocalist Ivan Moody. I’m reminded of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor -- who can sing like he’s going to shred the lining of his throat or at the very least, pull something -- and then Moody delivers a pretty refrain that takes you to a different place and makes you re-consider the song.
While they set the tone with “American Capitalist” and “Under And Over it,” they throw in a surprise in the form of “The Pride” with lyrics like “I Am What You Fear Most/I Am What You Need” and “I’m Not Selling Out/I’m Buying In.” The band knows exactly what and who they are with no excuses or explanations. I’m then amused by the Tourette’s-like name dropping: ”Disneyland, White House, JFK and Micky Mouse/ John Wayne, Springsteen, Eastwood, James Dean/ Coca Cola, Pepsi, Playboy, Text me/ NFL, NBA, Brett Favre, King James” That reminds me instantly of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” but, a bit different.
Do they make their mark or set themselves apart from the Disturbed/ Mudvayne/ Slipknots of the world? That remains to be seen. Five Finger Death Punch hasn’t done anything new or groundbreaking here but they’ve taken what they started on Way of The Fist and built on it and have grown. They’re definitely a niche band and I don’t know if this album will bring new fans their way but it was a fun ride for me and their die-hard fans, lovingly called “Knuckleheads,” will be going crazy for American Capitalist. With new blood from bassist Chris Kael infusing his incomparable energy and skill, I can imagine the live shows will have a new dimension as well as all future endeavors with Kael (who was added this summer) and did not record Capitalist with the band but has made all appearances for the album and is currently on tour with them.
While I did grow weary with the swearing and screaming for screaming’s sake, there were some fantastic moments on the album and “Coming Down,” “Over and Under It,” “Generation Dead,” and “If I Fall” were the highlights for me while “Remember Everything” and “The Pride” missed the mark. They’re not bad songs, it's just that one sounds like a Staind/David Cook song, and the other was just a jumbled mess of silly lyrics. Ivan Moody means everything he sings and that does a lot in the way of making me enjoy an album; I’m not sorry to have picked this disc up and if you like hard, aggressive, metal with a penchant for ‘80s flair and real musicianship, American Capitalist is for you.