“The Way Of The Fist” by Five Finger Death Punch

Artist: Five Finger Death Punch
Title: “The Way Of The Fist”
Label: Firm Music
Release Date: 7/31/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

When a band is going by a name as intense as Five Finger Death Punch you have to hope that they are going to be a no-nonsense approach to Heavy Metal music and not some run of the mill, derivative, been there, done that sort of group. Luckily, everyone who decides to take their chances on FFDP is in for a very rocking surprise. The band takes its name from the killing blow delivered by The Bride in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill 2”, and don’t ask me why but the move very simply works as a band name as well. Fronted by singer Ivan Moody, the vocals at times sound a little like Tool’s Maynard, as he blends an atmospheric melodic vocal with guttural growling and takes the songs in multiple directions as a result. The powerhouse quintet was assembled by Euro-Metal veteran Zoltan Bathory, their guitarist, who presents a no-nonsense approach to the music that is able to be enjoyed by a wider demographic of Metal fans. If you like thundering double bass drums, its here, if you like tuned down guitar shredding, its here, if you want heavy, its here and memorable choruses, well I believe you get the point. The action packed listen is only ten-songs long but there isn’t a bad tune on the disk and it starts you off with “Ashes”, a tune that after a shouting count of some kind determines to kick your ass from here to next Sunday. “The Way Of The Fist” seems to set the bands premise of defiance and standing up for oneself in the face of trouble. It has a really angry verse part and the overall melody is destined to inspire either a circle pit or some really intense fist throwing.

Joining Bathory and Moody in the group are Jeremy Spencer (drums), Matt Snell (bass), and Darrell Roberts (guitars). Roberts comes from one of the many incarnations of W.A.S.P. while Snell was the bassist for Anubis Rising. Spencer is the creator of “Drums From Hell: The Extreme Metal Loops” CD, and based on the playing this guy does on the album you can tell that he really knows his stuff. The album is good and solid all around but is also definitely a double bass drummer’s dream based on the fluidity that he delivers on every track. The guys slow it down for “The Bleeding”, which can serve as a single of sorts or be the tune that brings them a little more exposure based on its blend of strained vocals ala Staind/Tool and the guttural growls that he delivers so well. I can go on and on about every track but I feel that would ruin the surprise of it for the readers and suffice it to say after giving this a full run through I was having a little trouble deciding which tunes were my absolute favorites. Other stand outs do include “Death Before Dishonor” and “Meet The Monster”. As you can tell by the titles these guys mean business and there is nothing wimpy or lame about them,

There is some tasty guitar playing here and Zoltan really stands out as does Roberts and while they are labeling this as some kind of “Groove Metal” band, I like to consider them more on the straight ahead side with a twist of the current elements of success thrown in for good measure. The CD goes by very quickly as its just over forty minutes in length but that only means you get to give it another spin sooner than you would have done had it been longer. This was a promising and surprising debut that I admit caught me off guard and once I got locked into what they were doing it went from the stereo to the music player to the ears of whomever I could get to give it a chance as well. Let’s hope that some more of the new bands coming up today show as much promise as Five Finger Death Punch.

Track Listing:
1. Ashes
2. The Way Of The Fist
3. Salvation
4. The Bleeding
5. A Place To Die
6. The Devil’s Own
7. White Knuckles
8. Cant Heal You
9. Death Before Dishonor
10. Meet The Monster

Official Website: www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com

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