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War Is The Answer

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Five Finger Death Punch’s forthcoming sophomore album, War Is the Answer, is locked and loaded with twelve tracks of raw epic heavy metal. The record’s deafening battle cry will undoubtedly rattle the genre to its very core and pull you deep into this War. 5FDP have embarked on quite the journey to reach this point. The Los Angeles quintet’s assault on heavy music began in 2007 with the release of their hit debut The Way of the Fist. After forming a ”dream team” of metal musicians, the band self-funded the album- producing it entirely themselves. Death Punch eventually signed with The Firm/ Prospect Park. After months of relentless touring–including a show-stealing set at 2008’s Mayhem Festival–Five Finger Death Punch became the hottest new band in metal. Five Finger Death Punch has fine-tuned their songs more than ever, and their sound has progressed immensely on their latest offering. Guitarist Zoltan Bathory puts it best: ”We’ve matured but we’re still the same band. Maybe we’ve gotten closer to traditional metal on War Is the Answer.” Looking to surpass their DIY debut record, 5FDP decided to enlist some big guns for War. The band produced the album alongside world renowned producer Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne), and attracted legendary mixer Randy Staub (Metallica) to the project as well. Also, the band had grown together as people, performers and songwriters. Singer Ivan Moody relates, ”We tried to keep the basic ingredients but expand the sound at the same time. We spent two and a half years on the road together, and these guys have become closer to me than my biological family.” The result on War is an expansive collection of unbridled melodic metal. Tracks like ”Bulletproof” illustrate Five Finger Death Punch’s diversity, switching from spellbinding chorus to neck-snapping solo in a flash. ”Burn It Down” is a nihilistic exploration in pure rage–a new storyline with the same popular characters from The Way of the Fist. Meanwhile, ”No One Gets Left Behind” is an up-tempo crusher that leaves room for lyrical interpretation. ”You can take it literally, or as an underlying theme we often talk about,” relates Zoltan. ”We are all soldiers in this human tribe. We used to fight together against the elements of nature to survive, but today that tribal bond is completely forgotten because there are six billion of us now. Indeed, Five Finger Death Punch are poised to take over the landscape. When it comes to how, there is no question–War is the Answer.

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  • Way of the Fist may not be on my list of the greatest albums of all time, but it was fun, and it was interesting. It was a mix of metalcore/groove metal/and thrash with some nu-metal aggression mixed in for kicks. While listening to the majority of War is the Answer, I felt like it was ripping off a bunch of commercial metal acts.

    The major problem this album is there are way too many ballads. This album is littered with blatant radio friendly crap, and it kills the momentum of this album completely. Way of the Fist was loaded with melodic elements, and was accessible to a wide audience, but it got back to being aggressive and NEVER lost its momentum, mixing both styles in a very effective manner. I have no problem with one or two slow songs on a metal CD but SIX is overkill. To make matters worse, very single slow song on this album is Commercial Rock 101. Here’s how they break down:

    Hard To See is basically a Linkin Park style ballad. But hey, at least it sounds like it’s trying to achieve the quasi-epic sound of Linkin Park’s current single “New Divide.” If you’re going to rip off a band’s sound, at least make it their current one.

    Crossing Over & Walk Away ~ Pretty much can be compared to 99% of the commercialized hard rock bands out there now.

    Far From Home ~ Acoustic intro? Check. Violins? Check. Obligatory 80’s hair band ballad solo. Check. This thing pretty much rolls three decades of ballad clich├ęs into one. Hell, I’m surprised they didn’t get Amy Lee to duet on this.

    My Own Hell ~ Basically a Godsmack ballad with some screaming in it. Shame since it has a decent death metal gallop to it.

    Bad Company ~ It’s like the original, if it was covered by Reload era Metallica…then that version was covered by Nickleback, which is a travesty because they original song is pretty cool.

    I wish the aggressive songs fared better, but that’s not the case. Dying Breed would be a killer opener if it wasn’t Slipknot 101 (and I say that as a Slipknot fan). As much as I am a fan of free speech, No One Gets Left Behind is the 8th billionth anti-Iraq/Afghanistan War song (YAWN), plus it seems hypocritical IMO to have an anti-war song on an album titled War is the Answer.

    The only tracks that fare well are Bulletproof, Burn it Down, Falling in Hate, and the title track. Canto 34 is a bittersweet track, in that it is a good instrumental, but reminds you that other than some damn good solos, the guitarists are on vacation. Makes sense since Darrell Roberts (ex W.A.S.P) was replaced by Jason Hook, whose previous jobs includes guitar work for Mandy Moore and Hilary Duff. Very metal.

    A lot of fanboys for this band will simply say that the band has “matured.” Why is it the preconceived notion that to “mature your sound” you have to sound like every other band on the planet? And what’s the point of evolving if you’re going from a unique sound to a commercialistic, homogenized mess? Is it so weird that I think a band called Five Finger Death Punch should sound different and aggressive?

    5FDP shoved their fist into the music scene, with their interesting and addictive debut. I hoped their follow-up would push their lyrics and music to more complex and talented material, instead the fist must have broken some fingers along the way, and now the Punch won’t even leave a mark on your ears.

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • These guys can be brutal, melodic and yet pull it all together in the same song for some kick ass high energy metal. Some people might complain about their 3 “soft” songs, but hey Ivan is a killer singer and it shows. Even the soft songs are great. No one complains about Corey Taylors softer songs.
    Dying Breed- Perfect opener Hard, heavy and brutal 10/10
    Hard to See- Another radio friendly song thats heavier than most radio songs Perfect single 7/10
    Bulletproof- Hard yet melodic chorus 8/10
    No one gets Left Behind- Much like death before Dishonor 8/10
    Crossing Over- First slow song shows much of Ivans great voice. 9/10
    Burn It Down- Back to hardcore this song is brutally heavy. 10/10
    Far From Home- Second slow song, very good 8/10
    Falling into Hate- Much like falling into love- its the exact feeling many of us have had 10/10
    My Own Hell- Slower style. Great mix not soft but its a versatile song for the mix 7/10
    Walk Away- 3rd slow song. Again the song writing and Ivans voice cant be dismissed 8/10
    Canto 34- Instrumental that really lets the guitarist rip it up. 9/10
    Bad Company- Really a cover? Unexpected yet Bon Jovi would be proud of their version. 8/10
    War is the Answer- Back to machinegun drumming, screaming and hardcore metal this is the perfect closeout song 10/10

    All in all this album is a great follow up to their debut. Another album I can listen to from song one to 13 and not skip a single song.

    Posted on December 3, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Five Finger Death Punch had a lot of hype going into this record. Could it somehow outdo its predecessor? Way of the Fist was just a nasty album from start to finish, and in my opinion, this album is nothing short of amazing. The opening track “Dying Breed” is just a sick album opener that punches you in the face with its brutal verses and melodic chorus. “Hard to See” is the first single off the album and when you hear how catchy it is, you’ll know why it’s a single. “Bulletproof” is possibly their best song on the album. It is just a brutal track with one of the best choruses these guys have written. “No One Gets Left Behind” is clearly a song for the troops. Once Ivan kicks in the second verse with “Play your war games with other peoples lives” you can just feel the anger in his voice. “Far From Home” is possibly the biggest surprise of the album. We know 5FDP is known for their melodic catchy choruses, but…just WOW. This song starts off acoustically and kicks in with distorted guitars and has a chorus to the song that can easily put this band on the map more than “The Bleeding” or “Never Enough” did. Another standout is “My Own Hell”. Same format as the majority of their songs with the brutal verses kicking into a memorable catchy chorus. “Bad Company” was quite surprisingly a great cover. I tried to find some things wrong with this album, but quite frankly I can’t find a lot wrong with it. The only complaint some people may have is that they have too many soft songs. There are 3 in total that are considered “soft” to me seeing as how there is no screaming and it’s just straight singing from start to finish in those songs. Those songs being “Crossing Over”, “Far From Home” and “Walk Away” However, there is nothing wrong with any of those songs. Ivan’s voice is too versatile for the songs to not sound good. I would recommend certain songs, however when trying to make that list I found myself making a list of all the songs, so just give the whole album a listen and decide for yourself how good it is. Although songs in definite need of listening are: “Dying Breed”, “Bulletproof”, “No One Gets Left Behind”, “Far From Home”, “Bad Company”, “My Own Hell” and “Burn It Down”

    Posted on December 3, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve been a fan of FFDP since I heard their 2006 debut, “The Way of the Fist”. They proved to metal fans that there are musicians out there who still want to play heavy, use double-bass, include guitar solos, but not overdo it with math-metal, all over the place stuff. Yes, their music could be quite basic at times…but so is a lot of Metallica and AC/DC riffs also…the complexity of the music doesn’t necessarily make it a good song. When I listen to an album, I like to hear diversity, anger, love, hate, war, peace…and everything in between…and that is what you get when you listen to Fiver Finger Death Punch’s sophomore release, “War is the Answer”. They really exceeded my expectations on this second album. The production is much better, the album art is fantastic…and most importantly, the music is composed much better this time around.

    “Dying Breed” opens the album with a round-house kick to the teeth. Great double-bass from the ex-WASP drummer on this track, (and the rest of the album). The heavy, hard-hitting, verses of this song, lead to a great, melodic chorus (much like their first album’s opener “Ashes”) that leaves you craving for more. It than carries you into a more groovy approach in “Hard To See”, which will kind of remind you of FFDP’s single release, “Never Enough”. This shows how much better of a vocalist he has become. “Bulletproof” is another number with angry lyrics and aggressive musicianship. This song would have fit well on their first album. We then go into, “No One Get’s Left Behind”…a song about war, and couldn’t have been said any better. The views placed in this song would remind you of what Ozzy said in the Sabbath classic, “War Pigs”. Politicians start war for money, and our young American troops are dying, for little or no cause at all. Amazing, very punchy/groovy song. “Crossing Over” is a great vocal performance from a band of this nature. It has sort of a Stone Sour vibe to it. Even though this song may be a little calmer than expected from this band, the lyrics are still very much aggressive in their own way. The next song, “Burn It Down” has a very trudging-like riff, that, once again, shows they aren’t losing sight of their roots they’ve had in their first album. The two most notable changes in between albums, is the progress the band and vocals have become, and the lyrics…this shows in the next song. “Far From Home”. Not only, in my opinion, the best song on the album…but a song that will be listed in my favorite song collections forever. This song literally changed me views on this band. This is song IS a masterpiece. The solo in this song would make any 80’s axe-man proud…I seriously could not believe how incredible this song really is. “Falling in Hate” is another heavy song that’s very catchy in it’s own way. “My Own Hell” is a Slipknot-type song, but very melodic also. The song, along with the rest, goes through emotions, which makes it much better than just an all out heavy song. “Walk Away” is a break-up song, that really packs a punch lyrically. A song like this can definitely be a radio single, easily. “Canto 34″ is an instrumental with attitude. There are many influences tied into this song. Much like a Maiden song, but yet, with Eastern-type influences. I will tell you now, the solos are amazing. Now we are hearing their cover of Bad Company’s “Bad Company”. I was very skeptical about covering a good song like; because most artists ruin classic songs like this. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this came out. The only downfall of this cover is the talking in the middle saying, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we all gotta die”. The rest of the song is very much a killer cover. I would like to know what Bad Company thinks of it themselves! The final track, “War is the Answer”. This song, in top form, is just meat and the potatoes. It is a very crunchy, heavy, double-bass driven track, with the most angry, aggressive lyrics and vocal style we’ve heard all album. And the scream at the end over the double-bass and fast snare hit is a great way to end this ferocious album.

    Why 5 stars? Because this album has what it takes to even receive album of the year! It really does have it all…this is what a sophomore album should be. Improved on every level, but with the trademark sound! Definitely one to pick up!

    Posted on December 3, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Zoltan Bathory formed 5FDP back in 2005 and who could have guessed the choice of band mates would have created a practically over night phenomena?!? We did, the fans of Motograter whom in which seen the sheer creativity that their one studio effort presented. It was only a matter of time before their albums went flying off shelves and The Way of the Fist did indeed surprise many at how well these overlooked musicians were backed by a die hard fan base.

    The reason I love this band is due to the fact that they are to the point and in your face. They have a style that is catchy enough to bring in fans that might not prefer the Metal edge yet still heavy enough to keep the Metal Heads happy. WITA only defines that characteristic further, whether it be the dominating guitar riffing of ‘Bulletproof’ or the sheer emotion on ‘Far From Home’. The range of tempo and song structure is far more varied then on the previous album and the slower tracks are a welcomed change.

    I was expecting this album to not differ much from Way of the Fist but I was pleasantly surprised to hear the guys tapping into their creativity a bit more. ‘Crossing Over’ is a mid paced ballad showing some signs of heart felt lyrical content but later on the previously mentioned ‘Far From Home’ we get a very slow and fairly sad track that truly pulls at the heart. This is truly a band that we as the simple humans we are can relate to as they share their raw emotions with us and bleed it out for the world to hear.

    Now, don’t go thinking that Five Finger went soft cause their is plenty of aggression through out the track such as the pummeling opener ‘Dying Breed’. Later we get ‘Canto 34′ which is a huge progression for the band as the riffs near a technicality unheard from the guys prior to this album and Zoltan’s leads truly shine because this track is (as far as I know) is the groups first full length Instrumental. The album finishes out with the title track ‘War is the Answer’ and ends on an aggressive note.

    All in all this album is definitely a huge step forward for the group as they show signs of evolving into a stronger more mature band that isn’t afraid to show every emotion. Ivan and Zoltan definitely stole the show once again and both further defined themselves as amazing musicians. I highly recommend this to fans of 5FDP’s previous release and to fans of Ivan’s other projects Ghost Machine & Motograter. Avid fans of Heavy Metal should give this album a chance even if they did not particularly care for the previous release and the album should be a godsend to nearly all fans of Hard Rock. An overall amazing and so far one of the best releases of 2009.

    Thank you for reading, support a supporter of Heavy Metal and please click ‘yes’ below.

    -A loyal Death Punch fan

    Posted on December 3, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now