“I’m not selling out, I’m buying in,” vocalist Ivan Moody exclaims in “The Pride,” the third track on American Capitalist. At this point of listening, I realized something. Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, it’s inevitable; with American Capitalist, Five Finger Death Punch has become a king of the hard rock kingdom.
With a sound very much along the lines of their first two records, the band brings a familiar feel to American Capitalist, just with a more ferocious fury embodied in its blood. Moody sounds as angry as ever in most of the songs (i.e. “American Capitalist,” “Menace”), while a great amount of variety within the album keeps the listener’s attention with multiple rock ballads and slower songs (“Coming Down,” “Remember Everything,” and the epic “If I Fall”), just like the style that took them places in their last album.
Seventh track “Back For More” is a beast let loose, containing the same war-like spirits of War Is The Answer. Hearing it first on the Madden NFL 12 soundtrack, I got goosebumps when the speedy drums and clean guitar riffs clicked in with a perfect catchy rhythm in the chorus for the first time. The title track is a straight adrenaline rush for most, being an excellent opener. Just like these two songs, “Under and Over It,” a song that has dominated radio stations for weeks, is extravagantly memorable, though lyrically I beg to differ.
This album isn’t one of the most well-written things ever; some of the lyrics seem like the works of a middle schooler. With more economic-related themes, such as money and pop culture, the band proves that they still have creativity flowing through them. The craftiest lines come in “The Pride,” where the band rolls off numerous product names, before another typical chorus pulls the listener in even deeper to the band’s gut-wrenching sound. Some of the more reputable lines come in the slower songs, like “Coming Down” (“You will never see what’s inside of me. I pull you under, just to save myself”), a monster power ballad that features a sweet drum solo. The drumming on this album is some of the best I’ve ever heard; Jeremy Spencer’s typical shotgun-like, hard-hitting, Slipknot-esque beats dominate the music. He’s got serious talent and a very heavy workload on this record.
With monstrous guitar and drum work and an awesome blend of screaming and singing, and everything in between, American Capitalist does anything but disappoint. The rampant guitar leads suck the listener in and make them beg for mercy in the heavy songs, while the slower ones leave a more lasting impact. This band can’t avoid mainstream, and they will continue to be a love-or-hate band. But don’t give up on them because you think they’re posers or wannabes; just enjoy their music for what it is: relentless.
Sounding like the same band that fans have grown to love and know, they should feel right at home with American Capitalist, and new fans should easily be able to get into their groove, because this album is very contemporary with modern culture. Five Finger Death Punch, a band that used to only be thought of as a hybrid of Stone Sour and Hatebreed, is now a genre-defining act, and no matter what people say about them, American Capitalist will drown out all of the animosity that they’ve received this year.