Five Finger Death Punch
The Way of the Fist



by Puckingham USER (1 Reviews)
December 24th, 2008 | 115 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album dedicated to a macho sound, with enough intricacies to be enjoyed for its occasional moments of glory.

Before I dive into this review I would like to say this is my first review here at Sputnik, and I encourage input both positive and negative, so long as it is constructive. I would also like to thank everyone involved with this site as the community here is very strong and serves as a reliable source for good music.

Five Finger Death Punch are a band that have to be taken with a grain of salt, any other expectations will surely lead to disappointment. With that said though, they are fairly talented musicians and at times even excel with some creative songwriting. While their focus of making music that tries to sound as gruff and macho is clear as can be, The Way of the Fists is also about as emotionally charged as can be, with some borderline Emo characteristics, with the lyrics proving this point throughout the album.

First and foremost is the guitar work on the album. Darrel and Zoltan spearhead this album through its entirety, and are clearly the most talented of the bunch. Their style ranges from chugging riffs that are standard for any metalcore band of today, to soaring melodies that almost remind me of Soloing from Anathema at times (compare the end of The Beloved to Salvation, you'll see). It's this factor that somewhat sets this band apart from metalcore acts such as As I Lay Dying or Trivium, as their approach of balls to the walls nonstop is not uncommon in the least.

The vocals are delivered entirely by Ivan Moody of Motograter fame. While his vocal approach is as commonplace as it comes, he does have a slightly unique sounding voice that once again sets him apart. What comes as a surprise is the clarity of his delivery, especially when it comes to the harsh vocals; Every word is clearly understood. This is a welcome change especially when inaudible vocals have become a tongue in cheek joke among the metal community (Boat, Rudder, Strange Mountain anyone?). Also it must be said that the clean vocals of Moody is fairly impressive as well. While he is by no means ready to take on someone like Lajon Witherspoon or Roy Kahn (Sevendust, Kamelot), he certainly has a vocal range that surpasses many other bands attempts at injecting emotion into their songs through cleanly sung passages.

Drumming is handled proficiently by Jeremy Spencer. The approach here is once again relatively typical with more double kick rolls than you can shake a stick at. Where he does excel though is when the band slows down and dives into a more aural approach. Here you can find Spencer utilizing his entire kit rather than your typical Snare/Bass standoff. The Way of the Fist is one song that serves as a good example of this as the chorus is enhanced through the use of crashes, toms and cymbals accompanying a gallop rather than just pummeling the kit. These occasional changes of pace keep the listeners ear intrigued and are not overused to the point of being predictably paced.

Lastly, something must be said about the production. It is absolutely pristine, and every instrument can be heard clearly throughout the majority of the album, with the bass being occasionally washed up in the mix. The guitars have a very clear sound to them, but do not overpower the rest of the band. The vocals don't seem overly dubbed as well, which strengthens previous statements about Moody's talent as a vocalist. On a side note, after seeing this band live, I must applaud them on being able to recreate their sound on the album live almost to a T, props to the guys of 5FDP on that choice.

With all these positive things said about the band, there must be some reason for a 3.5 rather than a 4 or even 4.5 right? Well, while there are many things to love about this album, there are still some things that prevent 5FDP from being stalwarts of the genre. First and foremost are the lyrics, which range from cliched to downright laughable at times. There are some times where I wished the vocals weren't so audible when I had to hear Moody shout "They're saying crush it, break it, smash it ****in' kill 'em all." It's moment's like these that really pull the listener away from the experience. Furthermore, Moody never really explains why he is so pissed off, with most references to the subject being so ambiguous, they lose their meaning by the next verse. Rarely has lyrics detracted from an album so much it could be described as disappointing. It's because of this, the grain of salt I mentioned before must be kept within reach while listening to this album.

To a lesser extent is the lack of variety. While there are times this band does write some truly killer material, it seems as though some songs are written around that one riff in hopes that it can carry the listener throughout the rest of the song. I'll use The Way of the Fist as the example again here as the chorus really is strong as can be, but the verse riffing and drumming is a drab as it comes.

Overall though, something must be said when a band can overcome these shortcomings and create an album that is not only just plain fun to listen to, but also at times step away from its firmly planted Metalcore roots and surprise the listener with some material that is both creative and epic sounding. With that, album does completely accomplish its goal of serving as the cd you listen to before your big hockey game, and surpasses them at times for the more picky metal fan.

Top Tracks: Salvation, A Place To Die, The Bleeding

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Comments:Add a Comment 
December 24th 2008


Excellent first review!

December 24th 2008


if only this band weren't so terrible.

December 24th 2008


great review, but im sorry, this band is just awful.

December 24th 2008


Pretty much what everyone else said, but amazing first review! i'll pos it. Yeah i listened to this band for about a week and then i realized they sucked terribly, especially the lyrics.

December 24th 2008


Nice first review

band is terrible

December 24th 2008


Why does everyone doing their first review feel it necessary to state so?

LIke the big "ONE REVIEW" text isn't a good enough explanation.

Digging: Deafheaven - New Bermuda

December 25th 2008


Album Rating: 2.5

because it makes them more smexy

December 25th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

Lol, yeah I guess its not really necessary to say anything about it being my first review.

I can respect that people don't like this band, I can't really argue with you guys about that. I guess in my case i didn't expect much and was surprised at times by it so maybe 3.5 may be a bit inflated, or as someone else here has called it, the "Death Magnetic Syndrome." Appreciate the responses.

January 23rd 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

i personally rather enjoy this album quite a lot. its not somethin i can listen to all the time, but when i do, it's pretty much awesome.


January 23rd 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

oh btw, not every band has to have meaningful lyrics, or "good/awesome" lyrics.

they try to sound mean and angry, and "1...2... F*ck You" really shows that.

and i like them for that also.

January 23rd 2009


Ugh, this band is terrible.

January 27th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

i only heard a couple of there tracks but they seem to be pretty damn good from what iv heard , nice review, wd

January 27th 2009


I heard one song off of this and it was painfully average ...

January 27th 2009


you've rated this without hearing the whole album wtf

January 27th 2009


Quick question before i further begin to rave about this bands horrid this serious?

January 27th 2009


Awesome review sir, especialy for a first and I will pos
Just a couple of things I noticed that you could clean up though, to make things run smoother:

Rarely has lyrics detracted from an album so much

This should read: "Rarely HAVE lyrics detracted from an album so much"
Fix that up when you can

and then:
borderline Emo

As most new users are unaware, emo has nothing to do with a lot of the scene music and fashion people think it does. Edit that part out as soon as possible, because a lot of sputnik users get really worked up when people mislabel things as "emo".

Peace ;)This Message Edited On 01.27.09

January 30th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

This band is nothing less, nothing more than average. The lyrics are mediocre, the singer is decent, and the song tunes are very average. Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that the verses of Ashes and A Place To Die have the EXACT SAME SOUND?? Literally, they sound 100% alike.

February 24th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

Ive decided this is more of a 3 than 3.5, dunno how to change that in the rating, but i decided that the there were enough tracks that don't really stand out. Still think its a good album overall though.

February 24th 2009


mall metal sucks.

May 8th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

This band's first album is filled with great music! They resemble a more macho, Pantera style of metal, but nonetheless it is good. The Bleeding, their first single from the album is not the song I would have chosen. It is one of the slower songs on the album, unlike Salvation or the Devil's Own. I really enjoy this album, and it's a great first debut for FFDP.

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