Producing a commercially successful metal record has never been a particularly easy task, and when it does occur, it is often regarded as a freak moment of brilliance when all parties natural talent is combined to create packaged up aggression accessible by mainstream rock fans. More often than not bands get one opportunity to prove their commercial worth but if they succeed they then have the arduous task of backing it up. This is an even rarer occurrence as we all know too well yet it does happen, but three
times? Unlikely.

This is currently the task at hand for California 5 piece FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. On October 11 5FDP released their third album entitled ‘American Capitalist’. How they manage to keep dishing out albums every 2 years is beyond me considering their unrivalled and relentless touring schedule. They are a touring juggernaut that would give the veteran touring bands a run for their money. Anyway, as mentioned, 5FDP faced the difficult task of producing a third record that will not only be commercially successful,
but will also satisfy the often hard to please hard rock/heavy metal community. You don’t garner respect in the metal community by being a one album wonder, you earn respect, you work for it and you keep your eye on the ball or you will struggle. Just look at Machine Head after Burn My Eyes, luckily for us they saw the error in their ways.

American Capitalist begins with the title track off the album and is everything you would expect from an opening track from 5FDP. It’s in your face, blunt and unforgiving. Lead singer Iven Moody has a lot to say on this album and he wants to make sure you are listening. Few singers possess the ability to scream with such raw intensity, only to match it with brooding melodies yet it seems to come easy for Moody.

The Pride is track number 3 and is an all out assault on anti Americanism. While Moody has often stated that there is never one clear message in each album it’s hard not to notice the social awareness on display in this record. This album is much less introspective than their previous efforts yet still contains that familiar personal angst that was all too present on their first two records.

5FDP’s trademark is their unrelenting ability to display raw aggression and yet always somehow be able to provide that necessary melodic hook which makes you restart the track again and again. To say this album is just like The Way of The Fist and War is the Answer would be a lie. American Capitalist is a slightly more toned down effort. It is certainly more accessible and hard rock infused yet drummer Jeremy Spencer is always on hand to remind us of their brutal roots with his double kicks.

There have been repeated comparisons between FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and PANTERA and this album only strengthens the legitimacy of that claim. Few bands can combine raw drive and determination with a natural ability to consistently produce fresh and passionate, in your face, fist clenching metal yet 5FDP have solidified themselves as one of the exceptions to the rule. If you like 5FDP then you need American Capitalist, it’s that simple.

Three-peat? You betcha

8 out of 10

Spragg