Friday, August 27, 2010

Five Finger Death Punch - The Way of the Fist

You can't fool a former MTV drone!

I grew up with metal. My mother was a huge Metallica and Pantera fan, my dad loved Black Sabbath, I sang along with Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction from a very young age, and my taste stayed along the lines of hard rock ala GNR and mainstream metal for nearly the first decade of my life. Around the age of nine, I discovered cocai-.... erm... MTV. I was swept up into this mindfuck of a television station and began to base my tastes off of what was popular on the broadcasts. Because of this, I became a massive pop punk fan at nine years old. Blink 182, CIV, The Offspring, and other assorted bands were the order of the day. At age ten, I entered a brief rap phase. Eminem, Dr. Dre, stuff like that. After a few months of that, I "rediscovered" metal through dreck like Korn and Limp Bizkit. They blended that coolness of rap and that heaviness of metal to my ears. Obviously, I know better now, but that was a the coolest shit in the world when I was in fifth grade. I paid money to see Staind live, I thought Slipknot was the heaviest band around, I would listen to System of a Down's Toxicity at least twice a day, I probably still know all the lyrics to every song on Static-X's Wisconsin Death Trip. The lyrics of the genre reflected my twelve year old angst against the society that just didn't understand me, the songs were catchy and occasionally offensive, and it catered to the misunderstood like myself. Somewhere in eighth grade though, I had a strange desire for something a little more complex, so I got sucked into Metallica again and eventually refined myself into the Mosh Jesus you see today.

I shared this story because I learned something from it. Throughout my time as an angsty, Mohecan, nu metal drone, I became extremely familiar with the sound, ideals, and all the nooks and crannies of the genre. It gave me x-ray vision, so to speak... the ability to spot wolves in sheep's clothing. No longer could a bunch of angry losers in Halloween costumes control my mind. This is why Five Finger Death Punch is the recipient of so much of my uncontrollable rage, it's a collection of faux tough guys masquerading as heavy metal, polluting the minds of youngsters seeking to explore the genre. I am being 100% honest when I say that every last one of these songs sound like they would fit perfectly on Slipknot's Iowa. There is honestly nothing redeemable about this release, and all five members of the band, the road crew, those who helped in the studio, and all of their fans deserve to be rounded up, sodomized by cacti, castrated with meat tenderizers, and strangled with their own entrails. This is absolute zero, a place where all life dies. Matter ceases to move and music ceases to be enjoyable in any way.

The songs are only discernible due to differing levels of unintentional hilarity, almost all of which revolve around the hands down biggest clown to ever step behind the mic. Be it the laughable "BREAK THIS SHIT DOWN!", the pathetic "NO MERCY! YOU FAGGOT!", the despicable whining of "Everything I touch, turns to ashes...*crys*", or the sheer stupidity of shouting "YOU'RE MONKEY SEE AND MONKEY DO!" with honest conviction, the album is chock full of comedy around every turn. The breakdown of White Knuckles is pretty much the worst part of the entire record, as it just sums up the entire nu metal angst down to the letter. The crescendo of bullshit with him doing that stupid whisper-and-scream thing of "I'm taking back control... WITH MY KNUCKLES!", it's hilarious and humiliating at the same time. Every last lyric is the absolute nadir of creativity and sounds like shitty poetry hypothetically written by me circa 2001. It's all the same "I'm angry at the world, my father is an asshole, you're a bitch, why did my girlfriend leave me?, why doesn't anybody understand me?" garbage that saturated Korn albums in the late nineties. And honestly, everybody who isn't Devin Townsend should write this down, saying "fuck" every other word does not make you sound tough. The lyrics are not intimidating, I do not fear your obvious rage that you are so desperately trying to convey. Knock it off, it's not cool.

And as if the lyrics weren't enough reason to earn the ire of everybody who's heard an Exodus song in their lifetime, the vocals themselves are some of the most laughably horrendous I've heard since Masterpiece. He has two styles of vocals, Corey Taylor-esque "rawr I'm angry" tough guy screams and Corey Taylor-esque wussburger clean whining, both of which are terrible even for what they are... which is shitty. I've never met anybody who's been dumb enough to throw roadkill over a pile of shit, but this dweeb gets close enough to the general idea by taking an already awful style of vocals and managing to cock them up so badly. If there is any redeemable quality to him, it's that he shuts up every once in a while. The only downfall of the parts where he isn't crying is that he is no longer comically obscuring the pitiful instrumentals. I'll give these guys a very, VERY small amount of credit for at least being able to navigate around their instruments well enough, but that small amount of non-hatred is almost immediately stripped away due to the obnoxiously awful songwriting. They continue the old nu metal tradition of riding one riff into the ground for the duration of the track, with very small breaks for the inevitably terrible chorus and generically crappy breakdown. What could possibly be described as an average riff is extremely few and far between, and whenever it surfaces, it's drowned out by the hormonal stupidity of everybody's favorite microphone mongoloid.

People have tried to argue against my stance by claiming that the presence of double bass drums and guitar solos disqualifies it from being nu metal. This is like saying that calzones taste better if an accordian player is in the room. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Slipknot used double bass all the time, so let's not even try playing that card again. These solos that lobotomy patients speak of are as laughable as the rest of the record. Every time a solo starts up, the rest of the band slows down while the guitarist plays a super "emotional" lead consisting of maybe four or five notes, with a couple random rakes to fool all of the 'tards into thinking he's a guitar god. Honestly, listen to any solo on the record and try to imagine what they look like on stage. He hits his first prolonged note, the stage gets dark as all of the members step away from center stage, the lead guitarist slowly walks into the spotlight shining on the now clear center, his head flying back after each bent or held note. In the dark, one can faintly see the arms of the other four idiots rowing up and down, as they all bow on their knees to the six stringed messiah in front of them. He finishes his godlike twelve note solo, gently kisses the rest of the band on the forehead, and gives them permission return to their instruments so they can begin the song again. At this point, I would begin praying to God for Michael Romero to burst through the ceiling and COMPLETELY SHRED HIS FACE OFF! But alas, Romero seems content to sit on his ass and eat pork rinds all day, for if he had even a modicum of a sense of honor, he would've decapitated this blithering fool before this abomination of a record was recorded.

This is Slipknot, nothing more, nothing less. The overabundance of foolish teenage angst immediately shunts any good that could've hypothetically manifested itself through the record. And what's even more hilarious/depressing, is that nothing good is on here anyway. Roadkill over dungpiles, that's all. I believe that if you listen to this, decide it is enjoyable in any way other than unintentionally hilarious, then you need to be drawn and quartered. Listening to this is akin to having your foreskin slowly nibbled away by your grandmother. Death to Five Finger Death Punch. May your souls rot in eternal purgatory. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go blast some Torture Squad to wash the shit out of my ears.


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