Five Finger Death Punch
They’re baaaack! For their sophomore effort, 2009’s War is the Answer, Five Finger Death Punch was worthy of some type of award, if only the folks that vote for Grammy artists had a clue about rock and roll. It was easily the best metal album of that year. Now FFDP is back with a new album, American Capitalist. Yes, once again they come ready to rumble with another excursion into the war zone of aggressive, adrenalized guitar riffs, courtesy of Zoltan Bathery and Darrel Roberts. The band has a new bassist in Chris Kael, while Ivan Moody and Jeremy Spencer return for vocals and drum duties, respectively. These guys sound like the baddest dudes on the block of rock bands.
If Seal Team Six needs a band for their training video, here they be. They should recruit these guys because there’s no better music ready-made for hostile action. Okay, so maybe we’re going a bit overboard here. But listen to “100 Ways to Hate,” “Menace,” and the title track and you’ll be ready to ride off in search of Al Qaeda. Like the last album, the band shows their “gentler” side on songs like “Coming Down” and “Remember Everything” (presumably thrown in to get some time to reload). But from track one, this album is in your face. One word of caution: watch your speed limit if you listen to this while riding. You may find yourself straffing cars and practicing your dogfight moves against trucks.
Flashback Album Of The Month
Heaven and Hell
Black Sabbath all but invented heavy metal. And word of their impending reunion is good news indeed. Their seminal first album was released in 1970, one year later than Led Zep 1. Whereas Zeppelin showcased technical brilliance and artistic proficiency, Black Sabbath came at things from a different angle. Right off the bat parents had a reason to be afraid for Barbie and Ken. They took satanic ritual and brought it into the bedrooms of America. Everyone realized it was only show business in the end of course, but by then Black Sabbath had converted millions of fans and ransacked the rock world with demonic rants. They made head banging an accepted sport, despite myriad personnel changes over the years.
But all good things must come to an end sometime, and eventually even the group’s frontman, Ozzy Osbourne left the band. Critics predicted their demise. Things had become a bit too routine. Ozzy’s replacement was the late Ronnie James Dio, who joined Geoff Nicholls, Geezer Butler , Bill Ward, and Tommy Iommi. In April of 1980, the band released Heaven and Hell, just as news of their death had become greatly exaggerated. The album was an instant success, propelled by tunes like “Neon Knights,” “Die Young,” and the title track. Having been written off by the critics (not that the band had ever paid attention to them anyway), Sabbath found themselves back on top. It’s amazing how well this album holds up next to today’s metal, and it’s easily one of the best albums ever made for tearing up the highway on a bike.