Heavy Metal and Wrestling Fans alike, lend me your ears! You aren’t going to want to miss this, because if you do you’ll surely be down for the count!
Fozzy is an American heavy metal band formed in Atlanta, Georgia, way back in 1999, made famous (mostly) by front man and World Wrestling Entertainment’s own Chris Jericho. When he isn’t busy Lionsaulting and submitting opponents, he’s either in the studio or on tour with Fozzy, producing nothing but high quality heavy metal tracks that will have even the most hardcore of metal fans salivating for more. Jericho has characterized the band by saying, “If Metallica and Journey had a bastard child, it would be Fozzy.” Their upcoming album Judas has already receiving worldwide critical acclaim due to the instant success of the music video for title track ‘Judas’, and is without a doubt the best album that Fozzy has produced to date.
Fozzy is comprised of band members Jericho (vocals), Rich Ward (lead guitar/backing vocals), Frank Fontsere (drums/percussion), Billy Grey (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), and Paul Di Leo (bass guitar/backing vocals).
You thought critically acclaimed Fozzy track ‘Sandpaper’ was catchy? Well, prepare to have your minds blown! The title track ‘Judas’ is absolute brilliance, and without question the best thing that Fozzy has ever produced, period. Amassing close to 9 million views on YouTube, the video clip for ‘Judas’ has not only brought critical acclaim to Fozzy, but has seen their fan base grow astronomically in such a short period of time. Jericho’s vocal talents are showcased to their fullest extent in this track, and the self-proclaimed ‘Greatest of All Time’ proves without a doubt that everything he involved himself with turns to Gold! The instrumental amalgamation is superb; from the opening riff you are instantly made aware of the masterpiece you’re about to bear witness to. This is just the first track, and if it’s anything to lead by, this album is going to be a Metal Masterclass!
The opening riff of ‘Drinking with Jesus’ is far from angelic; the ballsy, bass driven instrumentals pull no punches in their heavy handed delivery. This is a true demonstration that Fozzy are well and truly hitting their stride! Lyrically, the song is as catchy as ‘Judas’, packed with a solo that will have the skin melting from your face, drum fills that will have you quaking at the knees, and Jericho’s smooth vocals, just as ‘Judas’, are nothing but brilliant.
Opening to a slower tempo, but still maintaining the ballsy heaviness we’ve been treated to thus far, ‘Painless’ showcases a more vulnerable side to not only Jericho’s vocals, but a more sombre instrumental demonstration from Fozzy as a whole. The combination of Ward and Grey on guitar is sublime, and the sounds the pair create are brilliant. The drum work of Fontsere come through dominantly in ‘Painless’, also. They’ve gone three from three, this album is unbelievable!
‘Weight Of My World’ shifts the tempo direction of the album back to quicker pace that Fozzy are more notorious for. It’s hard to believe, but ‘Weight Of My World’ holds potential to become a mainstream clubbing classic; the pop undertones of the track are very apparent, and the instrumentals don’t come through as heavy as other tracks, adding to the ‘club-like’ atmosphere. It’s clear that Jericho, and Fozzy, wanted to be diverse with their sound throughout Judas, and with throwing a song like this into the mix, it definitely opens the album’s arms to a whole new demographic.
Were you longing for the ballsy, heavier tones of Fozzy to return? Look no further than ‘Wordsworth Way’, with the instrumental opening being as bass driven as we’ve seen so far (kudos to Di Leo). The tone of ‘Wordsworth Way’ is very ominous and dark, which is a place Fozzy have consistently returned to throughout their career. It’s a definite change of pace, but it’s one that’s warmly welcomed. So far Fozzy have showcased their out all ballsy assault, their vulnerability, and their diversity. This album is going to help them blow up, believe me!
The opening riff of ‘Burn Me Out’, my god! However, if you’re wanting a heavy assault, this isn’t the track you’re looking for. The pop-like tones from ‘Weight Of My World’ return within ‘Burn Me Out’, but is absolutely brilliant regardless. This is just further proof that whatever Jericho touches turns to gold. The instrumentals are solid throughout, and Jericho’s vocals are as prominent as ever. Some heavy metal fans might be shaking their heads at the thought, but seriously give it a try, you won’t regret it.
Well, if Fozzy were looking at adding a bit of diversity to their album, they’ve gone and smashed it out of the park with ‘Three Days In Jail’. For starters, we return to the heavier tones of Fozzy, which in itself is brilliant. Jericho’s vocals are smooth, the instrumentals surrounding him are brilliant, and then we get our first taste of something out of the ordinary; rap. That’s right! You heard me correctly. Before you start throwing chairs around the room, here me out, because the rap combined with Fozzy’s instrumental work behind it is mesmerizing. But all isn’t lost, heavy metal fans, because we see something else out of the ordinary thrown into the mix, also. We’ve got some screaming! Yes, I know right? ‘Three Days In Jail’ goes all out, and Fozzy are pulling absolutely zero punches.
The pop tones return with ‘Elevator’, however Fozzy maintain their heaviness throughout, unlike ‘Weight Of My World’ and ‘Burn Me Out’ where we’ve seen the instrumentals stripped back quite a bit. The amalgamation of the heavier, well known Fozzy tones with the upbeat pop-like tones works incredibly well, and it’s tracks like this that have potential to bring Fozzy commercial success outside of the pure Heavy Metal demographic. It’s both lyrically and instrumentally infectious, and Jericho’s vocals (as always) are brilliant.
You’ve been begging for Fozzy to go “balls to the wall” again, haven’t you? Well, ‘Running With The Bulls’ is what you’ve been waiting for. No pop undertones. No rapping. Just Jericho and Fozzy combining to produce quality metal. This is there comfort zone, and it shows through the instrumentals; memorable riffs, brilliant drum work, and the culmination of pure bliss. Fozzy pick up the metal checklist and tick every box with ‘Running With The Bulls’, you’re going to love it!
‘Capsized’ opens with brilliant precision, and superb combination of instrumentals; Ward and Grey on guitar have been brilliant throughout (and now isn’t any exception), Di Leo comes through on the bass very prominently in this track (which is brilliant), and the drum work of Fontsere has been solid throughout, also. Jericho’s vocal talents have shone throughout Judas and haven’t swayed at all, even with the shifting between sounds. They’ve come a very long way, and are finally hitting their stride. Watch out, because Fozzy are stampeding to the top!
We’ve come to the end, which is bitterly unfortunate, because this is one experience I didn’t want to finish. ‘Wolves At Bay’ rounds out what has been a brilliant heavy metal album. The opening instrumentals are as heavy as they’ve ever been, packed with hooking riffs and a bass line that’ll have you salivating for more! Fontsere’s drum work come through with dominance also, and Jericho (as always) showcasing his pipes. This is how you round out an album, ladies and gentlemen!
What an album! What an experience! This could be myself talking prematurely, but this is well and truly a contender for Rock Album of the Year, without any doubt in my mind. Fozzy have come a long way from when Jericho and Ward first brought them together, and that’s the telling tale of this story; persistence and passion reaps rewards, and Fozzy are cleaning up!
Pre-order Judas now!