Fozzy – Chasing the Grail (2010, Riot Entertainment)
1. “Under Blackened Skies” … 5:32
2. “Martyr No More” … 4:37
3. “Grail” … 5:09
4. “Broken Soul” … 4:09
5. “Let the Madness Begin” … 3:47
6. “Pray For Blood” … 5:12
7. “New Day’s Dawn” … 4:34
8. “God Pounds His Nails” … 4:20
9. “Watch Me Shine” … 3:38
10. “Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Friday the 13th)” … 5:26
11. “Revival” … 4:47
12. “Wormwood” … 13:53
Chris Jericho – Vocals
Rich Ward – Guitar, Vocals
Sean Delson – Bass
Frank Fontsere – Drums
Eric Frampton – Piano, Hammond Organ, Keyboards
Renny Carroll – Backing Vocals
Jeff Waters – Guitar Solos on “Martyr No More” and “God Pounds His Nails”
Mike Martin – Guitar (“Wormwood”)
Producer: Rich Ward
Five years after their last studio release, Fozzy is back with their fourth release which is similar to All That Remains in regards to the band playing it straight as a metal act that combines melody and heavy riffing. I do think this is a better effort than All That Remains was though and it’s certainly heavier.
They’ve shed the ’80s metal parody/tribute gimmick and for better or worse have an updated heavy metal sound. It’s funny because though they’ve left the 1980s behind, they seem to be embracing the early 2000s with downright nu-metal (“Let the Madness Begin”, “Watch Me Shine”, “Revival”) vibe on a few tracks along with post-grunge (“Broken Soul” could have come from any number of those types of bands) and I even hear bits of Black Label Society thanks to guitarist Rich Ward seemingly imitating Zakk Wylde.
Inspiration seems to be all over the place, which is surprising since Jericho is such an ’80s metal junky. I can’t help but get the feeling that the band is trying too hard to fit in with modern times though. They even took the time to come up the nearly 14 minute progressive “Wormwood” that sounds like something you may hear from Avenged Sevenfold or Dream Theater with it’s shifts between tender moments, blazing solos and heavy riffs. It’s actually pretty good though, so who am I to complain?
I like this album a lot better than when I first listened to it, but like with their previous effort, there’s a lot of filler here and not a lot of focus. Seems like they want to sample a bit of everything. I guess it’s hard to expect a lot of focus from a band that is almost always on hiatus thanks to their lead singer being a full-time professional wrestler (or should I say “sports entertainer”?) who tours the world all year ’round . They should pick one direction and go with it. To be honest, if Chris Jericho wasn’t one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, I don’t think I would have much interest in Fozzy. At this point, they’re really just “there” and don’t standout to me in anyway (I actually think Jericho’s vocals are kinda weak as well).
An okay effort that is probably only worth tracking down for Jericho and Stuck Mojo fans.
Highlights: “Under Blackened Skies”, “Grail”, “Let the Madness Begin”, “God Pounds His Nails”, “Watch Me Shine”, “Wormwood”