October 13, 2017 Fozzy – Judas (Album Review)
If an award exists for the most clever band in Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, Fozzy is the undisputed champion. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Fozzy came together when WWE Superstar Chris Jericho joined forces with former Stuck Mojo Guitarist Rich “The Duke” Ward. Jericho, an avid metalhead, initially lead Fozzy as a cover band, signing with Megaforce Records to release their self-titled album Fozzy in 2000. With Jericho going by the persona Moongoose McQueen, Fozzy’s debut featured the band covering licks by a plethora of guitar heroes most notably Judas Priest and Mötley Crüe. A plus, the album also gave two original tracks and although sales did not meet expectations, a fan-base began to mount.
Now over 15 years later, Fozzy continue to go strong as an all-original band that has built a following thanks to their dedication to the road. Laughing in the face of misfortune, Fozzy never wavered. Jericho ditched the McQueen persona and presented Fozzy’s third album, 2005’s All That Remains, marking Fozzy’s first dance with success. Featuring a full plate of original tracks, including the single “Enemy,” the critically-acclaimed album sold over 100,000 copies. Seeing good times on the horizon, the band took to the road, playing raucous gigs like the Download Festival in England.
Bring on three more albums – 2010’s Chasing the Grail, 2012’s Sin and Bones, and 2014’s Do You Wanna Start a War – all met with glorious fanfare. Jericho slowed down his wrestling career and focused heavily on Fozzy in 2012, touring more often with the band allowed them to to share stages with the likes of Metallica, Buckcherry, and Avenged Sevenfold. From this the Fozzy live experience gained more and more buzz, in part due to their fearless showmanship.
So is Fozzy done? Have they reached the pinnacle of stardom only to retire and fade into the sunset? Don’t bet your money on it! In May 2017, Fozzy declared album number seven, Judas, would be bestowed upon us, with the release date set for Friday, October 13, 2017, via Century Media. Adding to the excitement, Fozzy immediately released a video for the album’s first single and title-track “Judas,” soon viewed over 8 million times! Joining Jericho, Ward, and drummer Frank Fontsere, are Billy Grey on rhythm guitar since 2010, and returning to Fozzy for the first time since 2014, Paul Di Leo on bass.
With an undying love for creating fun and super-charged Rock music, Fozzy once again bring it with Judas. Yet another rewarding piece of Rock, kick-starting the next 41 minutes of insanity is the title-track and single “Judas.” A passionate and bombastic tune showcasing the band’s irresistible energy and uncanny ability to rock hard, it is as good as it gets. Holding back nothing, the super fun “Drinking with Jesus” follows and is sure to leave the listener chuckling straight into the groovy “Painless,” “Weight of My World,” and “Wordsworth Way.” Additionally, the amped-up “Burn Me Out” will keep listeners awake all night after enduring Jericho’s fierce vocals and Ward and Grey’s raunchy riffs.
Additionally, “Three Days in Jail” is heavy as hell and brings back the Nu-Metal/Rap-Rock sound complete with a stunning Rap. Thereafter, “Elevator” is another entertaining track where Jericho’s vocals are very reminiscent of Mr. Ozzy Osbourne. Not be overlooked, “Running with the Bulls” and “Capsized” speak of the band’s adversity to succeed against all odds. Then bringing Judas to the finish-line, “Wolves at Bay,” as expected, is Jericho and company’s way of saying that no force on this earth can stop the runaway freight train that is Fozzy.
Once Again, Fozzy hands the people what they want: a no-frills Hard Rock record with a sharp Metal edge. In typical Fozzy fashion, there is a fire burning inside for what matters most: the music. Getting better with age, this Judas does not betray! For these reasons, CrypticRock gives Judas 4 out of 5 stars.