Sunday, October 8, 2017

Album Review: Fozzy - Judas

When Fozzy first came about, I don't know anyone who would have said all these years later they would not only still be around, but they would be one of the better known rock/metal bands out there in the mainstream vain. The idea of a band fronted by Chris Jericho, backed by the guitarist from Stuck Mojo, who started out their time playing covers under the guise of a story that they were the rightful creators of metal's legacy, was absolutely insane. And yet Fozzy has proven people wrong, maturing into a band that has been making good records. Their acclaim is not without merit. We've now reached their seventh album, which arrives at the height of Fozzy's fame.

This was made evident with the title track, which not only leads off the album, but was the first single released. The video blew up online, racking up a massive amount of plays. It's the perfect embodiment of who Fozzy are. Ward provides simple guitars that establish a groove, and Jericho gives a melodic sheen to the chorus, which uses repetition to become annoyingly catchy. It's one of the better songs Fozzy has ever written.

What's always kept me from fully embracing Fozzy is their occasional forays out of their comfort zone. They have not always been the most consistent of bands, but to their credit, they have gotten better in that regard with each album. "Judas" sees them finally hitting their stride, where I can't say there's a lull when the album drags along for me. Ward and Jericho deliver across the board here, with the most solid set of songs Fozzy has yet committed to tape.

The opening run of songs sets the agenda clearly. "Judas", "Drinking With Jesus", and "Painless" are prime Fozzy cuts, balancing the band's modern and classic sides. There's a lot to like about what Fozzy is doing here, and clear that the band has been constantly evolving into a machine intent on becoming one of the bigger names in the modern rock/metal style. Their sound is thoroughly modern, once in a while to their own detriment. While I said there aren't prolonged lulls, there is "Three Days In Jail", which borrows a bit too much from modern schlock to really be good. The beginning to the song is good, but when it turns to rapping, it loses me. That's not what Fozzy is, and I don't understand why they would even think about adding in an element that is totally anathema to their identity. That's a huge mistake.

Otherwise, Fozzy has done well for themselves here. Not knowing exactly which bands to compare them to, I can't say they're on the top tier, but they are still evolving and improving. Fozzy has come a long way from when they started out, and they're becoming more focused with each passing album. "Judas" is their best album yet.

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