CD Reviews

Fozzy - 'Chasing the Grail' Hot
Written by James Gaden     June 01, 2010    
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Fourth album from the metal band featuring WWE Superstar Chris Jericho.

Five years after Fozzy released ‘All That Remains’, their first self penned album, they are back with a brand new opus titled ‘Chasing The Grail’. Fronted by WWE superstar Chris Jericho on vocals, and boasting Stuck Mojo guitarist Rich Ward in the ranks, Fozzy have come a long way. Originally a covers act called Fozzy Osbourne, simply playing for fun, the band were signed due to the respective fame already held by Jericho and Ward. Their first album (save for two self penned tracks) was all covers paying homage to the likes of Dio, The Scorpions, Twisted Sister and many more, but with the twist that Fozzy actually wrote the songs, but due to being contractually trapped in Japan, their songs were ripped off by the other artists who gained fame with them!
The second album ‘Happenstance’ followed in a similar vein, only this time half the album was self penned, the other half were covers. Finding that their own material was well received, Fozzy ditched the covers and the back story for album three, the aforementioned ‘All That Remains’. The result was an excellent and impressive modern metal album showcasing Jericho as a great frontman with bags of energy and charisma, and Rich Ward as a power chord wielding riff machine.
So, five years later, ‘Chasing The Grail’ has arrived. How does it compare to ‘All that Remains’? Very favourably is the answer. This new effort from Fozzy does what a follow up to a good album should - it expands and improves on it. Opener ‘Under Blackened Skies’ is absolutely thunderous, the heaviest thing the band have recorded to date. This is followed by the superb ‘Martyr No More’ which is very much like something that would have been found on ‘All That Remains’ and has a classic Fozzy sound.
There’s a lot of other highlights on this record - indeed there was nothing on here I didn’t like, but I’d be mad not to mentioned ‘Broken Soul’. Referred to as the first ballad Fozzy have ever written, it’s not a lighters out acoustic driven ballad, but it is a brilliant, piano infused modern rock ballad. It has enough rock and metal characteristics not to make the headbanging Fozzy contingent vomit, but adds a new string to the Fozzy bow. Chris Jericho described it as “’70s-type Southern rock-type ballady-type tune” - I personally didn’t notice the southern rock bit so much, it reminded me of some of the stuff on Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Ozzmosis’ album. But however you chose to categorise it, it’s damn good.
‘God Pounds His Nails’ is a storming rocker that is also very impressive, much like ‘Let The Madness Begin’, and the album finishes with the epic ‘Wormwood’, which clocks in at fourteen minutes. Considering it’s Fozzy’s first effort at an epic track like that, they’ve made a great job of it, and it doesn’t feel anything like fourteen minutes long, which suggests to me it must be good.
Fozzy impressed with ‘All That Remains’ and I see no reason why ‘Chasing The Grail’ won’t help elevate them to an even higher level, and have those who dismissed the band simply because it had a wrestler in it pause and reconsider. Excellent!
James Gaden
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