Fozzy - 'Judas'

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Fozzy - 'Judas'

They are the real deal and the superb 'Judas' proves it.

Starting life as a spoof band where Stuck Mojo guitarist Rich Ward and WWE Superstar Chris Jericho sported fake names and wigs and played covers which they pretended were their own songs, Fozzy went on to evolve into a seriously good Metal act. With the pseudonyms and wigs dropped for their third album 'All That Remains' (their first all original record), Fozzy have improved with each release. 'Judas', the band's seventh album, continues that trend.

Opening with the title track, already Fozzy's biggest hit having garnered ten million YouTube views to date, is a no brainer. Not only does it have a highly effective video, which played to Jericho's natural charisma, it's also a great song with one of Jericho's best lead vocals and packed full of Fozzy's trademark blend of heaviness with hooks. It's no fluke though; 'Drinkin' With Jesus' is every bit as impressive, while 'Painless' has a chorus that stays with you for days.

Unusually for a Fozzy album, Ward is not the producer here. Instead, that role goes to Johnny Andrews, who has enjoyed significant success with bands such as Three Days Grace and Halestorm. Andrews not only gives the album some real sonic punch, he co-writes the bulk of the material with Ward, thus reducing Jericho's usual lyrical input. It is not to the record's detriment though, as Andrews has helped Fozzy make their most commercially accessible album yet, while retaining all of the heavyweight riffs and production elements fans are used to hearing.

'Weight Of My World' has the sing-along "whoa" part built-in, the bouncy 'Burn Me Out' is sure to get fans leaping about and the superb 'Elevator' is another prime contender to be a single. Jericho gets to put his stamp on a song about his childhood during 'Wordsworth Way', and it has to be said, this is his best vocal performance on record to date.

All the traditional elements of Fozzy are here, from the bludgeoning riffs to the crackling energy and the big choruses, but 'Judas' boasts that extra commercial vibe and contemporary sound. The band is playing the biggest shows it's ever done and that's because the comical early days are long gone. Just because their lead singer is a celebrity from another field of entertainment doesn't mean Fozzy aren't the real deal. They are and the superb 'Judas' proves it.

James Gaden

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