Fozzy’s path, since their inception in 2000 has been anything but ordinary. Like the characters that Chris Jericho portrays on shows like Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown, Fozzy began in a similar way. A band, lost for 20 years in Japan due to a corrupt contract. They missed out on the era of the Scorpions and Ozzy Osbourne, and they wanted due credit. It all began with a series of web videos, which for it’s time was groundbreaking. Shortly after, Fozzy was released; comprised mostly of covers, the album helped feed into the gimmick and after the release of their second album, Happenstance, the band still felt like one.
In 2005, they stepped up their game, leaving behind the gimmick with the release of All That Remains. Jericho was coming into his own as a stellar vocalist and the band, Stuck Mojo darlings, proved that they could bring it with a style that dwelled in the 80’s via Black Label Society. On their 2010 release, Chasing the Grail, the band set the bar high, with an amazing set of tracks that see’s “The Duke” Ward and Chris Jericho mastering their sound and fully realizing what Fozzy IS. It’s safe to say that the crew of Fozzy have a lot to live up to with their new release Sin and Bones.
When the band signed with Century Media, fans I’m sure held their breath. Century Media is widely known for as a platform for bands of the trash scene, but could Fozzy be a band that cut through that? By all means yes; I’m reminded of Young the Giant’s signing with Roadrunner Records, a largely hard rock/metal outfit that houses/d the likes of Slipknot, Nickelback, and Killswitch engage. Turns out that it’s not the label that makes the band, but the band that defines itself!
Sin and Bones opens with a creepy track called “Spider in My Mouth.” Embrace the visual folks (I just shuttered there). The song commence with a creepy spoken word/piano version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” that is vaguely reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “High Hopes.” From there the track breaks into a blistering “Duke” guitar riff and the creepiest lyrics to come out of Chris Jericho’s mouth. The song leads into that pulled back/forceful style that the band is known for, particularly in the chorus.
The album’s first single, “Sandpaper,” features M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, playing a role similar to Janelle Monáe’s on Fun.’s track “We Are Young.” The track continues to display Ward’s great ear for rough, catchy riffs as well Paul Di Leo and Frank Fontsere’s skill at bass and drums. Billy Grey has also proven himself a great edition to Fozzy, making them a great dual guitar threat. I’m always reluctant when a band’s first single features a guest artist, but turns out this is a pretty great track. Likewise are the two semi-thrash tracks, “Blood Happens” and the title track, pushing Fozzy’s boundaries a bit, making them adaptable to different styles while largely remaining true to themselves. Even on introspective moments like “Inside My Head” and “A Passed Life,” the band is still painting you a genuine picture of what Fozzy is.
As the album closes with the sprawling track, “Storm the Beaches,” an 11+ minute track about D-Day, it’s clear that instead of trying to top Chasing the Grail, the band took a different route. They became adaptable, which is something that bands must do to grow and survive. The death of many great bands have occurred (I think AC/DC defies this somehow), but Fozzy are far from that original gimmick, they’re a band you can really get behind. In short Fozzy is a fantastic band, in a way metal for those who don’t like metal, and Sin and Bones is a real fine record, worthy of it’s predecessors and more.
Album Rating: Buy it on CD or Vinyl
Listening Co-efficient: Active Listen
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