From their inception as a party covers band, to a bit of a joke band for WWE superstar Chris Jericho, to launch his rock star alter ego Moongoose McQueen on to the world, complete with kayfabe background story, Fozzy have always been, if nothing else, entertaining. Having dropped the act and focused on the music Fozzy are now a bonafide rock juggernaut and their new album Judas, shows just how far they’ve come. Touring with the likes of Metallica, Kiss and Avenged Sevenfold has obviously rubbed off on the guys as they demonstrate a more focused and matured ability to write songs.
Jericho’s voice has always been powerful, but here he’s taken it up a notch and finally seems comfortable with the clean vocals as much as the Rob Halford screams. Rich Ward’s penchant for a heavy groove remains untouched as demonstrated in opener Judas. Jericho channels his best Sebastian Bach rasp on the future set list staple Drinking with Jesus. That maturity I was talking about is none more evident than in Wordsworth Way a very modern sounding power ballad, which Jericho absolutely sings the shit out of. In Stuck Mojo, Ward often found himself in the shadow of the mighty Dimebag Darrell, but there is guitar work on this album that would make Dimebag raise a glass and toast him with a black toothed grin or two. If nu-metal is your bag, then look no further than Three Days In Jail, with a slow lurching riff over rapping, clean vocals and the slightest hint of keyboards. One for the rock clubs. The thrashy Wolves at Bay, closes the album quite nicely with a song that echo’s Jericho’s own thoughts on Fozzy,” If Metallica and Journey had a bastard child, it would be Fozzy.” Quite right.
So with Judas, Fozzy have an album that should, quite rightly, take them to the next level. Epic, anthemic old school metal for a modern era. …Chris Andrews