Man, Fozzy has come a long way. Hell, even further than I would have ever guessed. Brought to you by the demise of Stuck Mojo and Speedstick (I mean, Sickspeed), this Y2J-fronted heavy metal/hard rock outfit hit the scene with a ’00 debut of metal covers. At the beginning, Chris Jericho’s voice took on the character of his influences: Dio, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, and (especially) Ozzy Osbourne. By 2005’s All That Remains, things began to change. The band focused on original material consisting of poppy melodies, occasional rap metal leads, and Jericho’s own take on Ozzy Osbourne’s infamous voice. These elements were then exaggerated by 2010’s Chasing the Grail—which found the band beginning their transition to poppy, Linkin Park-ish “metal.” Sin and Bones took it to the max and the follow-up album, Do You Wanna Start a War, tossed in whiny growls for good measure. Unable to stay put with a formula, Fozzy‘s seventieth anniversary finds the band trying to incorporate everything they’ve ever attempted. That sounds like quite the feat, but this is Fozzy.

There’s only so far you can go when you write Linkin Park rock/metal. That said, Judas is one of the more fluid albums the band has ever put to tape. It flows the way you’d want a rock album to flow. It doesn’t overdo it, like the balls-and-booze Sins and Bones, nor does it overcompensate (for lack of balls), like the growly Do You Wanna Start a War. And it has the passion to at least be convincing. There’re a few hard-rock flops but the band actually attacked Judas with the same ferocity as Do You Wanna Start a War. But, the wimpy growls are gone and Judas is the better for it.

The disc kicks off with the very catchy single, “Judas”—the representative of what’s to come on this new release. It’s poppy metal with touches of Linkin Park melodics and a focus on choruses. The latter usually building to a final climax and usually repeating a dozen times. Of the more straightforward numbers, “Judas,” “Wordsworth Way,” “Burn Me Out,” and “Elevator” are the better ones. They have good drives, catchy choruses, and all of them have big, arena-sized finales. There’s nothing spectacular about them, but they are solid fun. The first two are similar in energy, direction, and melody—delivering all that is groovy, sappy, and radio-friendly. The latter two are more upbeat, with a poppiness that perks up the album’s mood. “Wadsworth Way” is a sap-happy rocker, “Burn Me Out” is the encore to a pop-metal rave, and the Ozzy-like “Elevator” is about as sing-along a song as “Judas” could ever be.

Other than that, the album is pretty typical. “Drinkin with Jesus” and “Weight of my World” are decent pieces. But the rest of the songs are pretty forgettable. The final three songs, in particular, seem to continue to fall away until I finally look up and realize the album is over. One track, though, stands out above the rest. And not because it’s the best. Instead, it’s because Fozzy is the bastard child of Stuck Mojo and shit gets really weird when Rich Ward is allowed to do whatever he wants. “Three Days in Jail” doesn’t just have some old rap metal moments, it has a shitload of them. So many, in fact, that “Three Days in Jail” stands out like a sore thumb. One moment, it feels like another Fozzy rocker; the next, it’s everything Limp Bizkit could never be. On top of that, this is the only track on the album to use the growling vocals from Do You Wanna Start a War. It’s all over the place but it’s interesting enough for a second spin.

For sure, most of you will find loads of shit wrong with these songs. Beyond the petering-out conclusion to the album, the biggest issue, for me, is the lyrics. Jesusfuckingchrist… I know Fozzy isn’t exactly the band to take serious, but things like “I’m becom– / I’m becom– / I’m becomiiiiiiiing” and “I’m your elevator” sound like sick Grier jokes. But that’s Fozzy in a nutshell: fun and carefree, with bad lyrics and subpar songwriting. But it works (if you like your metal brainless and energetic, and chockful of chair-shots to the nuts). I know a lot of you sad sonsabitches love this shit because these dudes are definitely selling albums. So, you might as well embrace it and buy Judas. Because it’s  is one of the better records in the band’s arsenal.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Century Media Records
Websites: fozzyrock.com | facebook.com/fozzyrock
Releases Worldwide: October 13th, 2017

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle
    • Thatguy

      I was going to say the band photo was beyond the reach of parody…what would I know?

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Sadly, that’s all I could think of when I first saw the review.

    • Iain Gleasure

      I kid you not, our probably 45 year old high school hospitality teacher was nicknamed Fonzie. His real name was Notarfonzo, see.

  • Alexandre Barata

    Oh if only I was 13 again!!

  • lrn2swim

    I’m become, I’m become, I’m becoming…..deaf.

  • Ferrous Beuller

    I can’t believe you actually reviewed this.

    • It’s a necessary counterweight for what comes later.

      • Thatguy

        No it’s not.

        • Trust in Steel.

          • sir_c

            you mean it can get worse?

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        What could possibly come later that makes this a necessary counterweight?

        • Stay tuned.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I always do

          • Lou Daz

            You were right.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      You’re welcome.

  • METAL OTTER

    “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Humanity with a spinal lock?”

  • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

    Second guy from the left in the band photo must be the treasurer of Flavortown.

  • Thatguy

    And I will bite. 2.5? This has no redeeming features.

    • Spread Wide & Panic

      Right? And then actually talented bands who put out solid albums get 2/5 lol – that’s the dilemma when you have 10+ different review “styles” on one site.

      • We don’t have “styles,” we have reviewers and we all have our own opinions and tastes, as it should be. Murica!

        • Spread Wide & Panic

          well yeah that’s what I meant. it does make it somewhat challenging to follow along but all good. I ignore the scores and just read the reviews (which are, to the tee, well-written).

          • If everyone followed the path outlined in your last sentence, we might be able to have nice things.

          • We don’t discuss journalism with fans!

          • Nukenado

            AMG guideline violation!

          • Stick around long enough and it will feel like we’re your dysfunctional family from out of town.

          • Nukenado

            Really? I’ve always thought of AMG as the local cult where everyone chants ominously to a cosmic deity in the sky, like the SpheriJørnicorn or something like that.

          • We’re all too churlish and pig-headed to be in a cult, no matter how kvlt. Let’s call it a new age religion instead.

          • Nukenado

            Mmm, spiritual.

        • El_Cuervo

          I ain’t from Murica! I’m from a much freer country (well, 17 countries freer according to the Human Freedom Index).

          • You have the right to get a steel boot in yer ass if you don’t pipe down, harbor boy.

          • El_Cuervo

            “Help! Help! I’m being oppressed!”

          • Iain Gleasure

            To be honest I question the findings of a Index that finds Hong Kong the freest place in the world. I mean it’s not like China decides who is allowed to run for office there or anything.

          • Dagoth_RAC

            I’ll still take an American-style voting system over Beijing-oversight, but … it is not like our Murican system did a very good job of choosing who ran or won last year. With great power comes great responsibility, but lots of Muricans seem to treat voting as a textbook example of the “narcissism of small differences”.

          • Nukenado

            Honestly, being Chinese, I’ve never found voting to my liking. We don’t get jack shit in terms of getting a say in policies either way, and I’d be way happier without PR.
            My ideal system is akin to Singapore’s but without the ethnical stuff.

      • Ironwood_Druid

        Yeah, ends up being no comparable or unifying “voice” because ostensibly this album is now just as good as Enslaved or Wolves in the Throne Room!

        • A unifying voice is not realistically obtainable when we have over 17 writers. We all have different likes and dislikes. You just need to assess how your tastes align with the various writers.

          • Ironwood_Druid

            Yeah, and I do understand that, certainly. On the other hand, plenty of journalistic outlets have a unifying editorial voice even though they have different writers with different views. Perhaps the trouble comes from the need to assign numerical scores. Publishing reviews with numerical scores sells the idea of an even rubric that implies a singular vision for what those scores translate into. This, in turn, allows a consumer to decide how one release relates to another in regard to quality if they trust the reviews. Maybe un-scored reviews would better lend themselves to the style where it is basically a collection of different voices by not implying a relative scale.

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        Nah. It’s reviewed in comparisons to the band’s previous material. Like we do with all releases. This is one of the band’s better releases. Which means a 2.5 is their best…

        • mindbleach

          But by that system, if Amaranthe kept putting out albums a tiny bit better than the last eventually they’d get a 5.0 despite being terrible?

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Don’t think it’s possible for them to put out a good album.

  • Felipe Mendes Tacla

    Stuck Mojo is one of the worst things I have ever heard.

    • Here’s Johnny

      No.

      • drug_genosh

        yes.

    • Weirwolfe

      No.

  • Guys, we’ve been hacked! Some asshole put a Fozzy where the metal’s supposed to be!

  • Absolomb

    I always put these hard rock albums on just in case this is ”the one” that’s going to change my opinion.
    Still don’t know why I try though…

    And nothing screams ” we are so far away from being original inside an already unoriginal genre that we don’t even care anymore” like that band photo.

  • The Nerd.

    YOU JUST MADE THE LIST!

  • Septic
  • At 1:52, is that Danny Devito holding the fan?!?!

  • The Unicorn

    Stuck Mojo was so great back in the day. This however, blows.

    • Leave the hall (for the former statement).

  • WhamBamSam

    Took me longer than I care to admit to realize that’s a knife the girl’s hiding behind her back on the album cover.

    • Here’s Johnny

      I’ve thought that too, everytime i see the thumbnail. I’m guessing it is on purpose.

    • Innit Bartender

      Yeah, definitely! I thought I was the only one!

    • euthanatos

      At first I thought it was a stapler (didn’t make sense), then a dildo (too risqué), then I figured it out.

  • Philip Pledger

    Correction for the first paragraph: it’s their sevenTEENTH anniversary. Not their sevenTIETH anniversary, however amusing it would be to hear this kind of music coming from a band formed two years after the close of WWII.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Not a typo…

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Hey, Sin and Bones was okay. Do You Want to Start a War, though was close to a 0.5, though. I can’t imagine this being any better.

  • Nukenado

    At least the musicians sound like they’re having fun?

  • RuySan

    “This is Fun. 2.5!” – Dr. A.N. Grier.

    Seems like Dr. A. N. Grier hates fun.

    • Grier is a joy killing gloom miser.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Yeah, I have a fucked up definition of fun.

  • Bob Lunger

    This is absolutely horrible.

  • The Akerstache
  • That band photo… Looks like half of them are trying to take a huge dump

  • AdrianoP
    • AdrianoP

      note the spot: ”if you don’t suck fingers you are half satisfied”, maybe it works also with album..sucks.

      • sir_c

        That would be the motto of a groupie: if you don’t fuck singers you are half satisfied.

  • Mollusc

    They look like crazy, fun guys.

  • Westpaceagle

    The Ayatollah of Rock n’ Rolla!
    Y2J FTW

  • Metrognome26

    Whatever your reviewer did to get assigned a Fozzy record, I’m sure he’s very sorry and has learned his lesson.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I’m not sorry for shit. And I’d do it again!

  • Sean Pruett-Jones

    I’m trying desperately to understand why and how the musicians in the background are somehow sped up and yet still perfectly in time with the music (or at least it very convincingly looks like they’re sped up), which itself certainly wasn’t sped up?????? Did they film them playing it much slower than the actual song??? Does anyone else see this?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Yeah, they filmed it with the song at half speed. Then sped it up. There’s a making-of video online.

      • ToddRob64

        I trust your knowledge of this came about while “researching” this album? As I know the good doctor isn’t watching Fozzy videos in his spare time?

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          The research was draining.

          • ToddRob64

            I loved that you mustered up a reply, excitement definitely not oozing out. This Fozzy review won’t take your spirit!!

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            It’s a struggle.

      • Sean Pruett-Jones

        Sweet, thanks man m/

    • Check out Primus’ Shake Hands with Beef video, or Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People video for other examples of the effect…

      • Sean Pruett-Jones

        man, this shits bizarre

  • De2013

    What’s wrong with me??? Was expecting to read a review of the new Judas Priest record..

  • defjam

    Do you really have to review this sort of thing?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      For science.

  • Gloomer88

    I must say, All That Remains is a killer of an album, production, songs, leads, guest leads are all very good, solid album apart from last song, still gets a spin, those cover albums are also good, they put their twist on every song, LOVE machine, where eagles dare and freewheel burning are brilliant!

  • mxtspanya

    is she holding a black dildo behind her back?