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Album Reviews : Fozzy – Chasing the Grail

By on April 8, 2010

2241804Never have I heard such a hit and miss album. ‘Chasing The Grail’, the fourth album by wrestler-fronted Fozzy is somewhat of a confused piece, wandering aimlessly between classic heavy metal and watery pop rock, for the most part anyway.

I’ll start with the decent. Musically, tracks like “Under Blackened Skies” and “Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Friday the 13th)” are pretty solid heavy metal, ending up somewhere between Anthrax and Ozzy Osbourne. Sure they may not be very memorable, but they do have some great melodies that will keep you appeased at the time. Vocally, thanks to some obvious effects and layering, Chris Jericho’s vocals sound very close to Ozzy at times, while his lower vocals have a decent level of rock’n’roll gruff.

Now for the bad, and oh it’s bad. “Broken Soul” is fucking horrible, unless for some bizarre reason you love outdated teenage pop rock, aka Good Charlotte. The bizarre soft vocals in “New Day’s Dawn” confuse me. What he is really going for is completely lost on me. The effects on Jericho’s vocals go too far at times, to the extent where it’s sounding like blatant out-of-place auto tune. But ignoring all of that, the ultimate problem is that there is a lack of consistency within songs. Overly poppy, melodic choruses find themselves in the middle of heavy sections, and occasional electronic tidbits appear out of nowhere. In the end, several tracks sound like a bunch of ideas combined into a 4 minute track, with no real consideration of how the different segments complement each other.

By half way through the album, you know pretty much what to expect from the rest. That is until you hit “Wormwood”, a 14 minute progressive metal epic. Why does this track exist on here? I really have no clue; it certainly doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album. [edit: I’ve since been told that the track was written by Mike Martin, who is no longer in the band. That makes a bit more sense.]  Acoustic guitars, sampling, epic power-metal-esque vocals, death metal growls, Dream Theater-inspired riffs, keyboards, guitar solos; the song has the whole box and dice. While it is really everything you would expect from a standard ‘progressive metal’ song, and nothing overly inventive or creatively written, it’s surprisingly well executed.

‘Chasing The Grail’ is as inconsistent as albums come. It’s unbalanced and full of bits that shouldn’t be where they are. There are some clear ideas that never reach their potential for one reason or another, other parts lacking true inspiration. The only things that save this album are some decent heavy metal sections that may be lacking in energy and balls but somehow still manage to be enjoyable, and some decent vocals.  5/10

Band: Fozzy
Album: Chasing The Grail
Year: 2010
Genre: heavy metal/rock
Origin: USA
Label: Riot! Entertainment
http://www.myspace.com/fozzytour

Track listing:
1. Under Blackened Skies
2. Martyr No More
3. Grail
4. Broken Soul
5. Let the Madness Begin
6. Pray For Blood <- Reviewers choice
7. New Day’s Dawn
8. God Pounds His Nails
9. Watch Me Shine
10. Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Friday the 13th)
11. Revival
12. Wormwood

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.