Fozzy, heavy metal curio or bona fide band? The brainchild of Rich Ward and Chris Jericho, they’ve spent the past decade shaping the band and moulding it into what we see and hear now through the release of their forthcoming album “Sin and Bones”.
Truth be told, “Sin and Bones” is Fozzy’s sixth studio album (not counting All That Remains Reloaded in 2008) and they are most definitely a bona fide metal band . They’ve removed all vestiges of the cover band they originally appeared as in 2000 and have forged on to become a solid metal outfit.
Damned with faint praise you may say, but “Sin and Bones” is pretty much that in a nutshell. It’s a solid metal album with a little bit of everything for everyone but that may be the problem. It’s trying to be all things to everyone. There’s not one particular genre of metal I would say Fozzy sit in, rather the tracks on the album pull across multiple styles. Never has it been more apt to call a band a “heavy metal band” than Fozzy.
The album does start off very promisingly with Spider in my Mouth, pulling us in with a spooky music box intro complete with dischordant child singing to give you the heebie jeebies before it kicks into some great riffage. It’s good and heavy with a great pace to it, coupled with a cool staccato groove and very listenable chorus.
First single, Sandpaper, complete with guest vocals from Avenged Sevenfold’s M Shadows comes in next with a hard rock kick. It’s no surprise this was picked as the first single. It’s tailor-made for radio play, short, sharp and to the point. Blood Happens is very much the antithesis of this track, coming in with power-metal tinged heaviness that’s got a bit of an old school metal feel to it.
Inside My Head pulls on the power ballad strings with Chris Jericho sounding a lot like Joe Elliott, in fact the track itself reminds me of early Def Leppard before we return to the thumping metal with the title track Sin and Bones. Fitting of being the title track, it, like Spider in my Mouth, has some great riffage throughout and is sure to be a crowd pleaser live. Probably the best song on the album to my ears.
A Passed Life takes us into AOR territory and is a right slow burner. It has some really nice haunting guitar undertones and once again calls to mind Def Leppard and Jericho’s vocal similarities to Joe Elliott with this style of song. The tail end of the song brings it to a crescendo with some thumping riffage and drum work.
She’s My Addiction looks nailed on to be the follow up single to Sandpaper. It’s a bouncing commercial rock track with a chorus that screams sing-a-long. There’s shades of blues, shades of rock and roll coming through on this one complete with some guest solo work from Motorhead’s very own Phil Campbell.
Getting towards the end of the album, Shine Forever has a Sabbath come BLS feel to it with some heavy grooved riffs interspersed with melancholic verse work and soaring chorus vocals. Dark Passenger has more of a progressive feel behind it with keys put to good use before it kicks in with evil intent towards the end of the track.
The final track on the album I’m really not sure quite what to make of. Storm the Beaches is quite obviously an attempt to convey the horrors of the Normandy landings from the perspective of a young soldier but there’s a couple of things that don’t quite sit right in my ears. Jericho tries his best to inject venom, anger, fear and emotion into the vocals but his voice, good though it is, just doesn’t have enough gravitas or experience in it for a song of this size. It’s just not big enough unfortunately. The lyrics as well are bordering on the realms of parody with such lines as “I’ll take my shot and it will arrive when I splatter their rotting brains” or “the sea it swallows my vomit, I puke up over the side, spews out like a comet”. Perhaps I’m being overly critical here, or focusing too much on one track, but it felt so out of place against the tracks that had come before it that it spoiled the overall enjoyment of the album a little.
Storm the Beaches aside, the album has some great tracks and continues nicely from where Fozzy last left off and is a solid follow up to 2010’s Chasing The Grail.
“Sin and Bones” is due for release under Century Media Records on August 13th as a Ltd. Digipak, CD and Digital Download
1. Spider in My Mouth
3. Blood Happens
4. Inside My Head
5. Sin and Bones
6. A Passed Life
7. She’s My Addiction
8. Shine Forever
9. Dark Passenger
10. Storm the Beaches
Chris Jericho – lead vocals
Rich Ward – lead guitar / vocals
Billy Grey – guitar
Paul Di Leo – bass
Frank Fontsere – drums