FOZZY is the group of WWE superstar, Chris Irvine (better known as Chris Jericho). The man is a big Metal fan and I can even remember seeing him a while in a well known Metal magazine giving his top 10 lists from each year of the 90s and he was citing names like DREAM THEATER and NEVERMORE (This is was done from memory, so the details may be a bit off). So you can tell the man has his heart into this. When FOZZY first started, there was an entire backstory to FOZZY, about how they were stuck on some island ever since the early 80s and wrote all of the hits that bands like ACCEPT, IRON MAIDEN, etc became famous on. Also, Jericho had an alternate persona called Mongoose McQueen, which was arrogant, brash and had an ego the size of Canada. It should have worked perfectly. Also amongst the ranks of FOZZY is Rich Ward (STUCK MOJO), the chief songwriter.
The WWE, to no oneís surprise, promoted FOZZY on their television broadcasts, but one little thing probably stuck out like a sore thumb. Jerichoís vocals were borderline horrid live and there were a LOT of comments about the simple fact that, live, he couldnít pull it off. Thatís one of the reasons why I was reluctant to pick up their work. The other reason was that Chris Jericho is a wrestler, albeit an extremely talented one. I normally am sceptical when someone in a certain branch of entertainment decides to go off in another direction. So I never bothered to check FOZZY out.
I got this as a promo and my first reaction was one of interest. I had no expectations, no presumptions, nothing of that type. So I just popped this into my CD player and just listened. And wondered if this was the same Chris Jericho I saw all those times on WWE television not being able to sing.
I will not beat around the bush. This is one catchy, well written, well performed Heavy Metal album led by a frontman that has a great deal of phrasing and emotion in his singing, that more than makes up for the lack of a wide range. The music just rules with amazingly bad-ass riffs, hooks galore, catchy choruses and a fun mood to the entire album. Jericho is a pretty good singer on the CD. Heís no Bruce Dickinson, but he can hold his own. Yea, FOZZY released a record that, if there was ANY justice within the music industry, would burn up the mainstream charts. The music is heavy, catchy, melodic, powerful and fun. Whatís not to like? The songs all are unique, something that seems to be lacking in a LOT of releases these days and it makes for a memorable near 50 minutes with pure Heavy Metal.
There are also a few guests on this album. Zakk Wylde, Mark Tremonti and Marty Friedman all contribute guest solos, which is a nice touch. Think about who those men have played for and realize that the only reason why they played on this album is because it just plain rules.
This is pretty amusing for me. A wrestler started a side project and cranked out one of the best damn releases Iíve heard in ages, yet it wonít be taken seriously because heís a wrestler. This album is full of amazing songs and in the end, thatís what counts.
Checkout out tips: ďAll That RemainsĒ and ďItís A LieĒ are the best songs on the album. (Online March 28, 2005)