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The album that many have waited five long years for, "America's most entertaining band" Fozzy are back on the scene with fourth full length release, 'Chasing The Grail'. And what a heavily groovy, melodically infectious, rocking beast of an album it is too. As all will surely know, Fozzy are the one-time mock band featuring Stuck Mojo axeman Rich Ward and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho in their lineup who, in 2004, decided to abandon their jokey essence and become a more serious act. Undoubtedly a wise move and 'Chasing The Grail' consolidates such a decision through a series of skilfully composed retro/contemporary rock/metal tunes that contain more groove than an old piece of prog vinyl. Actually, mentioning progressive music, the album takes an unexpected and sudden turn with closing track 'Wormwood', a near-fourteen minute prog-rock epic with music composed by Mike Martin (who also performed all guitars on the song) to the lyrics of Jericho, not only a departure musically for the band, but the first Fozzy track not to be written by Ward. In one sense, it doesn't fit the general groovier rock vibe of the all the preceding music but, that said, it showcases a different dimension of the band and, being a genre of music which I've always had an affinity, I personally think the contrast works well. The main body of the album, constituted by Ward's music and Jericho's verse, perhaps reinforces their self-labelled status as "America's most entertaining band", albeit for different reasons to which they originally announced such a tagline. They set out to entertain through some unpretentious, no-nonsense catchy rock/metal tunes, and entertaining it most certainly is. Jericho, who has already proved himself more than just a world champion wrestler with fine performances on previous Fozzy releases, sings his boots off with the best vocals I've ever heard from the man. If you want a point of comparison, then an un-fucked up, sober and more in-tune Ozzy Osbourne would be a fairly accurate description. The production's also flawless, by Ward's own hand; years spent working with the likes of skilled knob twiddlers such Andy Sneap and Devin Townsend has certainly paid off and comes to fruition on 'Chasing the Grail' - every instrument, and Jericho's vocals, has been recorded with clarity and fully resonant sonics that does justice to the heavy groove that drives most songs. Go buy this now metal fans!
Riot Entertainment
Review by Mark Holmes
15th March 2010
1) Under Blackened Skies
2) Martyr No More
3) Grail
4) Broken Soul
5) Let The Madness Begin
6) Pray For Blood
7) New Day's Dawn
8) God Pounds His Nails
9) Watch Me Shine
10) Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Friday the 13)
11) Revival
12) Wormwood
"...a heavily groovy, melodically infectious, rocking beast of an album..."