Fozzy - Chasing The Grail Review

Fozzy - Chasing The Grail
Fozzy - Chasing The Grail. Riot Entertainment

The Bottom Line

Fozzy’s most accomplished work to date, Chasing The Grail is a daring album that should finally gain the band respect in the metal community.

Pros

  • Most aggressive Fozzy album to date.
  • Phenomenal 14-minute prog epic “Wormwood.”
  • Rich Ward’s massive riffs.

Cons

  • A few missteps in the middle of the album.
  • Chris Jericho’s vocals sound processed at times.

Description

  • Released January 26th, 2010 on Riot Entertainment.
  • Fozzy’s fourth album.
  • First studio album in five years.

Guide Review - Fozzy - 'Chasing The Grail'

Since their self-titled debut in 2000, Fozzy have drawn a lot of attention to itself, mostly due to WWE wrestler Chris Jericho’s involvement. Starting out as a cover band, putting their own spin on classic Ozzy, Scorpions, and Iron Maiden material, the band eventually started to write their own tunes.

This culminated in an entire album of original songs with 2005’s All That Remains. While skirting with greatness on All That Remains, Fozzy completely come into their own on Chasing The Grail, displaying a new-found aggression that sits side-by-side with an adventurous edge.

While Fozzy have had a few heavy numbers in the past, there haven’t been as many metal thrashers as there are on Chasing The Grail. “Under Blackened Skies” is an auspicious opener, a thrilling spectacle that gets the blood flowing.

“Pray For Blood” brings forth a death metal vibe, with blast beats and harsh vocals, while “Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Friday The 13th)” is a pummeling head banger tailor-made for the mosh pits.

While All That Remains had variety in the form of several well-known guest musicians and an attempt at a mainstream sound, Chasing The Grail keeps things low-key, save for a solo by Annihilator’s Jeff Waters on the groovy “Martyr No More.” A few tracks broaden the band’s musical scope; some work well (the Gothic-sounding “Revival”) and others fall flat on their face (the cheesy ballad “Broken Soul”).

The shining achievement on the album is the 14-minute prog masterpiece “Wormwood,” a song straight out of the Dream Theater playbook. Going through countless tempo changes and musical passages, the closing track is Fozzy’s most stunning work to date. Jericho’s soulful vocal performance is subtle and masterful; it’s a sharp contrast to the studio enhancing that is done to his soaring vocals on a few of the other tracks.

If there is one thing that guitarist Rich Ward is good at, it’s churning out a steady stream of meaty riffs. Every song has at least one riff with the power of a jet engine, blowing the listener back with full force. Original drummer Frank Fontsere returns with a bang, as the double bass work is flawless and his varied fills keep the album interesting the whole way through.

Chasing The Grail could have been a generic metal album that coasted by on the name of Jericho and Ward alone, but Fozzy doesn’t take the easy way out. If there were any doubts before that Fozzy were nothing more than a joke band, Chasing The Grail shatters them to pieces. At 65 minutes, it does run a little long, and a few of the tracks take risks that don’t ultimately pay off, but Chasing The Grail is the first Fozzy album that steers them towards discovering their own individual identity.