Type: CD Company: Century Media Release: 2017 Genre: Hard Rock Reviewer: Eric Compton Published: 10/5/2017
A misdirection for the band and a failed pop experiment
Jericho already warned us that this album would be like Metallica and Journey having a bastard child. I had braced for impact on what I was assuming could be the band's weakest venture to date and a calculated misdirection from what we have grown to love about Fozzy. It's interesting to see the band go to the album's first two songs as leadoff singles--opener "Judas" and "Drinking with Jesus". With the whole album in front of me now, I completely understand that decision. These two songs are a portion of only a handful of satisfactory cuts. The rest...well let's just sit this record sideways and stack it with the other Fozzy albums as the bastard child it really is.
With 'Judas', Rich Ward plays backseat driver to what is essentially a pop record. Fozzy looks more like Twenty One Pilots than Ozzy. The album is saturated with club-like beats, keyboards and vocal effects. "Weight of my World" best represents what you'll find for the record--dance styled percussion, tons of electronic beeps and buzzes (what are we ultimately adding up to?) and vocal effects that force the chorus into overproduced nonsense. It's songs like "Painless" that drain the band's lively energy with a mechanical sound that moves them further and further away from the traditional landscape. Clearly that is the point and perhaps Fozzy feels this is best considering big tours, more mainstream acceptance, Jericho's pop-culture feel, etc.
I've enjoyed the band's discography thus far and the numerous other projects that these musicians are involved in. I'm not dismissing Fozzy with their own version of career downs like 'Shadowlife' (Dokken), 'Generation Swine' (Motley Crue), 'Turbo' (Judas Priest) and other failed efforts to rebrand for wider appeal. Ward and Jericho are smart, make wise business decisions and will point to this album years down the road as a failed experiment. Watch it happen.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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