Now long past the point of being a comical, one-off heavy metal cover band, WWE's Chris Jericho & Stuck Mojo's Rich Ward have taken Fozzy to the next level, with a string of albums containing all-original material and tours around the world under their belt, their creation is now finally being taken seriously by fans. Do You Want to Start a War is their sixth studio album, and follows up the well received Sin and Bones from 2012. Joining in on the fun here are bandmates Billy Grey (guitar), Paul Di Leo (bass), and Frank Fontsere (drums).
The formula of the last few albums hasn't changed all that much, with Fozzy once again mixing modern metal attitude with classic metal elements. Both the title track and "Bad Tattoo" hit hard, with Ward & Grey's thick riffing providing the foundation for Jericho's forceful vocal delivery. Each one heavy & memorable, and a great start to this very solid album. The single "Lights Go Out" contains a whopper of a heavy riff and a catchy, anthemic chorus driven home by Jericho. The first ballad on the album comes in the form of "Die With You", a hook filled number that should be a hit with the ladies, as Jericho & Ward lay down some soaring vocal harmonies together. Steel Panther's Michael Starr guests on second vocal on the upbeat "Tonite", while "Brides of Fire" delivers some of the albums heaviest riffs & shredding guitar work, Ward's death metal growls playing off Jericho's melodic metal screams perfectly. The band slows down for the doom meets stoner vibe of "One Crazed Anarchist", another heavy yet catchy track that again sees an appearance from Ward's extreme vocals. "Unstoppable" has more of a power/prog metal feel, and features Christie Cook in a duet with Jericho that turns into quite an engaging, catchy number.
The band mixes gothic rock, pop, and death metal on the excellent "Scarecrow", another tune with some stellar guitar work from the Ward/Grey duo. "No Good Way" features propulsive rhythms underneath some thick riffs, a somber lyric dealing with the topic of suicide that Jericho adds just the right tone to. That brings us to the surprisingly delightful cover of ABBA's "SOS", a really fun romp through this pop classic, with Jericho's charming vocals floating over big riffs, piano, synths, and bombastic drum work. It's a complete blast and one of the better covers I've heard in some time. Do You Wanna Start a War ends with the crunchy "Witchery", a powerful track that throws power metal, extreme metal, and loads of melody at the listener, as Ward stabs his growls around Jericho's high pitched wailing and a boatload of riffs entices the listener at every moment.
Time will tell if Do You Wanna Start a War is finally the album that catapults Fozzy as serious players on the heavy metal scene, but it's certainly another in a very strong line of fun releases from them that shows how capable they are at creating heavy & melodic music that draws in both modern & classic metal elements. Judging by the early sales numbers of the new CD, it seems that the metal community is starting to take notice.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1) Do You Wanna Start a War
2) Bad Tattoo
3) Lights Go Out
4) Die With You
6) Brides of Fire
7) One Crazed Anarchist
10) No Good Way