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Fozzy: All That Remains-Reloaded

Ever have that moment where a CD so totally and unexpectedly blew you completely out of the water? That happened with me here after hearing Fozzy's 2005 release All That Remains, just re-released as a 'Reloaded' edition with a bonus DVD of the band performing live at the Download Festival. Fozzy of course is the band led by WWE wrestler Chris Jericho and members of the band Stuck Mojo, who formed back in 2000 and released what was then a very gimmicky metal covers album, pretending to be this very serious classic metal band who was coming back to take over the world and playing all their old hits. Yeah, it seemed cheesey and more of a joke at the time, especially the fact that they were fronted by Jericho, one of the most talented wrestlers of his generation and an admitted heavy metal fan, but not your obvious pick as the lead singer of a band. Their debut CD featured competent covers of many metal classics, but it was clear that Jericho had a ways to go with his singing, so many fans enjoyed the project for what it was but didn't take it too seriously. Truth is, the guys were very serious about the music, and decided to drop the gimmick and be a real band, which is when things got really interesting. After the half covers, half originals Happenstance in 2002 (where the originals where far greater than the covers), the band put out All That Remains in 2005, a mature, melodic, and quite heavy album of all original material.

From the opening track "Nameless Faceless", it's apparent that Fozzy means busines. This track (and many others here for that matter) is what you wish you'd hear from Ozzy or Black Label Society these days. In fact, much of this material is like a combination of those two acts, plus a little Fear Factory and Stuck Mojo thrown in for good measure. "Nameless Faceless" has an addicting chorus, Jericho's vocals confident and powerful, while guitarists Rob 'The Duke' Ward & Ryan Wallam deliver solid crunch-o-rama and blinding solos (seriously, you'd swear this was Zack Wylde playing here) throughout this piece, featuring some killer pinch harmonics on the chorus. One of the catchiest tunes here is "Enemy", featuring heavy riffs and a chorus to die for that you will find hard to remove from your head, and "Wanderlust" is a grinding rocker that sees some amazing guitar solos from both Mallam and guest Zack Wylde. The title track is another addicting number, a metal anthem that really delivers, Jericho proving his rock star mettle and guest Rick Beato delivering a huge solo towards the end of the tune. "The Test" is a Stuck Mojo styled nu-metal, rap rocker, that also has some Korn and Fear Factory influences, which on first listen is kind of a strange piece but it grows on you. The rap trend continues on "It's a Lie", featuring guest rapper Bonecrusher, and this one is clearly the only real weak cut here, as this tune just sounds totally out of place here with the rapper giving his "I ain't taking this shit no more ho ho I ain't taking this shit no mo" schtick which gets old quickly. On "Daze of the Weak" the band returns to balls-to-the-wall metal, Ward's beefy riffs driving this crunchy number and Jericho delivering the angry verse until the melodic chorus comes into play, and "The Way I Am" is a melodic & memorable radio friendly metal tune, featuring another killer chorus, massive riffs, and a tasty guest wah-wah solo from Alter Bridge's Mark Tremonti. You get another stellar BLS styled number with "Lazarus", plenty of riffs flying about the mix as well as some impressive harmony guitars, and closing number "Born of Anger" is straight out of the Fear Factory mold, a mix of industrial, death metal, and hardcore, quite brutal actually for this band, with a surprise solo from Marty Friedman, who as always never fails to impress.

The DVD features a 30 minute performance from the 2005 Download Festival, with Fozzy playing in front of close to 20,000 rabid fans. The band was on fire, delivering mostly older tunes plus a few from this release, and the crowd was totally into it. He might have been having an off day, but Jericho's vocals are not really up to snuff at this show, so it could be that he either had a bad day or live performances really reveals his vocal limitations. He has all the charisma in the world, and his passion for the music business is definitely there, but he's often straining and off key during these songs. On the studio album however he sounds just fine, his vocals leagues ahead of where he was on the first Fozzy CD back in 2000. It all comes down to songwriting, and Chris Jericho, along with Rich Ward and the guys in Stuck Mojo, have just written some killer songs here on All That Remains. If you didn't check this album out when it was first released a few years ago, now's the time to do it. It's apparent that Mr. Jericho will have a solid career to fall back on when he decides to hang his wrestling boots up for good.

Track Listing
1. Nameless Faceless
2. Enemy
3. Wanderlust
4. All That Remains
5. The Test
6. It's A Lie 9
7. Daze Of The Weak
8. The Way I Am
9. Lazarus
10. Born Of Anger

Added: December 5th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Fozzy Website
Hits: 3016
Language: english

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