Fozzy - _All That Remains_
(Ash Records, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (
The Collaboration between two realms of performance, Fozzy has been together for four years now, originally founded by Stuck Mojo guitarist Rich Ward and professional wrestler Chris Jericho, both on hand for the group's debut album of original material. Fozzy's previous albums constituted mostly covers of bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, Scorpions and Motley Crue. For this and other reasons it seems like _ATR_ would be quite interesting to hear. At the very least, one hopes, entertaining._All That Remains_ is a ten-track mixture of Eighties metal riffs with more radio friendly pop music verse, perfect for strip clubs and WWE recap videos. It's not _Slippery When Wet_, but it's not entirely serious either; or it is indeed all serious, leaving me a bit nonplussed at some of the antics here. For instance, I'm nearly positive that the skeleton adorning the album cover is actually a plastic miniature placed in a sandbox, those bizarre and seemingly huge grains of sand being just one clue, but I can't tell for sure if the band would like me to conclude as much. And what the hell is with "world-renowned" rapper Bonecrusher making an appearance on track six -- was Konnan unavailable? It amounts to grating background music, but apparently he came up with his lyrics, mostly "shit and "nigga" and "it's on now!" in twenty minutes, so he's a genius. The song is completely unconvincing in its allotment of measure for metal, rap and even R&B, coexisting like a grotesque "Reality TV" program. The marketability of it all is... all there is, so onto the rest of the disc.At the forefront of Fozzy's sound is Chris Jericho (shedding his "Moongoose McQueen" persona). At times his vocals are reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne, and except for those passages that require something other than belting out the lyrics (his more sensitive approach sounds forced and uneasy), Jericho is the better singer. The production of _All That Remains_complements its more mainstream composition, giving the songs a tinnient and helpful crunch, though the guitars sometimes have a weird, digitized-sounding distortion. There's plenty of variation here from the rolling verse of "Daze of the Weak" to the memorable choruses of the title track and its follower, "The Test". But variation is just more of the problem as Fozzy attempts too much beyond their writing capabilities, which find its strongest expression in those melodic Eighties riffs (Lazarus), and not in the aforementioned clusterfuck, "It's a Lie" or the hilariously tough "Born of Anger". I'm compelled to mention that Zakk Wylde and Marty Friedman appear respectively to add some technical but uninteresting leads which Fozzy guitarist Ryan Mallam already trumps on "Nameless Faceless", easily the best track on the album.At their best, Fozzy produces a competently mild brand of heavy metal, with more desire than longevity; an album of hummable and occasionally headbangable tunes whose body is deflated by emphasis on modern rock and bogged down in star glomming.
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