Fozzy - "Sin and Bones" (CD)
"Sin and Bones" track listing:
1. Spider In My Mouth (4:47)
2. Sandpaper (3:12)
3. Blood Happens (4:07)
4. Inside My Head (4:02)
5. Sin And Bones (3:36)
6. A Passed Life (6:55)
7. She's My Addiction (3:22)
8. Shine Forever (5:45)
9. Dark Passenger (4:23)
10. Storm The Beaches (11:34)
Reviewed by heavytothebone2 on August 17, 2012
After starting off as a cover band with alter egos and a complicated back story, Fozzy has made strides towards legitimacy. “All That Remains” was the first album with all original material, and “Chasing The Grail” found the band prying into the metal sound that would be worked upon on their latest album, “Sin and Bones.” Their fifth album is a turning point for Fozzy, as it’s being released on Century Media, their first stab at a bigger label. The publicity machine has been running hot for “Sin and Bones,” though the material doesn’t equate to the added press.
While past albums flirted with mainstream sounds, “Sin and Bones” makes a concerted effort to be accessible. First single “Sandpaper” features a guest spot from Avenged Sevenfold’s M Shadows, in what can only be deemed a flimsy excuse to get radio play. It’s not unbearable, but the song is drudgingly simplistic and M Shadows outshines Chris Jericho. Jericho, better known as a WWE superstar, has a grating high-pitched wail that is used far too often. He’s put in solid performances before, but some of the vocal lines on this album are his shoddiest work to date. Guitarist Rich Ward adds harsh screams to “Blood Remains” to alleviate Jericho’s presence.
When Jericho restrains himself, toning down the wails for a calmer stance, his vocals improve drastically. These instances can be tied to “A Passed Life” and “Storm The Beaches.” The former tune churns out a solemn opening that takes until the halfway point to transition into an anthemic rise to glory. In the tradition of the monumental “Wormwood” off their last album, “Storm The Beaches” is an 11-minute ode to World War II. It’s not as masterful as “Wormwood,” but the galloping riffs and technical guitar solos are top-notch instrumental work, eclipsing anything else on “Sin and Bones.”
Aggressive rebel-rousers of the past, like “Under Blackened Skies” and “Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Friday The 13th),” are replaced by heavy clunkers a la Metallica’s “The Black Album.” “Shine Forever” tempts with a sludgy vibe that suits the band well, though it’s a little excessive in length. The title track rolls along like a bowling ball down a lane, knocking down the pins of mediocrity surrounding it. The song is hurt, however, by the clicky double bass drums, which was an issue transferred over from “Chasing The Grail.”
The band finds time for a few soul-tugging ballads, the generic nature of which never ceases to be astounding. “Inside My Head” pulls the hand brake on the album, with its lackadaisical structure and overabundance of cheese. That is saddled alongside the symphonic “Dark Passenger,” which is heavy on the orchestration and religious undertones. A flashy shred-tastic solo does little to impart joy on the song.
If Fozzy was looking to break through to an audience who had avoided the band in the past due to the whole “pro wrestling superstar being the singer” situation, “Sin and Bones” could provide the lift to overcome that position. It’s not the band’s best album, and older fans will be disappointed with how far away the band has gone from their “Happenstance” and “All That Remains” days. There is fantastic material that can be spotted by avid listeners, but Fozzy has backed off from the potential that was all over “Chasing The Grail” for something a little more widely commercial, and ultimately, disposable.
Highs: "Storm The Beaches" is a great closer, "A Passed Life" has a great performance from Jericho, a few fast-paced tracks will find favor with listeners
Lows: Clicky drums, a far cry from some of their better work in the past, not as much fun to listen to as albums like "Happenstance" and "All That Remains"
Bottom line: Fozzy follows up "Chasing The Grail" with a slightly disappointing effort that never reaches the potential past albums built off of.
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