Release Date: October 13, 2017
So, I will freely admit that when Fozzy made their debut, I was pretty sure it was a joke. I was more than a little sad that Rich Ward was involved. The band persisted though and damn if they didn’t turn out to be a really good band. Chris Jericho has become an excellent vocalist and there is no denying that the songs are catchy as hell at this point. That’s all not to distract from the fact that they can deliver the goods live. Judas, the band’s sixth album, continues in the vein of modern hard music (think Disturbed, All That Remains, and Sevendust) that the band started to move towards on Sin and Bones.
Like all good albums, the tracklist here is pretty much exactly right. Judas plays like a full-length record that is meant to take you on an emotional journey, an idea sadly lost on many artists/producers/labels these days. The band put their best foot forward by giving us the title track first. “Judas” is a big arena rocker with just enough of a hint of Stuck Mojo’s bounce to make old school fans smile. The bounce is driven along by Jericho’s spot on vocals, cementing the idea that he is the real deal. Everything about this song makes you want to raise your fist and bob your head along (even if you are in your car driving down the interstate and people gawk at you while passing….not that I would know, I’m just assuming).
“Painless” is another highlight in my opinion. It’s a little darker than most of the album but it’s dark atmosphere and down tempo feel make the chorus really, really shine. Jericho’s voice soars over top of the pummeling rhythm section. Oddly, they manage to make the song feel more like thankfulness than lament. “Burn Me Out” brings some disco rhythms to the party and, for a moment, allows the electronics to share the stage more prominently. It’s a very radio-oriented song but it’s also really excellent. “Weight of the World” is similar in style, but it doesn’t quite get to the top of the mountain like “Burn Me Out” does. If that’s not your thing, Fozzy give you a straight up metal tune, “Wolves At Bay” to make up for it.
Overall, it’s really impressive just how much this band has evolved over the years. Judas isn’t a perfect album, but the band manage to perfect their niche while, at the same time, taking enough risks to keep their sound from getting stale. If you have enjoyed their last few albums, you will certainly like this one. Also, if you listen to rock radio regularly then you should get out there and buy this album because you’ll love it.
Reviewed by mark1340