Gospel Metal? Who knows?

“Chasing the Grail” kicks off with heavy, fast double peddling drums and shredding guitar riffs, blasting us into an awesome intro for this metal album. The vocals of Chris Jericho cuts through this with almost a classic metal sound, think Ozzy, Maiden, Priest and you’ll have a good idea.

I can’t quite make out whether this is a gospel album or not. Some of the track titles and lyrics definitely point that way. However, we shall ignore this possibility as we don’t want this to influence our review. “Chasing the Grail” is a metal album, albeit not quite Slayer. Fozzy used to be known as a cover band, Fozzy Osborne, after the prince of darkness himself. This is their fourth album, however their first two albums were actually covers of bands such as Dio, Sabbath, Priest, etc.

“Martyr no More” has a nice groovy Pantera sound with a slight Def Leppard sound, whilst the Leppard sound comes through more in “Grail”, but as soon as you relax, the heavy guitar riffs by Rich Ward, grabs you by your ears and yanks you back into the mosh pit.

“Broken Soul” is a slow number, and I don’t like it. It reminds me too much of 80’s hair metal. There is too much Bon Jovi in this song. But as soon as I think I’m going to give up on this album, they blast straight into a great heavy track. “Let the Madness Begin” was taken from Ozzy’s opening line at his gigs, and has a strong Sabbath influence.

“Pray for Blood” is nice and heavy, fast drums and heavy guitars and bass. Jericho has stopped sounding like an 80’s hair metal vocalist on this song and sounds more like a metal frontman. This is an awesome track and it even sounds like Zakk Wylde or Tony Iommi is playing. Fozzy changes their sound again in “New Days Dawn” which is a bit slower and almost like one of Machine Head’s bad tracks.

“Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Friday the 13th)” may as well be a Maiden track. Great track, but I may as well be listening to “Two Minutes to Midnight”.

“Wormwood” is a 14 minute epic and according to the sleeve notes, influenced by the book of Revelations. Gospel Metal? Who knows? Great guitar work and awesome drumming at the intro, but the lyrics are too heavy for me.

There is an ongoing problem with this record. One minute we delve into the darkness of heavy groovy metal, and then we are ejected with slower rock sound, only to be pulled back into the mosh pit again. It could almost be a compilation album. One moment we have Sabbath, then Machine Head or Maiden, only to be disappointed Bon Jovi on the next track.

Fozzy are currently touring the UK, playing in Glasgow (13/05/2010), Nottingham (14/05/2010) and two shows on Saturday 15/05/2010 at London’s Relentless Garage.