Fozzy - Happenstance
Megaforce Records
Heavy Metal
11 songs (48'04)
Release year: 2002
Megaforce Records
Reviewed by Ben

I can see some of you right now going " Fozzy?!?! What the fuck? Isnt this just a joke band?" Well truth be known the story behind Fozzy is (read the liner notes for a good laugh) but the music contained herein is anything but a joke. Fozzy (which is Chris Jericho on vocals and the band backing him is Stuck Mojo) play well crafted 80's styled heavy metal and cover some of the 80's best bands such as W.A.S.P., Iron Maiden, Accept, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and The Scorpions on this, their second release.

The orignal songs on here Whitechapel 1888 (obligatory intro track) To Kill a Stranger, Happenstance, Crucify Yourself, and With The Fire are very catchy and damn good. Chris Jericho has an excellent voice with a surprisingly good high range and if he ever decides to leave wrestling to front a metal band I would support him 100%.

To Kill a Stranger the "hit single" off Happenstance, is the first real song here and I can see why it was released as a single. It has very good guitar lines with a kind of manic melody and a bridge that will catch you by surprise as it leads you into a very catchy chorus that you will find yourself singing along with in no time. ( seems alot of my reviews have songs to sing along too, maybe its just me. you should see the looks I get from people who drive by me as I'm singing my ass off to whatever cd I have in my player at the time) The drumming is tight and concise and any worries that you might have about Fozzy will quickly be dissipated in oh about three seconds. The chorus has a rich clear quality to it that makes this track very memorable and a highlight of the cd. Stranger is a unique song and Im glad Fozzy took the time to actually sit down and think up new ideas instead of playing it safe and playing a generic metal riff with a typical song structure that would quickly bore a listener and make em wonder why they bought this cd. This proves that the members of Fozzy take the band seriously and dont just shit out songs to fill out some time on the cd. Another original song is next Happenstance, another well written song that is above average but I find that the second bridge before the chours disrupts the feel and tempo of the rest of the track. The verses are sung with alot of passion and an awesome guitar lick going off in the background really sells this song. The first bridge and chorus to this song have a classic 80's American Metal feel to them and will be the part of the track you remmebre most when you think back on it.

The next to last Fozzy original Crucify Yourself is fucking awesome. It is a departure from the other originals here and is unique even moreso than Stranger. The intro is heavy as hell with very melodic twin guitar licks being played over this bottom heavy riff and reminds me of some current era Gamma Ray. The vocals are sharply contrasted here with the verses sung in an emotional tone and the chorus delivered with a brutal almost deathlike growl. Solos abound here on this my second favorite song of the cd. The final Fozzy penned number is With the Fire and is yet another heavy asskicker. The guitars on this track are much like they were on Crucify Yourself heavy with some melody and the vocals have a more modern feel to them as Jericho uses some vocal distortion here and there. Id say this is the "worst" of the Fozzy originals but by no means take that as me saying that it sucks. I really wasn't expecting the non cover songs here to be as good as they are, I bought this and the debut cd based solely on my interest in the excellent choice of songs that are covered but I am definitely satisfied with the ENTIRE cd.

The covers here are Freewheel Burning, Mob Rules, Big City Nights, L.O.V.E. Machine, Balls to the Wall, and Where Eagles Dare. Every single one of them are flawlessly executed and Jericho has no problems reaching the high notes of Freewheel Burning or the gritty street feel of Udo on Balls to the Wall. With a heavier beefier production the covers all come off excellent and little guitar ditties and licks are placed here and there to overall enhance the songs as well. Freewheel Burning is frantic and energetic, L.O.V.E. Machine drips with sex and sleaze and Where Eagles Dare has the same epic feel as Maiden intended it to have.

I cant find anything wrong with Happenstance. No song here is bad at all and this is a great listen from start to finish. The original songs are just as good as the covers if not better. This wasnt a "Hey lets make a quick buck recording subpar covers and some rushed shitty orignals and slap 'Featuring Chris Jericho' on here to sucker people into buying this" it was a well written, professionally executed record. Chris man you need to become a full time metal singer and continue to play this vein of our beloved music. I have read in magazines and interviews that Jericho is an avid fan of bands such as Helloween, Edguy, and Blind Guardian so he has the right influences going for him. I am also glad that the covers are excellent because I am sick of shitty tribute cds with only a couple of tracks tht I like and the rest are butchered by subpar bands (read: Tribute to the Beast). Ill admit I only bought this because of my interest in the covers and was pleasantly surprised at the cd overall. If you see this in your record store give it a try , you'll be glad you did.

Killing Songs :
To Kill a Stranger, Crucify Yourself, Freewheel Burning, L.O.V.E. Machine, Happenstance
Ben quoted 81 / 100
Other albums by Fozzy that we have reviewed:
Fozzy - Do You Want To Start A War reviewed by Joel and quoted 83 / 100
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