FOZZY – JUDAS
Release date: 13 October 2017
Label: Century Media
I would love to introduce this album with indulgent, fond reflections of Fozzy live in Australia and, perhaps subconsciously, I imagine them touring with Metallica down under, when the realisation slaps me like solo from The Duke. I have been listening, considering and subliminally pondering.…Is this Fozzy’s Black Album?
Now I don’t know that and time will tell but, for now….THIS IS HUGE. This is the album that will launch Fozzy into an unprecedented period of mass celebration and certainly the one that will inspire and drive the band…forever. Not to be wantonly frivolous with their previous works, but this is the benchmark recording that marks a supremely significant period for Fozzy, and the individual musicians.
It would appear to an outsider that the group have together amassed such a vastly supreme level of experience, skill and knowledge that they have managed to create the perfect tracks, perfectly sequenced, on the perfect collection and plotted its release for exactly the right time.
Make no mistake…this is more significant, with more potential than my words can accurately portray.
The title track Judas has already opened a thoroughfare for new fans to join the fold. It has brought about welcome to a new breed of supporter, and I believe that the band know exactly what they have created with the entire collection. The metaphorical road paved for their mass of new aficionados, could have been a simple highway based on this one song. Fortunately there is sufficient individual hits on this album to constitute a 20 lane interstate. And they are going to need such a path to welcome the masses who will jump aboard the Fozzy bus that is bound for said glory.
And while we are mouths agape in awe we must reflect that Judas is a track with no gilding of the lily, sans formal solos and embellishments. The title track created by Rich Ward and Johnny Anders is musically, lyrically and conceptually, nothing short of raw and inspired gold. A song that we can all identify with and attribute to people or events in our own lives, just as Chris Jericho surely does as evince by his emotive delivery.
Drinking With Jesus has also been released as a single and has proved to further fuel excitement among listeners both old and new. A superbly appealing and sensational track with magnificently malevolent guitar accompaniment throughout. Frank Fontsere is a furious and phenomenal drummer so the reverberation from final cymbal strike completes the track poetically, as though a gasp for air when all has been spent.
Wordsworth Way introduces in the style of an 80’s metal ballad before assuming a more somber, yet powerful direction, ebbing and flowing to and fro both musically and lyrically. A perfectly fitted solo breaches the homogenisation brilliantly and add that extra punch to craft a sure fan favorite.
How the hell Fozzy decided on a first single is beyond my comprehension, because there are so many clear choices for consideration.
Three Days In Jail struts into your life with all the front on a seasoned inmate on first day back for the big bitch and the phat rap accompaniment give both a superb style and all the street cred required for survival. Sensationally entwined styles, straight from the urban sprawl of wherever you find grimiest, grungiest and worthy of such a sensational track.
Elevator takes the excitement to a whole new level with its hooks a plenty and attitude of ‘like it or not you’re coming with me’. The multi-tiered marvel literally has something for everyone and carries you along, helpless to resist. When you listen closely, there are just so many elements that are appealing, but merged together they form a finely crafted and appealing song. This is true of the entire collection. Diverse, powerful, unprecedented and with unlimited appeal.
This collection is so appealing that if we had a pre-release sample of Running With the Bulls and Capsized together, the cries of ecstatic anticipation would be as loud and clear as is the case with the current singles. Perhaps even more, because the two together are a clear illustration of how Fozzy have managed to rally their might, enhance their strengths, and develop their music into a new, powerful and unbelievably exciting entity. The future literally in their hands and the skies, no longer the limit. This album will launch Fozzy and fans alike, beyond the stratosphere.
It is very rare that an album creates such excitement within that I cannot contain my enthusiasm. I literally cannot wait for the world to hear this powerful, soaring behemoth of raw musical appeal.
A crowd truly worthy of the mighty metal legends Accept, line the streets outside 170 Russell in Melbourne, some admittedly with Balls To The Wall, but most squirming and fidgeting in excited anticipation.
With the meet and greets squared away and the poster wielding faithful forming the first group to hit the barrier, a sense of satisfaction presents. Not to be wantonly self-indulgent or claim ‘true fan’ status, solely aware of the true might of Accept, but there is a distinct feeling of fulfillment when so many have arrived early to a gig, determined to make the most of such an august occasion.
None more pleased to see an already seething mass before them than openers Damnation Day. Pumped and ready to warm up the willing, three mild mannered and clean cut gentlemen take to the stage. Yes, you read that correctly. A certain satisfaction warms a metal heart when such people who would be perfectly placed clad in a three piece at a boardroom meeting, live their daily lives in clandestine cloaking, with all about them none the wiser that their veins run thick with heavy metal. And of course Mark out front with a fine head of mosh ready locks, suited perfectly to the metal persona. But that’s where the theatrics end. This tremendous group which was founded by brothers Mark Kennedy and Dean Kennedy (drums), accompanied by Jon King (Lead guitar), are truly a no nonsense and honest metal band. Luis Eguren adds a welcome added dimension with his stellar Bass performance holding the rhythm firmly in place. Now these lads are no strangers to Accept crowds having supported the Teutonic Terror on the Scandinavian and European leg of the BLIND RAGE TOUR, 2014, before HUGE crowds in matching sized venues.
A melodic metal symphony adorns the crowd with opener Dissecting The Soul laying waste to the doubting inclinations to those unfamiliar with the groups massive sound. There is simply no requirement for jumping and stage theatrics for these guys, who prefer to deliver their polished products as though performing just for you. Speaking of polished products, yes Mark we know where the merch desk is. Good thing he did remind us though. After a set littered with killer tracks Colours of the Darkness, The Witness, Carried Above The Sun
and World Awakens (the latter being the title track from their new album which is available at a merchandise desk near you at a very reasonable price….there ya go Mark) we move on to the stage rearrangements. With Marks soaring, ripping, shredding metal vocals still ringing in the ears, accompanied by the polished performance from the group as a whole, one cannot but smile at the audible murmurings from pockets of the crowd along the lines of “they were effing awesome” and “how come I’ve never seen them before?”. Well, now you know, get out there and give these home grown Melbourne guys the support they deserve. Just a brilliant way to warm up for the mighty ones. Bravura.
Now, I take some liberty in offering humble thanks on behalf of the Melbourne crowd to Accept and their crew, for going to the logistical difficulty and expense of flying out as much of their full stage adornments, as is humanly possible. This was surely no easy feat and the results were more than appreciated. A small stage, but all clad in Accept stage decoration it seemed to grow in stature and importance.
Importance is now a word I use lightly around the likes of Accept. To this moment I remain in abstract disbelief that, having only toured Australia for the very first time in 2014, have returned for a single Oz show in Melbourne while touring with their new album, The Rise Of Chaos. With a lineage dating back to the 1960’s and a formal beginning in 1976 with Wolf Hoffmann shredding into the annals of metal history, any opportunity to watch such legends at work is truly an honor and a privilege.
The crowd erupts as we catch our first glimpse of Peter Baltes, Wolf Hoffmann, Mark Tornillo and for the first time in Australia with Accept, Uwe Lulis and Christopher Williams. What better additions to the group could possibly have been found. Perfect and natural fit. Very unusual for a band of this history and lineage, but perfect none the less.
What more powerful way to scoop up and truly own a crowd than a soaring rendition of Die By The Sword from the tours namesake recording. Mark Tornillo is one of those unique vocalists who pours every ounce of his being into every note and, without fail, each time you see him perform is more astounding than the last. A crowd favorite in Stalingrad, title track from their 2012 album, raises the enthusiasm even further as mouths agape among the first timers, indicate a bearing of witness to the true metal heritage laid forth.
Mark’s investment in Koolaide is evident as his emotive performance shrieks and howls from every pore. Amazing stuff.
No Regrets introduces the first of many sensational displays of dueling guitars between Wolf and Peter, then Uwe and Wolf, then Wolf and Peter, but it never, ever gets old. Just utter perfection in harmonic camaraderie. Mark even gets a turn, albeit on air guitar, but he does it so very well.
I have been pondering Analogue Man long and hard, whilst enjoying the track, but as Mark completes the track with a “true that”, I can’t help but agree. Thank the metal gods he is, because no digital trickery could possibly replicate his raw, powerful and utterly phenomenal vocal delivery.
Wolf performs some solo classical serenades, before allowing his guitar to reveal its true screeching metal self, our magnificent maestro and aficionado of all that is music, displays just a little of his mastery as a true contemporary composer.
A few minor mic issues did not get the better of Mark. A frequency problem on face value, but lets face it Mark, the mic is mere metal and plastic and no match for your vocal might.
I will leave the set list separate so you that were present, can relive with a healthy mix of reverence and glee. Also for those who missed such a magnificent show, stuffed and heaving with metal magnificence, you can read the track listing and despair. I mean no ill will, however I saw and am changed forever. A final four of Fast as a Shark, Metal Heart (no dear, Mark was not singing Big Giraffe) Teutonic Terror and, last but by no means least, Balls To The Wall, completed this show brilliantly.
A reverent crowd shuffled back onto Russell Street, some with lapses into Australian vernacular descriptive of delighted disbelief, but most content to bask in the afterglow of true German heavy metal.
Not a big show for the lads, but all that 170 could hold, they delivered as though playing for a gargantuan hoard. Not an ounce of showmanship and celebration left in the wings, not a shred of enthusiastic celebration left elsewhere on tour. Playing for one or playing for many, this is Accept, and they will deliver. Bow your heads and raise your horns in thanks. We were briefly, but oh so powerfully, blessed with a visit from the Teutonic terror. This was beyond a concert and light years from seeing a band. Like 2014 in Australia and every Accept show around the world, this was a benchmark privilege in our lives, carved with sharpened guitar into the metal plaque that bears our life’s highlights.
Full Gallery Up Soon
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED ROGER BROOKS
RISE OF AVERNUS
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED JOSE SANCHEZ
FOZZY have announced that their seventh studio album Judas will arrive on October 13th 2017 via Century Media.
FOZZY have already experienced incredible success with the “Judas” single. The official music video has accumulated almost 9 million views in just a few months, and the song hit No. 1 on iTunes charts in eight countries. Vocalist Chris Jericho went to bat for the single, eventually convincing Century Media to release “Judas” as the new album’s flagship cut.After their hugest charting (#54 on the Billboard 200) and most successful record, 2014’s “Do You Wanna Start A War” and subsequent tour finished at the end of 2015, the band began focusing on taking their future to a new level creatively and enlisted critically acclaimed song writer Johnny Andrews to produce the new record. With Andrews, Ward and Jericho (the team who created FOZZY‘s highest charting single “Lights Go Out”) at the helm, FOZZY spent 2016 crafting their new masterpiece for a spring 2017 release.
“After the huge success of the Do You Wanna Start A War record and the tour that followed that saw us share the stage with such incredible bands as Kiss, Slash & Myles Kennedy, BuckCherry and Theory Of A Deadman, we decided to take 2016 off to recharge and write songs. But now WE’RE BACK with our best album EEEVVVEEERRR and are so excited to destroy stages all across the globe again! There is nothing like playing FOZZY rock n roll to our amazing friends worldwide and watching you guys smile, laugh and have a blast…after all, isn’t that what rock n roll is all about? We believe that there’s only three things you can count on in life: death, taxes and the fact that if you come to a FOZZY show, you are GOING to have a great time!! That’s the FOZZY money back guarantee...”- Chris Jericho.
Chris Jericho talks about JUDAS the album exclusively for Australia:
The success of the single Judas is mindblowing!
‘’I think it’s the right song at the right place at the right time. I think there’s been a lot of goodwill towards Fozzy over the years with a slow and steady build. And I think that I had such a huge year last year in 2016 in the WWE that a lot of people wanted to check out why I left the WWE to go to Fozzy and they gave us a chance when they hadn’t in the past. And as a result, heard this song Judas, which is our best song. So, hooky, so heavy, so dark the lyrics are very dark. Everyone can relate to those lyrics. I think like I said it’s just a great piece of timing and that so many people check out the band that never had in the past. And then hearing this amazing song with these lyrics that everybody can relate to ‘’Everyone I’ve Ever Loved I’ve Pushed Them All Away’’
“It’s about making the wrong decision knowing that you’re making the wrong decision listening to the Judas in your mind and betraying yourself. So, I think all those things combined with a killer video, a great team, the return of Paul DiLeo. All of these things really, just all kind of compounded at the right time to create this perfect storm of Judas which is now a top 20 billboard which is awesome.’’
What can we expect from Judas the album.
“Well I mean if you like Judas the song, there was actually a big debate with the record company as to what the first single should be. There’s so many great songs on this I think if this was like 1987 in the days of Hysteria and Appetite for Destruction when you saw a band that had five or six singles. This is that type of record. There was a lot of argument about whether Painless should be the single or Elevator or Weight Of My World and now Drinkin’ With Jesus is in contention so there’s a lot of great songs on the record. It’s very much a more compact album. It’s very much more about the songs and very much, is this song a single if it’s not if it doesn’t have a single potential let’s not even put it on the record so we have 11 singles on this record which is the way we wanted. It took a long time to get it right. We didn’t even record a couple of songs that we wrote for it, they just weren’t right. So these are the best 11 songs that we that we have, all of them could be hits. And as we’ve seen with Judas I think this record is going to take us to a completely different level, all across the board.”
The writing process is a lot different this time around
“Before it was always Rich who wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics. We worked with Johnny Andrews last record for lights go out which was our biggest song to date and we decided we wanted to use an outside producer for this record. You know like Kiss with Bob Ezrin or Metallica with Bob Rock. Not that we’re those bands but it’s the same vibe that you want to do something different and there wasn’t anybody named Bob available apparently. So we went with Johnny Andrews because we had really enjoyed working with him on Lights Go Out and he produced the record and he co-wrote all the songs with Rich. I submitted all my lyrics and three of them were used which are Running With The Bulls, Wordsworth Way and Three Days In Jail but the rest are all Johnny and Rich collaborations. So they write them and I sell them. It really doesn’t matter. It’s just whatever’s best for the song. And we had a great songwriting team in Rich and Johnny and the contributions that I made, the lyrics that I contributed. And once again every song, not worried about if there’s a solo on it, Judas doesn’t even have a soul it’s just got a really cool middle Queen section. A lot of it would always be like well let’s write a song with a crazy solo in it in a 4-minute intro and all that’s gone. It’s very compact is very much what AC/DC did when they worked with Mutt Lang also a Robert. Lot of Robert’s man. We need to find Robert but we found Johnny and it’s even better for us.”
When can Australian fans expect a tour.
“We’ve been waiting to come back to Australia since 2013. We were lucky enough to tour there twice in 2013 on the Soundwave tour with Metallica and then with Steel Panther, great times. Australia is one of our favorite places to go. We’ve been there I think four or five times now with Fozzy but we haven’t been there since the Do You Want To Start A War Record came out which is 2014. I remember we listened to the demos for Do You Want To Start A War Record in our hotel room on that tour with Steel Panther so we got to make it back there. That’s one of our goals and I know there’s a lot of people waiting to see us and we are super excited about Australia. One of our favorite countries to tour in, Foztralia, Fozzy in Aussiehas to happen again. So we’re looking forward to doing that on this tour cycle. Hopefully in 2018 for sure.”
We are Fozzy
Chris Jericho – vocals
Rich Ward – guitars, vocals
Frank Fontsere – drums
Billy Grey – guitars
Paul DiLeo – bass
A chill crept down my spine as I stepped in to Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre, where on entrance I was greeted with miniscule cells and iron clad bars. The ghosts of times gone by were evident at every turn, and while they may have suffered in the past they would all be laid to rest tonight with the sounds of Innocence to Understanding filtering through the old Gaol walls.
It was my first time in the Ulumbarra Theatre and will definitely not be the last, the acoustics were amazing, the seats roomy and comfortable, it is a perfect live music venue.
Simply stunning in a magnificent white jumpsuit Tina Arena took to the stage at 8.00pm sharp, the curved stage covered in screens of yesteryear and a tiny Tina singing MacArthur Park during the Young Talent Time days. The duet of old and young was sensational as they sang together in unison the years not separating the brilliance of this dynamic Australian superstar. The beautiful Burn followed and as Heaven Help My Heart rained down the screens changed to beautiful stain glass windows which raised this hit to celestial heights. I Need Your Body had every bopping in their seats, all the hits were flowing as the familiar Sorrento Moon accompanied by some amazing backdrops filled the theatre.
Spectacular costume changes saw 6 outfits over the course of the evening, all breathtakingly elegant, classy, and sometimes quite jaw dropping. Tina Arena is graceful in every way, looking amazing, it really is hard to believe that such a booming voice is delivered from such a petite package. A rousing version of I Want To Know What Love Is followed by I Want To Love You had all swaying in their seats seemingly mesmerised by the sultry songstress. Seeing out the first set was the one we were all waiting for, Chains. The song that started the juggernaut for Tina Arena and millions of record sales with the 1994 album Don’t Ask. While Tina stated she did not have time back then to ‘smell the roses’ she certainly was smelling them now, a testament to her hard work and determination that spans her extensive career in the music industry. Chains was sublime, everything you wanted and then some, I was flooded with nostalgic feelings from younger years as I soaked up this sensational song.
After a short interval Tina returned looking as radiant as when the night had begun, opening with Symphony of Life and You Made Me Find Myself. Full credit must go to the band and backup singers, technically perfect all night, but it was hard to pull your eyes from Tina, she really did demand your attention. It was during Wasn’t It Good that we got to see the band stripped back as they surrounded Tina for a relaxed version of Wasn’t It Good, the cajon a lovely inclusion from the normal drumkit, it worked extremely well.
With a set-list of twenty no one left disappointed, If I Didn’t Love You, Only Lonely, and the gorgeous Now I Can Dance so beautifully performed, I am sure I wasn’t alone in saying I didn’t want it to end. The final song of the night was You Set Fire to My Life, this saw many up on their feet dancing and enjoying every last minute of this fabulous night. It was with heartfelt thanks for the undying support of from her fans and even a hug for one lucky front row lady that Tina left the stage. While the night was over the legacy that is Tina Arena will live on in our hearts forever.
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale
Aside from having some of the best acoustics of any venue in Melbourne, The Forum is also a favourite for the fantastic snake of fans that lines the front steps and travels up the iconic Hosier Lane. Sunday night was no different with AFI fans representing early, for was stacking up to be a great show, on this their ‘The Blood Tour’
AFI (A Fire Inside) have been a stalwart of the punk rock/alternative rock/post hardcore/emo type genres since 1991 and have managed to maintain the same line up for most of their existence. With a large worldwide following spanning across multiple age groups, it is no wonder their shows are jam packed.
Having produced ten studio albums, 10 EP’s and a live album, there is definitely no resting on their laurels.
Whilst their more mainstream following did not come about until after their 2003 release Sing The Sorrow, it becomes very apparent when you listen to some of their very early material, compared to more recent material that they have grown significantly as a band. Maturity and technique being much more refined. Davey Havok has one of the most unique voices of his time and uses it to within it’s full capabilities.
For tonight’s performance they are being supported by two bands, the first being Introvert from Newcastle NSW.
My initial thoughts on this band, whom I had not been familiar, was that their vocals sounded a tad flat in tone, but as they progress through their short set it became apparent that it simply was just their sound. Musically quite tight, they were at least able to get the attention of the crowds flowing into the venue. Dropping several hints along the way for the crowds to head to the merch stand to see what they had on offer.
Second support for the night were a five piece outfit from England called Basement. And while I had heard of them before, I could not say that I had listened to much of their material. From the get-go however I found them to have a really appealing sound and the vocals were on point. With huge amounts of energy being injected into their performance, I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed their set. Having toured here a number of times previously, they have gained a decent following, and spoke fondly of enjoying being back in Melbourne. The set finished leaving me wanting to immediately find more of their music to add to my collection.
As with most bands of this genre, there is usually so much energy on stage that you have to feel for the photographers in the pit, as they jostle to get the best action shots they possibly can.
With brilliant lighting that did not disappoint, it was straight into ‘Girl’s Not Grey’, ‘17Crimes’ and ‘Beautiful Thieves’ with Davey Havok leaping and running from each side of the stage. Keeping the in between moments fairly banter free, they continued along into ‘This Celluloid Dream’, ‘Paper Airplanes’ and ‘So Beneath You’.
With Hunter Burgan on bass, and Jade Puget on guitar exerting just as much energy, it was certainly one of the most high octane shows I have been to in some time. They crowd was lively and bouncing across the Forum floor, with many riding hands. They were also in fine form vocally with every song being sung loud and proud.
For me, being the first time actually seeing AFI, I found myself really enjoying it, and had to remind myself regularly that I should be taking mental notes along the way to relay. However, it was too easy to get lost in the performance as it was so good.
Throwing up tracks like ‘The Despair Factor’, ‘Morningstar’, ‘The Days of Phoenix’ and ‘Snow Cats’ continually seemed to be giving the fans exactly what they wanted as they only seemed to get more and more pumped up as the set went on.
“Love Like Winter’, ‘Feed from The Floor’ and ‘Silver And Cold’ were definitely received with a rousing welcome, as was ‘I Hope You Suffer’ which closed the main part of the set.
It was a very short break before the encore, which saw two of their best songs, ‘This Time Imperfect’ and the ultimate closer, ‘Miss Murder’ complete their night at the Forum.
As the sweat soaked bodies started to filter up from the front of house, it was evident that there had been a good time had by all in attendance. Nothing says ”Hell yeah what a show” more than being dripping wet, pumped and thoroughly exhausted at its conclusion.
While prior to the show I had only been a moderate fan, I can honestly say that the performance given, would definitely give rise to me investing in more music from these solid, hard rocking guys. And even though they have been around quite some time, I would like to hope they will continue to pull out shows like this one, and return to our shores soon.
Next time I would like to experience it from closer to the pit in order to really absorb that infectious energy that both the band and the crowd bounced off one another.
Review Contributed by Jodi Marino
Full Gallery by Matt Allan can be found below