Sound — 8
After getting considerable and moderate success with previous albums, Fozzy are back with a more accessible and hard rock sound. While "All That Remains" and "Chasing the Grail" was much more heavier, they've gone for more impactful and shorter songs. And, for the most part, they've done an impressive job.
Chris Jericho, who's best known for his wrestling skills has crossed over successfully into the world of heavy metal. Showing range of skills and variation, his vocals are over the top and gets you hooked. Whether its a ballad or fast thrashy song, he has done an excellent job. Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo) is one of the most underrated guitarists in the world and proves his wide array of talents in this album. Just take a listen to his blistering solo on "Brides of Fire."
Another interesting aspect of this album is, apart from using traditional heavy metal instruments, they've used some electronica sound on "Lights Go Out" and "One Crazed Anarchist." While some material can sound a bit "generic," but nonetheless, Fozzy has proven they have what it takes to survive in the rough world of music industry.
Lyrics — 8
Here's a breakdown of every song in "Do You Wanna Start a War":
1. "Do You Wanna Start a War" - The opening and title track opens with a dark and groovy sounding riff.A catchy chorus kicks in and it serves as a great opener to this album.
2. "Bad Tattoo" - It's much more like their heavy songs in "All That Remains" or "Chasing the Grail." It's one of the heaviest songs and definitely one of the good ones.
3. "Lights Go Out" - The first single of this album, is recommended if you haven't heard of their songs before. This song should be great for concerts and live performances. A lot of electronica influences can be heard.
4. "Died With You" - A heavy metal ballad. Fozzy shows they can write soft songs to you. The main riff reminds me of "Change" by Deftones.
5. "Tonight" - A throwback to the '80s catchy heavy metal sound. And it makes more sense that Michael Starr of Steel Panther lends his vocal prowess in this song. A very catchy song.
6. "Brides of Fire" - This song is the heaviest and probably the best song in this album. A great solo by Rich Ward. And the drummer, Frank Fontsere, deserves a nod too for an excellent job.
7. "One Crazed Anarchist" - The second single from this album. Definitely one of the best songs. Some electronica sound as previously mentioned. A great mixture of heavy and melody.
8. "Unstoppable" - A song featuring Christie Cook. Jericho's vocal takes a backseat here. Reminds me of "Watch Me Shine" of "Chasing the Grail."
9. "Scarecrow" - A very haunting and dark sounding ballad.Different from what the rest of the albums has to offer.
10. "No Good Way" - Another catchy and heavy number.As said before, Fozzy are great in producing the trademark hard rock sound here. A quality many rock bands lack.
11. "SOS" - Originally by the legendary Swedish pop group ABBA. Fozzy puts their metal twist in this popular mainstream song. A great tribute.
12. "Witchery" - One of the heaviest song and similar to "Brides of Fire." Lots of heavy riffs and solos, a great to way end this fantastic album.
While there are some variety of songs, I wish they did produced more longer songs like "Wormwood" (recommended for everyone) and "Storm the Beaches." And some of the songs can be considered generic too. But it's a great accessible metal album. And if you play the album from start to finish, you'll end up having a great time.
Overall Impression — 8
When Jericho was asked to characterize Fozzy he replied "If Metallica and Journey had a bastard child, it would be Fozzy." The album is a testament to that statement. While I think, this album is not as great as "Chasing the Grail," it's still a great album. They may have gone for a more mainstream sound, but it's packed with great riffs, solos and everything associated with heavy metal. Fozzy has been knocking on the doors of heavy metal for quite some time and it is time for the community to stand up and take notice of them.