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Artist: Fozzy
Label: Megaforce
Length: 11/48:03

I can’t decide if this band is supposed to be a mock metal joke with an imagined history, a la Spinal Tap, or if this is a serious effort by a band that existed under the radar known only to heavy metal fans who pride themselves on their knowledge of import albums. 

Fozzy is billed in the liner notes as the “most influential heavy metal band of all time”.  Has anyone here heard of Black Sabbath? Or Led Zeppelin?  The same notes claim that Fozzy existed over the last twenty years trapped in a ridiculous contract that allowed them only to release records in Japan.  Happenstance is purported to be the second American release.

If this is a great, influential band, why does this album consist of eleven cover songs?  It seems that someone at Megaforce is trying to pull the wool over our eyes ­ this “band” is a figment of someone’s imagination, a lame attempt at a second version of Spinal Tap.  I don’t know who the musicians are, as they all have nicknames like “Moongoose,” “Duke,” “KK LaFlame,” or “The Kidd.”  One tipoff to the joke is that the credits list “the St. Hubbins Pentecostal Pale Young Boys’ Choir” among the backup vocalists. 

If you like 80’s hair metal, or are a fan of groups like Judas Priest, The Scorpions, or Dio, this album may have some interest for you.  I’m not sure what Fozzy is trying to accomplish ­ if they are a serious metal band, it’s time to record some new material.  If it’s a joke, it falls flat.

Brian A. Smith 7/16/2002

If you want to play metal really well this is the group to listen to.  Moongoose McQueen’s vocals combined with Duke Larue and The Kidd’s guitar support backed by the efficient bass lines and the heavy hitting drumming of Claude "Watty” Watson leads Fozzy to the top of heavy rock ‘n roll.  While they forwent the option of writing even a single song on their second album Happenstance, this group forcibly presents heavy metal music in a colorful display with the use of the genre’s standard instruments.  From the first song to the last this disk continues to spin with energy and enthusiasm.

Any problems?  Well most of the album is about death in some manner or another.  The listener can interpret the lyrics however they choose and call it “impressionistic art” or any other term, but it’s hard to ignore the pattern of anger spewed throughout this sophomore release.  A few songs have good messages, such as the title track, which talks about getting beyond what has already happened and deciding how to deal with it instead.

As for religious influences, there is little noticeable evidence in my mind beyond a verse from New Testament, Revelations 16:8 which is linked to the song "Crucify Yourself," a track that appears to perhaps be about the end times.

While not all the lyrics are included in the sleeve I didn’t catch any swearing or obscenities except for the title of the track “Balls to the Wall,” a phrase that is repeated over and over in the chorus.  The song talks about the slaves of the world rising up and making us drink our own blood.  Musically good, but I don’t think I’m going to be keeping this CD. It’s not worth my time to be listening to these lyrics. Maybe my dog would like a new chew toy.

Nathan Eisen 7/20/2002



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