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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne - Scream album review

Ozzy Osbourne – Scream album review
Released through: Epic records. Release date: Available now.

Ok, so I’m not the world’s greatest fan of Ozzy Osbourne but that doesn’t mean I don’t like his material.
I actually enjoy his later years in Black Sabbath material, like Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die, which most Sabbath fans thought were the worst! So what do I know, eh?
Of course there's classic Sabbath too that he always still covers live these days and that's some great stuff. 
I loved his early solo work too, ‘Blizzard of Oz’ release too, which of course featured the late Randy Rhoads, ‘Bark at the Moon’ with Jake E. Lee and ‘The Ultimate Sin’ grabbed me too, but I guess over the past decade or so, I really didn’t give his music too much listening to …

When ‘Scream’ was released I don’t know what it was but I wanted to check out just what I thought of Ozzy today and so when this arrived in my mailbox, I popped the disc in my car player and listened …

‘Let it Die’ starts with an eerie’ish intro before double bass drums, thrashing guitars and pummeling bass bond together .., briefly ... and then it becomes doom laden almost ala early Sabbath. The verse Ozzy sings through a voice box and the chorus picks up a little, but generally it’s a chug along doom metal sounding. Some nice little guitar touches here and there from new band guitarist Gus G, who perhaps is the shining star throughout.

With the single ‘Let Me Hear You Scream’ it’s certainly a more viable rock radio friendly style track, but Ozzy is belting it out for sure. Up tempo mainstream rocker that you’ve most likely already heard.

‘Soul Sucker’ next really does very little for me at all to start with, grungy doom laden chug along stuff again, until it hits a bridge that picks things up somewhat and then Gus G rips out a great flashy solo, before the tracks gets back into the grunge sound again.

Ozzy takes a complete left turn next and completely throws me with ‘Life Won’t Wait’ which has an almost sub-U2 type sound to it, through the verses certainly then punchy power chords pick things up in the choruses. Then towards the latter part of the song, it gets a little meatier shall we say, before right at the end Ozzy eases back again. I do like this somewhat!

‘Diggin’ Me Down’ starts misleadingly with some nice acoustic guitar, which is then played de-tuned and the metal starts and Ozzy decides to write an anti-Christ song … Quite why he had to go so extreme with some of the lyrics beats me ...? I guess it's his song ...

In ‘Crucify’ it’s starts with a little rumbling bass and the song slowly builds and builds as Ozzy starts singing about killing someone … Certainly Mr. Darkness appears to be back here. Musically, it’s an interesting piece, but again lyrically leaves something to be desired, but I guess he sometime likes being referred to as the prince of darkness. Sounds like he’s on that track here …

‘Fearless’ starts with some grungy, crunching riffs and then the song gets into it’s groove and sounds like a song about soldiers at war, being sent away to die … Keeping it dark Ozzy. The chorus is made up of stop start riffing. Heavy.

Next up ‘Time’ starts and finishes with some nice harmony, choral like vocals and it’s a fairly steady slower rock track that starts more laid back then picks up a little in the chorus then eases back in the following verses. Nice solo work again from Gus G.
Driving drums and bass throughout is provided by Tommy Clufetos and Blasko respectively and mostly atmospheric keyboards are from Adam Wakeman, who’s Rick Wakemans (Yes) son

‘I Want It More’ like many tracks here starts eerily before crunching power chords kick in and then fast chugging metal chords riff in the verses, but more of a melodic chorus tames things a little before those chugging riffs kick in again. Not bad.

I guess Ozzy keeps the morbid vibe going with ‘Latimer’s Mercy’ written about murderer and former farmer Robert Latimer and the song is sure fire sub-thrash metal. Very dark material to match the subject matter I guess?!

He closes the album with the very gentle, yet short and sweet – A little over a minute long. - ‘I Love You All,’ that is made simply of these lines. ‘We all must stand together now, or one by one we fall. For all these years you’ve stood by me, God Bless, I love you all.’
Interesting words, especially considering the lyrical content elsewhere on the album.

So, as I said at the start I’m not his biggest fan, but I can see the appeal to the metal masses that follow him through the years, as well as those that like his darker material. For me, there’s moments I don’t mind, but it’s really not a patch to me on some of his more mainstream rock.
There’s no doubting the musical ability of the players either, it’s just for me that the songs aren’t strong enough or in a vein that could be more appealing. That said, the album has already sold bucket loads, so clearly I’m one of the few that’s not really impressed.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
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