How do you go about reviewing the first Ozzy release
since his last one three years ago, "Black Rain," which, in all honesty, didn't
fare that well and was a little stagnant?
With the departure of longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde, Ozzy
has infused his sound with new blood, hiring Gus G. (Firewind, Dream Evil,
Nightrage, Mystic Prophecy), a young Greek shredder with a high pedigree. What
he brings is new virility and progressiveness that Ozzy needed to inject into
just like Ozzy did with Jake E. Lee after Randy Rhoads, then Zakk after Jake.
Ozzy has a knack for snagging up-and-coming shredders to revitalize his persona
and creative output.
The nuances of Gus G’s playing give a feeling that he is
not just a hired hand: Ozzy lets his creativity flow within the framework of his
On "Scream," Ozzy is lyrically at his distinctive best.
Writing again with producer Kevin Churko, (Black Rain), Ozzy proves again that
he has a gift for lyrics. His voice is definitely layered with filters and
studio trickery, but there has never been a more distinct or more recognizable
voice in all of music. It shows hints of early Zakk-era Ozzy mixed with the
polished and modern sound of "Black Rain."
The album starts off good enough, with a groove-rock
rhythm and some pretty good lead work that segues into a chanted verse. "Let Me
Hear You Scream" has been out for a month now, and the reviews and comments have
been mixed, mostly good though. It's a fairly catchy song with a great riff, and
its anthemic chorus sticks with you. "Diggin' Me Down" sounds eerily like the beginning of "Diary
of a Madman," then a heavy riff kicks in that can only be associated with Ozzy.
Album closer "I Love You All" pays homage to his fans.
The haters out there might say "Scream" is overproduced,
has commercial pop songs, rehashed riffs and is not heavy enough. But this is a
new Ozzy release, and they should be reveling in it, for this could be his last.
This is a pretty good album, and Ozzy is still a supreme
Forget the indecipherable mumblings from his reality TV
and variety shows that most non-metal fans associate him with. He is still the
Prince of Fucking Darkness.