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Osbourne, Ozzy - 2010 Scream

ARTIST: Osbourne, Ozzy
ALBUM: Scream
SERIAL: 88697361132
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: Ozzy Osbourne - vocals * Gus G - guitars * Rob 'Blasko' Nicholson - bass * Adam Wakeman - keyboards * Tommy Clufetos - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Let It Die * 02 Let Me Hear You Scream * 03 Soul Sucker * 04 Life Won't Wait * 05 Diggin' Me Down * 06 Crucify * 07 Fearless * 08 Time * 09 I Want It More * 10 Latimer's Mercy * 11 I Love You All



There has been a transition in the musical world of Ozzy Osbourne. 'Scream' might be Ozzy's first record since 2007's 'Black Rain', but it doesn't lack for basic heaviness and dark imagery. Though Zakk Wylde is no longer in the picture, having been sidelined (in other words 'replaced') by Greek young gun Gus G, the guitar heroics still abound on this new album. Regular GDAZE readers are well aware of Gus' past exploits with Mystic Prophecy, Dream Evil, Nightrage and of course his own outfit Firewind. There are some who think that Ozzy's best days are behind him now that Zakk is no longer around. I question that train of thought. Also, producer Kevin Chirko returns after having worked on 'Black Rain'. I quite enjoyed that album, though many long time fans thought otherwise - most preferring to accept that 'No More Tears' remains Ozzy's best work. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers. It's quite good to focus on Ozzy's music directly, after all the media beat-up about his 'other' entertainment interests, the life and times of his children, and the mortality issue of aging rock stars surrounding the recent passing of fellow HM luminary Ronnie James Dio. Let's face it, Ozzy ain't getting any younger and his health is not exactly a basket case of purity - though I do believe from reading media reports he does love his daily dose of exercise. Trying to ward off father time like Dorian Gray is one thing, but it's all been a bit of distraction really, so 'Scream' is an apt title for the Ozz to thrown down his hair and let loose a little bit of steam.

The Songs
The entire band lineup for 'Scream' is all pretty new, but then again Ozzy has been known to throw out an entire backline like a wardrobe of clothes that no longer fit, and so he does here. Ozzy has been reported as saying that 'Scream' is similar to Black Sabbath, and yes there are elements where that comparison might be considered - particularly in the guitarwork and Tony Iommi flavoured rhythm parts. 'Let It Die' the opener is a taster of that comparison. Many of you would have seen and heard the first-up single 'Let Me Hear You Scream' all over the Web/Wire. It has a great prowling presence, the guitar work as to be expected from a world class exponent such as Gus G is exceptional, a perfect blend of Ozzy's last two axe slingers Jake E Lee and Zakk Wylde. 'Soul Sucker' is next up. The album was originally going to be called this, but complaints from the Ozzy fanbase put that idea to rest. It's another heavy doom sounding affair with enough melody to provide ballast in a sea of steel. 'Life Won't Wait' is much lighter fare, contemplative even, but the choruses and the solo section heavy things up in a 'hurry-up' mode. It's quite different for Ozzy, I'd like to see him do some acoustic/unplugged stuff in future. The intro to 'Diggin' Me Down' takes a good minute to wade through, before a Sabbs like blast kick starts this into high gear. This one is definitely in the vein of Zakk Wylde era Ozzy, with lots of typical pinch harmonics colouring the sound. 'Crucify' and 'Fearless' are both moments of metallic bluster but with 'Time' this is the slow-burner on the album (if there is one), and has more definition and shape than the previous two. 'I Want It More' sees some rapidfire and speed bullet moments from both Gus and drummer Tommy Clufetos. 'Latimer's Legacy' has a dark prog metal feel to it, industrial strength heavy with the obligatory snarl and sneer of Ozzy's vocals. The brief exit piece 'I Love You All' is a whimsical piano/acoustic guitar piece which sounds as if it was written in Alice's Wonderland! One can assume the songtitle is taken from Ozzy's signature goodnight line from many (if not all) of his live gigs!

In Summary
After giving this a few run-throughs, there wasn't much here to hold on to I'm afraid. Apart from 'Let Me Hear You Scream' with its insistent chorus which sticks in your head, the rest of the album is a tad faceless and a bit of a blur really. Despite the significant PR given this album prior to release, it's the songs which ultimately count, and there's not enough mojo here to warrant giving Viagra completely away just yet. A bit of a disappointment really.

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