After 40 plus years in rock and roll Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness, the Mumbling Monarch of Metal keeps bringing kick ass music to the masses. June saw the 61-year-old icon release his 10th studio solo album, Scream, and it’s a monster.
The debut single, “Let Me Hear You Scream,” is a lung-bursting, face crusher anthem, which suitably reinforces Ozzy’s metal dominance. Scream is pure Ozzy, but as he so often does, Osbourne shakes things up and peels away the old to reveal new layers. Gone are longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde, and drummer Mike Bordin.
Ozzy brought in the talents of guitarist Gus G. (Firewind) and drummer Tommy Clufetos (Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper) to go along with bassist Blasko, and songwriter/producer Kevin Churko on the new album. The result is a renewed energy and edginess that was at times missing on 2007’s Black Rain.
Churko, who just finished producing In This Moment’s latest, A Star-Crossed Wasteland, co-wrote much of the album with Ozzy. The album was recorded at Osbourne’s Los Angles based home studio, The Bunker.
Scream features 11 new Osbourne gems that are uniquely Ozzy, and unified with his trademark sound and style, while being equally diverse in signature and arrangement.
“Let It Die” leads off the record, with its dark groove and chilling vibe. Blasko’s bass sends chills up the spine, and Gus. G. wail’s in with an appropriately moody solo line before the song drops into a grinding speak-song verse. “It’s a revelation, celebration…” sings Ozzy, which is perhaps an introduction for what the album as a whole offers the listener.
“Let Me Hear You Scream” as mentioned above is a wickedly delightful fist-pumping anthem, and arguably one of Ozzy’s most addictive songs in years. The song originally surfaced in an April episode of the hit television show, CSI: NY during a prison riot scene. An appropriate track indeed as the song’s rabid, pulsing, call-to-arms war cry will incite most anyone to lose their mind.
The album title was changed after poor fan reaction. said Ozzy:
When we put that on the Internet none of my fan base liked the title. They were like, ‘I can’t imagine me walking around the fucking house with the words ‘Soul Sucka’ on my T-shirt.’ So I was like, ‘Fuck it. I’ve got to come up with something else!’
Ozzy slows it down on the melodic rocker, “Life Won’t Wait,” an ode to living in the moment. The vibe will draw the listener back to the days ofDiary of a Madman while still maintaining a nice modern punch.
Osbourne gets religious on the next two tracks, “Diggin’ Me Down” and “Crucify” both of which drip with that legendary Ozzy darkness; the foreboding aural backdrop, overlaid by his sinister vocals.
“Fearless” brings on more of the pulverizing rhythms of Clufetos and Blasko.
One of the first things fans are going to be looking for is to see how Gus G. compares to Zakk, and the point is moot. Both are brilliant guitarists, and they bring their own flavors to the mix, but there is enough overlap in style to maintain Ozzy’s signature sound. All of this can be heard throughout the album, but shines quite clearly on the contrasting tracks “I Want It More, ” and the grungy-grinder “Latimer’s Mercy.”
The album’s final track is a minute long eerily poignant song of thanks and unification.
The Ozzman returneth, better than ever.
Last month we lost and honored Ronnie James Dio who lost his brilliant life to stomach cancer. Meanwhile the man he once replaced in Black Sabbath remains a scientific enigma. How Ozzy keeps on ticking is anyone’s guess, but now scientists are out to find out. Ozzy is about to become one of the few people in the world to have his entire genome analyzed. Researchers at Knome, a Cambridge, Massachusetts company, hope that analyzing Ozzy‘s blood and DNA will give them insight into how drugs are absorbed in the body, and why some people can survive extreme substance abuse while others can’t.
Although he’s sober now, Ozzy estimates that he took drugs and used alcohol for more than 40 years, according to Rolling Stone.
He also survived a 2003 bike accident in which he broke his neck and was diagnosed a few years back with a genetic disorder that is similar to Parkinson’s Disease.
For all these Ozzy has given us, and continues to give us, he is our July Artist of the Month!