Ozzy Osbourne has had one of the longest running careers in Heavy Metal music. Over the years he has been fortunate to be a part of several legendary partnerships in music. He was a founding member of Black Sabbath along with Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, and guitar legend Tony Iommi; resurrected his career as a solo artist with guitar legend Randy Rhoads; carried on his solo career after Rhoads' tragic death with the likes of Jake E Lee and Zakk Wylde. Now, 41 years after his debut with Black Sabbath, Ozzy finds himself in a new collaborating partnership, as Firewind guitarist Gus G hops onto Ozzy's never-ending crazy train of a career.
Earlier this year, Ozzy released his latest album, 'Scream', with massive and unique promotion. The track, 'Let me Hear You Scream', was featured in an episode of CSI. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaE7gTLk__A) Ozzy himself helped attempt to set a Guiness World record for longest scream by an arena crowd (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvXRQjkX5rw&NR=1), and also promoted his album by joking with visitors of a wax museum while posing as an exhibit of himself (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY9PeJOZpeA).
Once all the hoopla was done and 'Scream' itself hit the streets, Ozzy's fans finally got to hear the beginning of the latest chapter of Ozzy's career. The buzz generated beforehand was enough to push it to #4 on the Billboard charts, making it the 7th top-ten album for Ozzy. Scream is deserving of this status as well, with songs that deliver all the key elements of a great Ozzy album: heavy riffs, a variety of tempos, great guitar soloing (thanks Gus!), a couple semi-biographical ballads, and even a bit of neo-classical inspiration can be heard.
I only wish Gus G had had a larger hand in the writing of this album . We'll have to wait for Ozzy's next album to hear his contributions in that respect. For the most part, this album was co-written by Ozzy Osbourne and his producer Kevin Churko (and Adam Wakeman on a few tracks), prior to Gus G's joining the band. Churko also received co-writing credit on Ozzy's previous album, Black Rain, perhaps explaining how the new album remains so consistent.
My top picks from SCREAM:
-Let It Die (a slow-tempo, heavy number. Classic Ozzy!)
-Let Me Hear You Scream (first single, and a real thrasher for Ozzy)
-Life Won't Wait (One of the ballads, Ozzy hasn't lost his touch with this kind of number either)
-Diggin' Me Down (Here's my personal favorite! Melodic guitar intro brings back memories of Randy Rhoads' neo-classical days!)
-I Want It More