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The tragic accident in which Randy Roads was killed deprived the band of a very important member, the man who made them sound so heavy and melodic at the same time. His virtuoso style of torturing his guitar would be not be easy to replace. That was proved by the live album they released shortly after. Roads absence was too obvious. So Ozzy found a new guitarist named Jake E Lee. With Aldridge on the drums and Daisley on the bass, they set out on a new metal journey.
This time Ozzy writes all the songs himself. His ability to write songs that are considered to be all-time classics seems to be fading away even if this album provides us with two more metal anthems. The first one is the self-titled that opens the album as well. Lee fills the shoes of Roads’ in the best possible way though I find that he lacks a bit in inspiration, especially on the solos. Come to think of it, he does indeed. Okay he knows how to play the guitar and his themes are hard and well played. But he can not create the feeling his predecessor did. The song itself has some sharp guitars and clever keyboards that time take a bigger part in the songs. Ozzy helps the song with his insane laughs and wolverine howls.
The other hit of the album and, personally speaking, the best one, is Rock n’ Roll Rebel. Its’ steady, solid bass lines mark the way for the guitar and drums to follow on and the result is a metal masterpiece. Pay attention to the nice break before the solo and the truly intelligent lyrics. Some of the best Ozzy has ever written.
A use of extensive keyboards takes place at the intro of Centre of Eternity. It is a fast song also marked by razor-edge riffs and heavy paces. Though the keyboards may estrange some, the truth is that they offer a touch of the epic element to the album. It is pretty good. I also find great pleasure in the Slow Down track. It’s got a pounding rhythm, through galloping guitars and drums, that don’t “slow down” not until it closes to an end. It really gets things going.
There’s one more catchy song called Now you See it (Now you Don’t). And that’s due to its’ really heavy guitars. It could have been better but some stupid vocals and horrible keyboard melodies manage to ruin it. Nevertheless it’s worth listening to. Especially if you know what’s in store for you…
Because this is the point where all the good shit ends! The remaining four songs are completely crap and pointless! First of all we get two extremely sleazy ballads. What on earth was Ozzy thinking with these? Oh, I know, they had to broaden their audience which means they had to make chicks listen to them. Even if you are courageous enough to endure the first one, So Tired will come to finish you off. Jesus, what abominations these two are!
But the last two songs are no good either. Mediocre and boring is the least that I can say. They are not based on any riff; they are slow and entirely lack interest at all. I have heard fillers being much better than these. For your sake find a way to skip these four songs and you’ll get a very good half-an album.
Yes my friends, that’s the hard truth. Bark at the Moon is a very unbalanced release with many commercial songs. To be honest the few first times I heard it, I was thrilled but gradually all this excitement disappeared. It deserves your attention mainly due to the four or maybe five diamonds that make up its’ treasure.