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Mostly average, sometimes awesome - 70%

SufferingOverdue, May 24th, 2003

One of the most noticable things about this album is that Ozzy has tried to modernise his sound. The guitar riffs are definitely 90s inspired, theres a few industrial "alt" touches here and there and the songs are quite simple and straight forward. Where as No More Tears was a firm heavy metal record, this is more like a modern alt-metal record.

However, the modern sound turns out to be quite good in places. Facing Hell starts out with an industrial-ish intro before going into a 1919 Eternal-era sounding riff which sounds very fitting. However there is definitely something lacking about this album. The riff structures are incredibly bland in places and it's quite obvious that Zakk Wylde didn't write anything on this album. It's a shame really cause the last time Zakk and Ozzy actually sat down and wrote together with no other main contributers, they came out with the masterpiece No More Tears. This album is a far cry from those days.

The guitars have a distinct "Zakk" style to them still, the tone is heavy, the pinch harmonics are scattered throughout and the guitar solos are something only Zakk could play to it's full effect. Ozzy's voice sounds good, and generally the band plays well together. The piano driven Dreamer is something which you'd expect a guy half way into his 50s to be playing and the rest of the music is quite an interesting blend of modern metal sound with old metal ethics.

Despite this not being as good as it could/should have been, it's still a solid effort and worthy of a place in Ozzy's back catalogue. I doubt we'll be getting another No More Tears any time soon, but at least this is an improvement on Ozzmosis.