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You know, I've always been an Ozzy fan ever since I was about 3 or 4 and my father introduced me to him among bands I still love to this day. I remember the awesome guitar riffs thanks to the god of the six string, Randy Rhodes. I also remember the crushing atmosphere of songs like Bark at the Moon and Diary of a Madman. When I think Ozzy, I think nostalgia. I also think of how I began my journey on the metal road that I still walk this day. Nobody hasn't heard of Ozzy Osbourne, especially since hits like Crazy Train, Flying High Again and No More Tears hit the radio, not to mention his media exposure with the Osbourne's Show. The problem is that he's so washed up now that it's tough to listen to him. He broke his neck, struggled with addiction and has had many tough aspects with his life. It's no wonder his music has taken a dive, only he still decided to continue his career. After a long hiatus, Ozzy returned with the sophomoric release, Black Rain. It was a...well...different sound to his melodic heavy metal. I did in fact enjoy the release, but it was way worse than anything that he released before No More Tears.
Scream is the newest addition to the Ozzy discography. I first saw the cover when I logged on to this site about a month ago and all I could say is "goddammit". I then instantly went to youtube and listened to the title track, "Let Me Hear You Scream" and I wanted to vomit. I seriously cried at the fact that Ozzy was this bad. I remember seeing him do live shit last decade and he was horrible at that as well. He's one of the geriatric old men of metal that should have quit, especially concerning his past uses of drugs and hospitalization.
Zakk Wylde was fired in late September 2009, but you know, I really can't tell at all. All the riffs sound exactly like Zakk's. I thought this was horribly ironic. Gus G is a great guitarist and I enjoy a lot of Firewind's music, but on this it seriously sounded like he just tried to mimic Zakk. I even wondered if Zakk would sue him for copyright infringement it was that bad. Ozzy stated that the reason that he let Zakk go was because his music was "beginning to sound like Black Label Society". Now that is a perfectly legitimate reason to fire a guitarist, however, hiring a power metal guitarist and telling him to sound exactly like the previous guitarist is asinine.
Ozzy's vocals are (as always) the central focus of the album. It's slightly better than Black Rain, but it didn't impress me all that much. I thought it basically sounded like a raspy, tone deaf, less melodic Ozzy. Even the lyrics were horrible, not that they were ever amazing. I felt a little less depressed then when I heard Black Rain. Honestly it was mediocre, but it was extremely boring to hear Ozzy say something along the lines of "I am black and I'm bruised, beat up but still I take blows" every song. Yeah, Ozzy, you've dealt with a lot, but you're still a has been.
All in all, I guess I liked the title track a bit, as it's a bit catchy, but other than that, nothing stood out to me due to the fact that I was just so used to the way Ozzy used to sound. Everybody loves the original Ozzy. Diary of a Madman, Blizzard of Oz, Bark at the Moon...all great, all classics. Scream will go down in history the same as Nostradamus did - a crappy attempt to re-energize the band and start a new sound. Well Ozzy, Just quit while you're ahead, so you can at least end your career with some dignity.
Highlights: Let me Hear you Scream