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Another solid Ozzy album. - 78%

Nightcrawler, March 13th, 2003

Musically, this is quite similar to the previous, but it's generally faster and a bit more melodic. Gradually, Ozzy is also starting to improve his voice, which of course adds a lot.
The biggest change for the band was of course the departure of Randy Rhoads (RIP) and the arrival of Jake E Lee. Jake is, of course, no Randy, but he is stilled a very skilled axeman. He seems to enjoy showing off his talent, which I personally don't mind, as I like a good guitarist. Still, he's no Randy.
The bass has also improved greatly. While on the previous albums it just plodded along and sounded quite muddy and boring, on here it gets a much bigger role. As the average pace of the songs increase, the speed of the bass increases too, which just sounds much better.

The title track opens up the album in a great way. Fast and catchy-as-fuck riffs, insane soloing, and atmospheric vocal lines. That's a great formula for a song, which can rarely go wrong, and doesn't this time either. Probably my favourite track off the album.

Other highlights is the catchy ballad You're No Different, which features a nice usage of keyboards, the midpaced and even catchier Now You See It (Now You Don't), the straightforward rocker of Rock N' Roll Rebel, the fast, upbeat and super-catchy Slow Down, the dark, melodic and haunting Waiting For Darkness and especially the blazing speed metal track that is Centre of Eternity.

Those songs are all about 8/10 in my book, but the two remaining songs are quite boring.

We have So Tired, a piano based ballad which is quite decent, but nothing more. A very good vocal performance must be noted, though. Alas, the chorus is boring as hell. And finally, the CD bonus track Spiders in the Night, which is just about the worst Ozzy song ever. The plodding, muddy bass returns, and builds the awful backbone for this awful song. Uninspired, boring and too goddamn bassy!

Now, I feel like I have to say something more about my other favourite from this album, Centre of Eternity. I have yet to hear a bad song that begins with a chiming bell. This one begins with a chiming bell, which is always a good sign.
A weird gospel-ish then goes on for a while, until the riffing kicks in. Basically catchy speed metal riffs, with very fast vocal lines, a great melodic chorus and of course a blazing guitar solo.
It's a damn fine song; that's for sure.

All in all, this is definitely a good album, with many great songs, but two quite poor ones, which drag the rating down just a bit. If it wasn't for those two, this one could definitely compete with the likes of Blizzard of Ozz.