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A diary of heavy metal. - 87%

evermetal, October 22nd, 2009

Now, that’s more like it! What an improvement this is. The debut was not very good but this one is way better. Obviously this time Ozzy has taken advantage of the experience he gained through Blizzard of Ozz and knows what it is that fans wanted to hear. Pure-fucking-heavy metal! The rest of the band has come to know each other, they contribute more to the song writing and composing and finally things turn out pretty well.

Ozzy was named as “the madman of heavy metal” from the music press and he cleverly uses that to his own benefit giving his second album the title Diary of A Madman. Sarcastic is he? Maybe. But insane; as never before, slaying chickens on stage at his gigs.

If you liked Roads’ guitar work on the previous album wait ‘till you hear what he does in here. The guy is playing his ass off! He delivers electric guitar seminars once again. His plying is a bit more melodic but keeps its’ heavy attitude and feeling. He also shows a tense to experiment on the riffs and solos without however ignoring the fans and what they expect from him. His loss was a tragic event not only for the band but for metal in general.

The drum intro in Over the Mountain, which opens the album gives a straight-forward punch in the stomach and prepares us for what is about to happen. This song is a killer, fast and heavy to the bone. The production is much better and allows the bass and drums to sound more on the front line and not so background as in the Blizzard… album. And the solo will definitely kill you.

Flying High Again is more mid-tempo and its’ steady, solid rhythm keeps it quite interesting. It is just another Ozzy classic. You Can’t Kill Rock n’ Roll enters peacefully but in no time it turns heavy and has many fine breaks throughout the seven minutes it lasts. The lyrics are quite explanatory of their beliefs: “…’cause rock n’ roll is my religion and my law”. They sure love what they are playing. The solo part is particularly heavy. This one may be seven minutes long but not dull at all.

Believer is yet again a very heavy track with sharp guitars and drums. Generally the whole album is filled with hot, streaming heavy metal. I must admit that Ozzy’s singing is somewhat different here. I almost like it. Little Dolls is a small step back in the album. It does not possess the strength and intensity as the rest of the songs; still it’s okay and easy to hear.

Diary’s ballad, they had to have one, is called Tonight and surprisingly is awesome. It is much heavier at times from those in Blizzard… and much cooler. By no means think of it as cheese. Randy Roads unfolds his skills and plays an incredible solo. Doesn’t he always do? This ballad gives you the time to relax before the heavy metal dynamite by the strange title of S.A.T.O. explodes. The song that causes the hardest headbanging in the LP, four pure metallic minutes.

Ozzy saves another great song for the end. The self-titled one is not so heavy and furious but its’ mystique feeling is sure to thrill you. Te melodic acoustic themes and marching drums are accompanied by fine keyboard lines and the result is too good to ignore as a sense of paranoia floats in the air. It is the most suitable way to end.

With Diary of A Madman Ozzy establishes himself as a solo artist in the hearts of metal fans. He throws away the label of the Sabbath singer for good and becomes a leading face in the heavy metal scene.