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The long awaited successor to Blizzard Of Ozz - 87%

TrooperEd, June 19th, 2005

People seem to think that 1986 was when metal reached its peak, but I have to disagree. 1988, is what I like to call, "The year of the Iron Fucking Hammer." Never once did all of metal's greatest bands sound heavier, nor were they pushing the envolope further as a unit. You had Slayer and Megadeth pushing the boundaries of thrash with their respective releases, South Of Heaven and So Far So Good So What. Then you had Maiden and Priest which were contributing more to the almost-finished blue prints of power metal with their respective albums, 7th son of a 7th son and Ram It Down, not to mention Dio's 1987 release Dream Evil.

Ozzy was no exception in terms of excellence during this year. After 3 albums of wandering through the desert on acid, heroin, speed, and every other drug in the universe, Ozzy, along with drummer Randy Castillo (R.I.P.), long time bassist-cum-whinylittlebitch Bob Daisley, and hired gun Zakk Wylde, create an album that even the angry-young-men detractors will find themselves headbanging to. It's not the be-all end all of 1988, but enough to torture a Linkin Park fan for a solid 40-50 minutes.

Let's start with Ozzy's voice. It shows age, but it takes a close listen to figure that out. That's because in between the sessions of herionshootingmarijuanasmokingcocainerectalinjecting etc. etc, Ozzy managed to figure out how to use his voice in the begin of its decay to haunting and menacing effect. It would continue to sound this way until he "retired" through good songs and bad.

Ozzy has released albums so him and his fans could have a rock and roll riot, no more and no less. None have rocked as hard as this. But through scientific mishap, this album is more than a rock and roll riot. Its a mixed bag of traditon, power, speed and thrash! Ozzy, thrash? As the two reviews below me would reveal, the arrival of Zakk Wylde may have something to do with this. Being a total Randy Rhoads obsessive, is it really that surprising that the influence of Randy Rhoads and Black Sabbath on Zakk may have been the chemical formula for the next logical successor to Blizzard Of Ozz and Randy Rhoads himself?

Well, is it?

Highlights: Devil's Daughter is pure fucking evil. Does anyone else get the creeps with the midsction right before Zakk's solo? You know the one that sounds like a live animal crying as its being slaughtered? And as for the solo itself listen inparticular at the 3:40 mark and tell me you are not amazed. Demon Alcohol is an aboslute mosher, and that chorus while kinda mediocre uses other effects to send chills up spines, and Zakk uses more lethal lead work that both Dave Mustaine and Glenn Tipton would be proud of. The same goes with Bloodbath In paradise and Tattooed Dancer. These 4 songs are probably the most violent songs in Ozzy's solo catalogue that Ozzy has done vocals on.

Fire In The Sky is the most ironic song on here, as it would not sound out of place on a Dream Evil, Last In Line, or even a Holy Diver, with Dio on vocals of course. Probably a thank you message from Ozzy to Dio for writing King Of Rock And Roll.

The rest: Miracle Man, another thrashy song is the contribution to the "KILL ALL EVANGILISTS" conspiracy that every metal band participated in during the late 80's/early 90's. Hell, this was probably the song that started that whole sphiel, as according to popular Ozzy lore, Swaggart hated Ozzy the most, so it seems logical for ol Johnny Micheal to draw first blood. Say thank you everyone.

Crazy Babies is AC/DC on crack. Literally. Its what AC/DC would sound like if they decided to sing songs about drugs. And the solo sounds like it was done by a coked up Angus Young. Listen and draw your own conclusion on whether that's a good or bad thing.

Finally we have Breaking All The Rules and Hero, the latter being the weakest track on here. I think Ozzy and crew made this a hidden track for a reason: they were ordered by record companies to make more music and they were hoping you wouldn't find it.

Breaking All The Rules is the most introspective and melodic of the songs on here. Ozzy might not have been much of a singer, but he has that Steve Harris mindset of once he finds a proper melody he can't seem to let go of it for a whole song. Nobody truly thinks the way he does.

I've spent way too much time on this review. I'm going to get something to eat. What's that? Should you get this? Yes. This album, along with Blizzard, are the solo Ozzy albums you must own, especially if you call yourself a guitar player. It shows Ozzy Osbourne at his finest hour, and is the chaotic debut of one Jeffery Wielandt.