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Solid - 78%

DawnoftheShred, December 4th, 2006

As the title suggests, this is actually a pretty good album. It’s not outstanding necessarily, but it’s consistent throughout and generally a good listen. You won’t find anybody putting it in their top albums of all time, probably not even their top Ozzy albums, but it’s not bad by any means.

The most noticeable aspect of The Ultimate Sin is the general lack of cheesiness. All the Bark at the Moon style 80’s synth effects are pretty much gone. There’s still occasional synthesizer work to add a little atmosphere, but it’s never the focus of the song. That leaves the album as a far more natural, guitar-oriented rocker throughout, which is how Ozzy’s albums should be. It’s a lot heavier than all the band’s previous albums and Jake E. Lee’s guitar playing is noticeably better as well. The instrumentation is the reason for picking this up, as there’s a lot of great music. Unfortunately, Ozzy does little for this album. His voice sounds tired and weak and the lyrics are pretty much forgettable. He has a few shining moments, namely on “Shot in the Dark,” but his performance generally sucks.

Yet despite its flaws I like this album. The songwriting is good, the music is good, and some of the songs are quite memorable. Ironically, I’d like it a lot better if Ozzy wasn’t singing on it, but a lot of people feel that way about most of his albums.

Highlights: “Shot in the Dark” and “Killer of Giants”