Ozzy shows a bit of enlightenment with ‘Scream’

Ozzy Osbourne
“Scream”
(Epic)
★★★★

By Pat Prince

“Let me hear you scream!” Ozzy belts out in the first twenty seconds of the song with the same name.

OK. Sure. I’m willing to scream louder that this is a glorious, imaginative effort by Osbourne, quite possibly his best album release since 1981′s “Diary of a Madman.”

No offense to Zakk Wylde, but new guitarist Gus G. seems to have imported some energy into the very gut of the aging screamer. The same sentiment of rejuvenation was mentioned when Wylde replaced Jake E. Lee on “No Rest for the Wicked,” but an improvement to the music is even more evident here.

Leading off the album is the fantastic “Let It Die,” with its nice opportunistic tempo changes and great Gus guitar bite. And from there, there’s really no downer, or annoying power ballad like that horrible “Mama …” song of albums past. By the time you reach “Latimer’s Mercy” — a steamroller of a song coming second to last — you will most likely agree that Ozzy’s “golden years”  feel very enlightened.

The real question is how long will it last? As Ozzy leaves us with a melancholic “I Love You All” message at the very end of the album, you are reminded that nothing that sounds this good will last forever.


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