Ozzy Osbourne employs guitar great Gus G. on his latest release Scream. Here are some of my initial track-by-track thoughts on the Prince of Darkness’ latest album.
“Let it Die” The six minute opening tune has a great percussive tribal vibe in the beginning, a powerful intro solo from Gus G., and a sweet and sludgy cool down. After the main guitar solo (4:18), there is a wonderfully demonic “Children of the Grave” part that almost does not fit into the song, but it is still awesome. The worst part of the track is the vocal part during the verses. At this point, i just hope that this album is not another victim of too much ProTools.
“Let Me Here You Scream” As a radio single, this track roars as a modern rock hit in the realm of “Perry Mason,” as it includes several similar elements (such as unison bends on the guitar). Although the lyrics and melody during the chorus are very catchy, they are also extremely hokey.
“Soul Sucker” The best part of this track is the speedy change at around 2:40 that sets the stage for another sick Gus G. guitar solo. The main riff goes extra heavy on the talk box, similar to “Fire it Up” by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society. Unfortunately, there are about a gazillion layers of instrument tracks on “Soul Sucker” that deny it a natural rock feel.
“Life Won’t Wait” Remember Filter’s “Take My Picture?” This tune begins in a similar manner, but alternates between heavy choruses and acoustic verses. Obviously Ozzy’s band is far superior to Filter. Therefore, this track rips in comparison mainly due to the six string brutality. “Life Won’t Wait” will most likely be released as a single at some point.
“Diggin Me Down” With a “Diary of a Madman” feel in the beginning, this song quickly becomes the most interesting one on Scream. In fact, I am already sitting in front of my computer, guitar in hand, working out the classical style intro riff. However when the track kicks in, the heavy riff defiles some of that early magic. That does not mean this track is not awesome. It simply means that Ozzy is old and Gus G. is not quite Randy Rhoads.
“Crucify” It is interesting that Ozzy released a track titled “Crucify the Dead” on Slash’s solo record and a song titled “Crucify” on his own record the same year. Overall, “Crucify” does not stand out on Scream; seems like album filler. Like most of the other tunes, the lead guitars are the one interesting component of the track.
“Fearless” A heavy hitting tune that serves as a slight redemption after “Crucify.” There are great guitar fills during the verses reminiscent of the “Mr. Crowley” style.
“Time” Ozzy is no stranger to throwing the word “time” somewhere within his song titles (“Time After Time,” “Running Out of Time”). On this reflective piece, Ozzy’s vocals are the focal point with the guitars taking a small breather for a track. This is like the “Dreamer” of Scream, except this one has “woo ooo ooo hoos” which I have never heard from the Ozzman before.
“I Want It More” An eerie piano intro sets a somber mood. Then an awesome main guitar riff thrashes through the verses. The choruses slow the track down, disappointing at first but then refreshingly sounds like “Revelation (Mother Earth).” This tune contains a masterful composition with many different parts that mix well together; an attribute that some of the other tracks have struggled with.
“Latimer’s Mercy” The one poor vocal tactic that Ozzy overuses these days are the spoken-worded verses. This song is a hard and bluesy tune with a rad Faith No More keyboard structure.
“I Love You All” Ozzy just wanted to let you know that. He is a legend, hero, and god. However, we are the ones that made him really really rich. You can here Ozzy’s love for The Beatles on this one minute album closer.
In conclusion, Scream is a lot of fun to listen to since there is a new axe master in Ozzyland to get acquainted with in Gus G. The best tracks are “I Want It More,” “Diggin Me Down,” and “Life Won’t Wait.” It is interesting that many of Scream’s best riffs throughout the record are the ones that come right before the guitar solos. Overall, this feels like a slightly better album than 2007’s Black Rain and a far superior record to 2001’s Down To Earth.
Ozzy Osbourne is Ozzy Osbourne (Vocals), Gus G. (Guitars), Rob “Blasko” Nicholson, and Tommy Clufetos (Drums).