Ozzy Osbourne

Black Rain

Written by: ASH on 29/05/2007 01:00:53

Stand in awe humans! The prince of darkness has returned with his ninth demonic studio release, straight out from the depths of those more fiery parts of Epic Records that we do not speak of. Now is the time for John Michael Osbourne aka Lord Ozzy Osbourne's historical voice, accompanied by mindnumbing riffs from legendary Zakk Wylde of well-known Black Label Society and a hellfire of heavy metal bombshells, to be released upon our priced sound systems. Released seven days ago, it has already received some pretty shiny grades in lots of musical magazines worldwide, along with the almost cliché-ish rants from various Christian teen watchdog groups. Guess the old, dark geezer will never find rest. Then again, Ozzy has already proclaimed through his album that he "Doesn't Wanna Stop" anyways, so to the heck with the rosy world, bring forth the darkness!

Yeah, yeah, I'm no heavy metal guru nor am I a real brainer on Black Sabbath or Ozzy Osbourne in general, I know. But nevertheless, Ozzy's newest release "Black Rain" is just the heavy metal injection I've needed for a long time, and I'm not even done listening to the first track "Not Going Away"! If someone can make a perfectly suiting intro-track to an album, this track would be one of my definite winners. Starting out with Zakk Wylde hammering a marching riff through what sounds like a transistor radio effect, "Not Going Away" suddenly explodes into the good ol' heavy metal sound, like setting fire to a whole Saudi Arabian oil rig and feeling the heat of gallons of ignited fuel burning your skin. I strongly advise listeners to turn your volume to the far east before pressing play, and even further east as your player reaches the 2:23 minutes mark, which indicates that now is the time for a seriously devious solo played perfectly by Zakk Wylde. Not to mention Ozzy's characteristic vocals overlapping Wylde as his solo comes to an end. His voice alone is almost more than half of the over-all greatness of this intriguing intro track.

From here on, it's all a pleasure ride through catchy riffs, intense vocals and numerous stories being told about our world today, geniously wrapped into a fine combination of Iraq war criticism in the third track "Black Rain" to Ozzy's past addiction to crystal meth in the sixth track "11 Silver". The display of energy he and his companions Mike Bordin and Kevin Churko show throughout the entire album is amazing, especially when you take his age and personal health into consideration. Maybe that's why the recording took almost a year, the man recorded half a minute and then found some sleeping pills in his candy drawer in order to get enough energy to complete another half the following day. But hey, maybe that's also why the album radiates with a feeling of completeness? I can't deny that even the final track "Trap Door" simply closes the entire heavy metal parade so impressively, that I would almost look through my fingers with the album's tendency to almost sound a little too weak in some tracks. All in all, some say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but this dog has certainly managed and mastered something here even though he's a little limpy here and there.


Download: Not Going Away, Trap Door, Black Rain
For the fans of: Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest
Listen: His dark lair @ MySpace

Release Date 22.05.2007
Epic Records

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