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Ozzy Osbourne - Scream

Ozzy Osbourne's eleventh studio album, "Scream," released on June 14, 2010, proves once again, the heavy metal greatness of the Prince of Darkness.

Initially intended to be titled "Soul Sucka" (as the title of the third song), the album underwent a title change following objections from fans. Produced by Ozzy Osbourne himself and Kevin Churko, who had previously worked on Osbourne's 2007 album "Black Rain," "Scream" was recorded at Osbourne's home studio, known as "The Bunker," in Los Angeles, California.

The album introduces Greek power metal guitarist Gus G as a new addition to Osbourne's band, replacing longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde. Gus G's technical prowess and progressive style breathe new life into the album and are one of its highlights. His heavy riffing, reminiscent of Sabbath's early days but with a modern twist, can be heard on tracks like "Let Me Hear You Scream" and "Fearless". Throughout the album you can hear Gus G's talent, demonstrating his ability to deliver both "Black Sabbath"-inspired doom riffs and at the same time pay homage to Randy Rhoads with shredding solos and neo-classic/basic heavy metal playing. "Scream" is also the first album to feature keyboardist Adam Wakeman (son of...) as a full band member, after being with Osbourne as a touring musician since 2004.

Ozzy Osbourne's vocals remain as powerful as ever on "Scream." His signature wails and shouts are present throughout the album, and he even incorporates vocal effects, as seen in the opening track "Let It Die", which adds an atmospheric dimension to the songs. Osbourne's performance is still captivating, showcasing his ability to deliver a range of styles, from his classic wailing to the shouted choruses found in "Let Me Hear You Scream".

As for the production, the album occasionally veers into overproduction, giving a somewhat mechanical feel, akin to Osbourne's previous release, "Black Rain". However, there is still a substantial improvement from the previous album that allows a fluid listening to the album throughout without tiring the ear.

The album's band lineup also includes Rob Nicholson on bass and Tommy Clufetos on drums. While the album primarily features producer Kevin Churko on drums, it was Tommy Clufetos who was credited as the drummer since he was touring with Osbourne's band at the time. No doubt that both the bass and drums' contributions add depth and power to the overall heavy sound.

"Scream" is a mix of standout tracks and weaker moments. Songs like the concert favorite "Let Me Hear You Scream" or "Diggin' Me Down" with its beautiful classically-inspired introduction reminiscent of "Diary of a Madman", show great potential for more unleashed energy. On the other hand songs like the one-minute "I Love You All" and "I Want It More" fail to leave a lasting impact, with the latter's religious lyricism eliciting a cringe-worthy response. Additionally, there are instances where the album feels a little held back, with mid-paced songs like "Crucify", "Time" or the semi-power ballad that was released as the second single from the album "Life Won't Wait".

Despite its flaws, "Scream" reaffirms Ozzy Osbourne's position as a formidable force in the metal genre. While it may not reach the heights of his classics like "Blizzard Of Ozz", the album showcases Osbourne's enduring talent and ability to create memorable tracks in his sixth decade. From his dynamic vocals to the impressive guitar work of Gus G and the solid performances by the rest of the band, "Scream" serves as a welcome addition to any fan's collection, reminding listeners that Ozzy Osbourne still possesses a commanding presence in the world of heavy metal.

For Listening: Spotify, Apple Music

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