Friday, September 9, 2022

Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number Nine

Poor Ozzy has had quite a difficult time in the past few years. He's gone public with his Parkinson's diagnosis, has suffered a fall and a long road to recovery, caught COVID-19... Add to that decades of self abuse, and no one would blame him if he he decided to retire and enjoy some peace and quiet in his twilight years.

But his appearances at the Commonwealth Games and at some NFL event in the past few weeks have proven that, despite his recent woes, Ozzy wants to sing, he wants to record and he wants to perform.

His previous record Ordinary Man was a step inn the right direction, but the last Ozzy Osbourne album I really enjoyed was Ozzmosis from 1995, so I'm pretty shocked to be digging this new record so much. It's never going to become a classic, but it's surprisingly solid. It's a treat to finally hear his trademark mongoloid howl (even if it's heavily processed) over some great songs again. The instrumental performances are fantastic, but how could it be otherwise with the cast assembled here? Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, Zakk Wylde... And those are just the guitarists.

The "modern" production lacks dynamics, but this is a problem that has plagued 99% of metal and hard rock releases for twenty years. Best to concentrate on the positive: the songs. It's been decades since the Madman hasn't released a collection with so many great songs. Patient #9, Parasite, One Of Those Days, A Thousand Shades and Degradation Rules are all top-notch numbers, at once heavy and catchy. There are a few filler tracks of course, but nothing as dismal as what you can find on Black Rain or Down To Earth.

It's a great return to form for the Prince of Goofiness Darkness and here's the icing on the cake: Ozzy's been teasing a return to the stage, tentatively for next summer. We last saw him a little over four years ago and now, armed with such great new material and a new lease on life, he's sure to bring the house down again. He warned us years ago: You Can't Kill Rock N' Roll.

Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: September 9th, 2022
Label: Epic
Rating: 7/10

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