Scream review by Ozzy Osbourne

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jun 22, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (90 votes)
Ozzy Osbourne: Scream
4

Sound — 7
Ozzy Osbourne has become as much a reality show icon as a heavy metal trailblazer since the early 2000's, so it's always interesting (and a little nerve-wracking) to hear what musical direction the Prince of Darkness is about to take particularly at the age of 61. The most notable transition that Osbourne has made for his 10th studio album Scream is replacing his right-hand man Zakk Wylde with Firewind guitarist Gus G. Although one might assume that the seamless technical work of Gus G might alter the overall sound of Ozzy, Scream actually is still actually on par with a good deal of the frontman's contemporary work with Wylde. In the end Scream seems to be the brainchild of writer/producer Kevin Churko (the man also responsible for 2007's Black Rain), and he does stick with a fairly tried-and-true musical formula. If there is one standout aspect of Scream, it's the fact that Ozzy's vocal ability is still eerily consistent with his past work. Some singers' style/strength wanes as the decades pass, but Ozzy impresses time after time. Churko's songwriting suitably fits Ozzy's style, but in the same breath it never feels overly inspired. Some material on Scream specifically Let Me Hear You Scream and I Want More does feel a bit cookie cutter in its approach. The choruses are most definitely hummable and you can be guaranteed that radio DJs will churn them out regularly, and in reality that's not the worst thing in the world. For Ozzy, a cornerstone of metal, you just wish for something a bit more. Scream does contain standout tracks that evoke old school Ozzy. Soul Sucker, with a sludgy guitar riff and generally ominous sound, is without a doubt the best track on the CD. The sinister, playfully evil Latimer's Mercy could go toe-to-toe with plenty of Ozzy's material from the 1980's or early 1990's. Gus G, who slings out plenty of riffage, does an excellent job of never alienating the fans who may have been offended by Ozzy and wife's decision to replace Wylde. There is little to complain about with the guitars in general, with Soul Sucker actually sounding like it could be the product of a Black Label Society songwriting session.

Lyrics — 9
With the exception of songs like Latimer's Mercy or Soul Sucker, Scream rarely delves into traditionally darker themes. The Ozzy of 2010 instead opts to reflect on dishonesty in religious leaders (Crucify), spirituality in general (Diggin' Me Down), and living life to the fullest (Life Won't Wait, Time). While it's easy to pine for a bit more wickedness, reality shows and the passing of time really no longer makes that a viable option. The most cryptic (and brief) lyrical content arrives in the final track I Love You All. Ozzy basically conveys what the title suggests, sending a big thank-you to his dedicated fans as his musical career winds down.

Overall Impression — 8
It's difficult not to yearn for the darker side of Ozzy, and Scream satisfies that need occasionally. Diggin' Me Down features a riff that is derivative of Black Sabbath and Soul Sucker certainly fits the bill musically and lyrically. The CD is heavy on Ozzy's more pensive side, which is likely more fitting for the man at this stage in the game anyway. Scream does top the material heard on Black Rain, but it still seems to get caught up in the Billboard singles game.

65 comments sorted by best / new / date

    mh1986
    this album would have been much better had they omitted most of the effects. It's overproduced to put it simply.
    gisobon
    Gus G sucks. Ozzy's voice stays the same and awesome as always. the solos doesn't make any sense. i've got to say that this is trash already. the only reason why i even bother hearing this,is because of the voice of the prince of darkness,Ozzy Osbourne. If Zakk Wylde was his guitarist, there would be 2 or 3 songs that has piano parts in it. Soulful, melodic, piano music. but gus g can't even ****ing play the piano. what a disappointment, Ozzy. everything inside scream is nothing but noise. Gus G is seriously a failure. he thinks he's badass by writing all those lame riffs.
    OzZY-RuLE5!!!!!
    i will pick my copy tomarrow and give my 2 cents. even though personally i would like to see oz work with rubin on a new album. yes ozzy is doing another one as he mentioned it on jimmy kimmel. rubin could bring back dark ozzy's feeling album with a flare.
    BrixDK
    xMCH_0720x wrote: GibsonMan321 wrote: I thought it would sound new and maybe go back to a Jake E Lee sort of sound, but yeah this sounds almost exactly like Black Rain :/ Kevin Churko needs to go IMO. The solos are okay on some of them, but the thing that ruins it for me is the Synth/Piano breaks in at least half of the songs. With about a minute left in the song, it stops the song dead in it's tracks right in the middle of the solo or a really rockin' part. My favorite song off of there was Diggin Me Down, and I'm suprised that the reviewer barely mentioned it. It sounds to me like Gus's Diary of a Madman, if you will. The first song is also way too long at around 6 minutes; they couldve halved it and put more than 8 actual songs on there (I don't count "I Love You All since it's only a minute long). Overall... It's kind of a let down. something new as in going back to Jake E Lee sort of sound...thats not new. I hate to break it to ya. And its hard for people nowadays to come up with more original stuff especially like ozzy who has what, 10 studio albums now? he found a style and he likes it, it worked for him before, why not try it again?
    mdr9inchnails
    This album is pretty good, I mean what do you all expect from ozzy nowadays after all the drugs and alcohol he's been through over the year? lol
    dgunblatt
    listening to the first track 'let it die' and man has it started on the wrong foot. overproduced, sounds like a pop rock song.
    14_years1818
    the reason it might sound a lot like black rain II to some people is casue its the same producer.. i want to see what the next album sounds like to judge the guitarist.. hopefully a new producer..
    14_years1818
    and the bonus track one more time is one of the best songs on the album.. should have been on it instead of i love you all or latimers mercy.
    ProgJazzMath
    gisobon wrote: Gus G sucks. Ozzy's voice stays the same and awesome as always. the solos doesn't make any sense. i've got to say that this is trash already. the only reason why i even bother hearing this,is because of the voice of the prince of darkness,Ozzy Osbourne. If Zakk Wylde was his guitarist, there would be 2 or 3 songs that has piano parts in it. Soulful, melodic, piano music. but gus g can't even ****ing play the piano. what a disappointment, Ozzy. everything inside scream is nothing but noise. Gus G is seriously a failure. he thinks he's badass by writing all those lame riffs.
    Haha, you are such a dumbass. The solo's don't make sense you say? Maybe it has something to do with Gus G being more of a progressive guitar player than Zakk and thinking outside of the standard Ozzy box. He has very interesting phrasing and is a damn good player. Honestly, he can pull off ANYTHING Zakk Wylde can do. The part about the piano man... You are just ridiculous for even saying that.
    warlockking
    I preferred black rain, and ozzys past albums, but I didn't feel like i wasted the money buying it. I do think that the harder songs on it, Let me Hear You Scream, Soul Sucker, Diggin Me Down, and Let it Die, were the albums strong points. The slower songs weren't Ozzy's best. Overall a pretty good album.
    Rokodlak
    i heard whole album,only one thing is good,other sucks...ozzy, this line up is :@
    BrixDK
    jacob911363 wrote: This is Ozzy doing what HE wants, not what YOU want. Sorry guys.
    Haha you're funny
    mr gOiD
    I want one more album with Gus, where Zakk doesn't do all the pre-writing before I jump out and say "Gus SUCKS! Wah!" Although, I think he could've done better with the solos...It's got that A7X feel where everything is decent and then the guitarist comes out and has to "prove" he can shred and then f*cks it all up. The lyrics were pretty f*ckin' good IMO and Ozzy's vocals are strong as ever. I can dig it
    nautiluspfd
    1. Wylde did a lot of writing on this album, hence the similarities to Black Rain, I'm sure it'll be a little more diverse on the next record. 2. BOOHOO Zakk isn't on here playing the same solo he's been playing for the past 20 years, someone call the wahhhmbulance. Gus does a pretty good job for a last minute replacement and honestly his solos arent that bad a little jake e. lee esque 3. I agree that Ozzy needs a new producer, Kevin Churko is obviously a one trick pony. To be completely honest i think Ozz should take the multiple songwriters/producers approach that he used on Ozzmosis, while its not the best album in his catalogue it was certainly more diverse and dynamic than his past few releases
    smfforever1984
    When I first heard the album, I thought it was garbage. But after listening to it a few times, its starting to wear on me. As others have said, it is overproduced. Theres many effects that completely unneeded. In some places, I swear its Zakk playing and not Gus G. Theres also an obvious Pop influence in there. But its not that bad after all. Its pretty good overall. 7/10
    transATL005
    cheeser wrote: The cover looks a little like Hybrid Theory...
    No it doesn't. At all.
    trendkill-
    gisobon wrote: Gus G sucks. Ozzy's voice stays the same and awesome as always. the solos doesn't make any sense. i've got to say that this is trash already. the only reason why i even bother hearing this,is because of the voice of the prince of darkness,Ozzy Osbourne. If Zakk Wylde was his guitarist, there would be 2 or 3 songs that has piano parts in it. Soulful, melodic, piano music. but gus g can't even ****ing play the piano. what a disappointment, Ozzy. everything inside scream is nothing but noise. Gus G is seriously a failure. he thinks he's badass by writing all those lame riffs.
    some one has fan boy issues to deal with
    yoozum
    gus g is a great guitarist who unfortunately had to really dumb himself down for this album. from what i've heard, this sounds very similar to what crap zakk wylde would write.
    BcRichRocker1
    this album is okay, i really like let me hear you scream and soul sucka... but i dont really think adding gus made a difference. he is alright but he sure doesnt show it with his solos on this record. they dont fit at all. and the songs arent even catchy for the most part. i still give ozzy credit for being able 2 put an album together at the age he is, but im somewhat dissapointed with the album overall.
    SatanPriest
    It doesn't really matter who's playing guitar on the album, it was written by the producer and Ozzy. Someone told me it was already written before Gus G. was even involved with the album.
    ewp805
    I love Firewind and really dig Gus G's style, but I don't think his merges well with Ozzy's. Sounds a bit overproduced and forced... please keep working on you Firewind stuff, Gus.
    JimiAwesome
    EpiExplorer wrote: Its actually very good, its just everyones all 'Oh sounds the same'. Guess what, shit sounds the same, just depends on if the sounds good. Which it is in this case.
    i totally agree
    ryaniomitch
    would you rather hear this everyday or manufactured pop Sh*t like the jonas brothers and lady gaga?
    La Moda
    gisobon wrote: Gus G sucks. Ozzy's voice stays the same and awesome as always. the solos doesn't make any sense. i've got to say that this is trash already. the only reason why i even bother hearing this,is because of the voice of the prince of darkness,Ozzy Osbourne. If Zakk Wylde was his guitarist, there would be 2 or 3 songs that has piano parts in it. Soulful, melodic, piano music. but gus g can't even ****ing play the piano. what a disappointment, Ozzy. everything inside scream is nothing but noise. Gus G is seriously a failure. he thinks he's badass by writing all those lame riffs.
    i guess gus g didn't play keyboards on firewinds early work....as for zakk....after his beard grew his talent seemed to have abandoned him....
    Jyrgen
    ryaniomitch wrote: would you rather hear this everyday or manufactured pop Sh*t like the jonas brothers and lady gaga?
    Neither please
    Axeman96
    When you think its the guitarists who write the music, I dont think ozzy has had a great album since the jake days. As for the album I think its pretty good. Nice to hear an ozzy album without a pinch harmonic after every verse and a million times in the chorus.
    Andragon
    Diggin' Me Down, Soul Sucker, Latimer's and the final track are surprisingly nice. I could do without the rest.
    numinis
    to ug'sbassplayer: hate is cool nowadays, everyone who likes something is a pussy
    xMCH_0720x
    GibsonMan321 wrote: I thought it would sound new and maybe go back to a Jake E Lee sort of sound, but yeah this sounds almost exactly like Black Rain :/ Kevin Churko needs to go IMO. The solos are okay on some of them, but the thing that ruins it for me is the Synth/Piano breaks in at least half of the songs. With about a minute left in the song, it stops the song dead in it's tracks right in the middle of the solo or a really rockin' part. My favorite song off of there was Diggin Me Down, and I'm suprised that the reviewer barely mentioned it. It sounds to me like Gus's Diary of a Madman, if you will. The first song is also way too long at around 6 minutes; they couldve halved it and put more than 8 actual songs on there (I don't count "I Love You All since it's only a minute long). Overall... It's kind of a let down.
    something new as in going back to Jake E Lee sort of sound...thats not new. I hate to break it to ya. And its hard for people nowadays to come up with more original stuff especially like ozzy who has what, 10 studio albums now? he found a style and he likes it, it worked for him before, why not try it again?
    S.D.M.F.
    Duuuude so dissapointing. What was the point in Zakk leaving, this just sounds like Black Rain II. With Gus G playing I was expecting either a return to oldschool Ozzy or a new sound entirely. Maybe it will be better to judge on the next album.
    Blackwaterson89
    I listened to Scream, it made me not want to listen to rest of the album. Its not because Im huge Zakk fan, its because the song sounds bland. Ozzy has lost a step or two in his old age. At the same though, I heard the song he did with Slash and it was great. So, I dont know if he lost a step or just needs a change of mindset when he is writing. Zakk's albums dont all sound the same, so it wasnt Zakk I dont think. I think Ozzy has just got lost in that sound. I think he needs more then a change of a guitarist to help him.
    Screamin' Eagle
    Although Gus G is a sweet guitarist for firewind, i have to say i hate his solos on this record, they dont fit to the point where they ruin the songs.
    Silentlassassin
    I was expecting more. I don't think I will take more than 2 or 3 songs for consistent listening from this album. But that was the same for Black Rain and Down to Earth. A sad trend is occurring.
    EpiExplorer
    Its actually very good, its just everyones all 'Oh sounds the same'. Guess what, shit sounds the same, just depends on if the sounds good. Which it is in this case.
    GibsonMan321
    I thought it would sound new and maybe go back to a Jake E Lee sort of sound, but yeah this sounds almost exactly like Black Rain :/ Kevin Churko needs to go IMO. The solos are okay on some of them, but the thing that ruins it for me is the Synth/Piano breaks in at least half of the songs. With about a minute left in the song, it stops the song dead in it's tracks right in the middle of the solo or a really rockin' part. My favorite song off of there was Diggin Me Down, and I'm suprised that the reviewer barely mentioned it. It sounds to me like Gus's Diary of a Madman, if you will. The first song is also way too long at around 6 minutes; they couldve halved it and put more than 8 actual songs on there (I don't count "I Love You All since it's only a minute long). Overall... It's kind of a let down.
    Mr_CiNiC
    gisobon wrote: Gus G sucks. Ozzy's voice stays the same and awesome as always. the solos doesn't make any sense. i've got to say that this is trash already. the only reason why i even bother hearing this,is because of the voice of the prince of darkness,Ozzy Osbourne. If Zakk Wylde was his guitarist, there would be 2 or 3 songs that has piano parts in it. Soulful, melodic, piano music. but gus g can't even ****ing play the piano. what a disappointment, Ozzy. everything inside scream is nothing but noise. Gus G is seriously a failure. he thinks he's badass by writing all those lame riffs.
    Yup. Can't have a heavy metal album without Zakk Wylde playing piano in at least 3 songs. HURR
    crjh
    I long for the creativity of Jake E Lee's riffs and solos. They were the days! Zakk's cool too of course, my fave being No Rest For The Wicked. The new album is OK, but there's just no zing to it..... Sounds contrived and forced. No passion in the riffs IMO
    Adz2706
    I think its good. I listened to firewind and thought Gus G would suck but its better than I expected.
    TylerNK525
    i dont like most of the electronic sounding stuff, like on "let it die", but other than that, i think ozzy will have another successful album. "diggin me down" has to be my favorite track on it. i love the "diary of a madman"-like acoustic intro that leads into a heavy kickass riff