Sound — 9
01. Let It Die: starts out with a heavily distorted guitar with a cool bass line, followed by a cool little riff and a mediocre solo. Then things slow down and get heavy as we hear Ozzy's voice for the first time, although very distorted and produced sounding. After the verse, Ozzy goes right into the chorus, which sounds like something that has only progressed slightly from Black Rain. Later in the song, we get to the main solo. Cool sounding solo but nothing earth-shattering from Gus G on this first main solo of the album. After the solo, things pick up again with an interesting faster riff, then back into the chorus once more. Solid opening to the album. 02. Let Me Hear You Scream: this one starts hard and heavy with a nice little intro solo from Gus. This track features some cool guitar fills. I have to admit, the lyrics on this one are a littlecorny. A bit of a switch from listening to classic Prince of Darkness' lyrics. They almost sound like something out of a high school cheer. The one thing that does make up for it slightly is Gus's guitar playing. The main solo is very fast and technical. Very well done. Back into the chorus once more and that's all she wrote for this one. 03. Soul Sucker: starts out with a very heavy and distorted riff. This song has some good, classic, Oz-Man style lyrics in it. Very heavy and well written chorus on this track. This song also features a great breakdown in the middle of the song, followed by a bridge from Ozzy and then a short, but very fast and technical solo from Gus. Very strong track and one of the album's best. 04. Life Won't Wait: the album switches direction with an acoustic intro for Life Won't Wait. The verses are played through either a clean sounding guitar or an acoustic, while the chorus switches over to a slightly heavier and more distorted guitar. The verse lyrics are pretty decent, but the chorus lyrics leave something to be desired. There are a few bright spots of guitar playing in this song. Again, the solo is solid with lots of fast technical stuff. 05. Diggin Me Down: here again for the second song in a row, we see an acoustic intro, this one being better than the first though. Very nice sounding. But then, with a few strums of a couple ominous sounding chords, things start to get a little darker, and all of a sudden, we rip into a heavy distorted riff from Guss accompanied by some pounding drums. Great start to the song. This song also sets up well for Ozzy's vocal style. This song also features some great, dark lyrics similar to the classic Ozzy we all know and love. This one also features a great solo that's starts out more melodic than fast and ends with a couple fast runs. 06. Crucify: this one also features some pretty decent lyrics from Ozzy. Nothing spectacular to speak of from the guitar playing until about halfway through the song. The lead into the solo is very good and nice and heavy. Again, the solo is fast and impressive and it sounds like we hear some of Gus's tapping skills, but once again, the solo is fairly short. 07. Fearless: this one starts with a heavy smack in this face from the guitar part. The verse is nothing special but does feature a few good guitar fills from Gus. The chorus is pretty heavy with some simple, but effective guitar playing from Gus. This track is nothing real special. Just a filler track in my opinion. 08. Time: the beginning of this song sounds like a slow, sub-par intro to an 80s pop song. Not much to say about this one. Kinda disappointing. Nothing too special or noteworthy about it. Only thing positive from this song is a very strong guitar solo which is also a bit longer than the previous solos. Probably my least favorite song on the album. 09. I Want It More: this one starts out with a very eerie, piano part, which then progresses into a heavy, in your face guitar riff. This one features some great guitar playing from Gus: heavy riffs, cool fills, and a great solo. The guitar part leading into the solo feels like a kick right to the face. This is followed by a face melting solo and some very crunchy rhythm guitar playing. Then, when least expected, we fade back into the piano that we heard at the beginning, but Ozzy is just messing with you, and back into the heavy riffage we go. This track is perhaps the best on the album. 10. Latimer's Mercy: again, we start out with some very heavy, eerie sounding guitars. The vocals on this track are once again very over-produced feeling, at least during at the very beginning of the track. Nothing too technical or flashy from the guitar part in the way of riffs or fills. Solo is very heavily distorted and fairly well done. Nothing to write home about though. All in all an average tune from the late stages of Ozzy's career. 11. I Love You All: the last track is only a minute long and it almost sounds like Ozzy's goodbye to his fans. Perhaps his last album? Time will tell.
Lyrics — 7
The album does feature some lyrics similar to classic Ozzy, but some tracks almost feel like he is your father giving you some kind of corny life lesson. There are some tracks on here which don't fit the Oz man's typical lyrical style, namely Let Me Hear You Scream, Life Won't Wait, and Time. The vocals in some spots seem a little too distorted and over-produced.
Overall Impression — 8
Before purchasing this album, I didn't have any kind of expectations that it was going to be another Blizzard of Oz or Diary of a Madman, but Ozzy does put out a good solid effort with Scream. For fans looking for an album that sounds like it's straight out of the Randy Rhoads era, then you'll probably be disappointed, but if you like heavy, solid, straightforward, metal with some short, but fast and technical solos, you will find this one quite enjoyable. The only thing I was hoping for that was abscent was a longer, extended solo section in one of the songs from Gus, perhaps something similar to No More Tears. Certainly could have been a LOT worse effort, especially since Ozzy is getting a little older, but hey, you can't outgrow being a metal super-star. Rock on Ozzy. I'll keep listening so long as you keep putting out new stuff.