sun 25/09/2022

Album: Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9 | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9

Album: Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9

A fiery good-bye to the USA from the Prince of Darkness

Ozzy rises to the occasion

Is Ozzy Osbourne finally over the hill and ready to knock this rock’n’roll thing on the head? It’s a question that has been asked many times since he was unceremoniously dumped by Black Sabbath in 1979.

Ozzy seems physically and artistically indestructible, even though few will remember albums like Under Cover with great affection. He’s even become an international treasure along the way and recently helped close the Commonwealth Games with “Iron Man” and “Paranoid” – and ex-Black Sabbath confederate Tony Iommi laying down the riffs.

Fortunately, his first album since 2020’s Ordinary Man is also a fine piece of work that might be viewed as his final thoughts about living in Los Angeles before his rumoured return to the UK. Mental illness, paranoia and confusion are stamped through Patient Number 9, which might reflect the Aston Madman’s decision to come home because America is “too crazy”.

Given Ozzy’s recent health problems, it’s quite surprising that he’s managed to record a new album at all. Yet he has managed to pull in some serious guitar support from old pals Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, Mike McCready and Zakk Wylde – and there are plenty of howling solos and dirty riffs. Inevitably, it is the two tunes which have Tony Iommi on his detuned six-string that are going to get the most attention though.

“No Escape from Now” and “Degradation Rules” are seriously good songs that wouldn’t be out of place next to “End of the Beginning” or “Damaged Soul” from the final Black Sabbath album, 13. With stoner rock and heavy blues vibes, they show that Ozzy and Tony are still perfectly capable of creating magic together. That said, there is plenty else that is worth a listen and the title track with Jeff Beck, “Immortal” with Pearl Jam’s McCready and “Parasite” with Zakk Wylde all bring out the best in Ozzy on an album with very few duds – even if it sounds that more than a touch of Autotune has been needed to preserve his characteristic wailing.

Inevitably, it is the two tunes which have Tony Iommi on his detuned six-string that are going to get the most attention

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