The heavy metal icon is back and better than ever, and this time he brought friends
September 9 saw the release of metal veteran Ozzy Osbourne’s latest album Patient Number 9. It is the thirteenth studio album in Osbourne’s portfolio which is quite an impressive feat, especially considering his recent health issues.
Besides getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in April, he underwent a major neck surgery in June which brought concern to his family and fans, despite his recovery. While his health hasn’t stopped him from performing suitably on Patient Number 9, the whole theme of the LP centers on life and death. Mortality has certainly struck a chord within Osbourne, making him a far cry from the man who used to snort ants and bite heads off of birds for fun.
The album boasts a motley of features that are just as big as Ozzy in the music industry. Musicians like Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde, and last but not least, Ozzy’s former Black Sabbath bandmate from Tony Iommi.
It was also quite emotional to see that the late Taylor Hawkins had tracked drums for a couple of songs, like “God Only Knows” along with Metallica’s Robert Trujillo on bass.
There are quite a few memorable songs from this LP: “Parasite” with Zakk Wylde on guitar was quite a funky and upbeat song for Ozzy’s songwriting tastes. The sixteenth-beat tambourine shakes were oddly reminiscent of Fall Out Boy, and even Britpop bands like Oasis and Republica.
McCready was featured on “Immortal” which happens to be my favourite track. The mixture of grunge guitar chugging along with hard rock bass from Guns ‘n’ Roses Duff McKagan and funk rock drums from Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith created a best of both worlds track for my ears.
For a heavy metal artist, this latest release is heavily produced. The rhythm feels almost as if it is quantized (the process of moving notes in a music software to the exact time signature to make a beat sound perfectly in time) — so certain songs like “Parasite” sounded way too digital and processed for my liking.
Regardless of the musicality, several songs on the album didn’t feel like they were to Ozzy’s liking. Then again, you could just chalk it up to the evolution of a musician’s songwriting process!
Trial track: “Immortal” (feat. Mike McCready)