Some reinventions work, some don’t. Ozzy recasting himself in the mould of MTV reality star? Success. Providing UK broadsheet The Sunday Times with a health column? Certainly raised some eyebrows. So it’s just as well that he’s sticking to a tried-and-tested formula on 10th studio album Scream. Or at least in terms of the music, which runs a narrow gauntlet from screamo to guitar-pop dressed up in enough doomy sonic trappings so as not to ruin his metal cred.
First single ‘Let Me Hear You Scream’ appears to feature the hordes of Sauron on backing vocals. ‘Diggin’ Me Down’ is packed with a guitar squeal that sounds like someone ritually sacrificing a hamster and feeding it through an overdrive pedal. And where he does deviate into the odd acoustic moment (‘Life Won’t Wait’) the chug isn’t far behind.
But the problems start when you listen to the lyrics. ‘I’m a killer.’ Really? ‘I am warrior.’ Sure? ‘I promise I’ll save you while I’m cutting your throat.’ Oh, knock it off. Tenuous at points, then. But wasn’t a metal album by
a 61-year-old family man always going to be?
Available now online.