One drunk and high plane ride later and one of the greatest guitarists since Eddie Van Halen
died. For many, especially among the elitists of metal, this marked the beginning of the end for the Prince of Darkness
, the prodigal son from the band Black Sabbath
: Ozzy Osbourne
I'm sad to say, that I agree with much of what they say. This album really isn't that strong. Maybe I'm being too hard on Jake E. Lee
, though I think his solos on this album are decent. More
or less, I find myself harder on Ozzy than anything else. The reason being that he begun to lose his voice on this album. His singing is not what it was in Blizzard
and Diary of a Madman
. Some of you may know what I mean: he goes into a nasal, "head" voice when singing the high-notes, which, back in the old days of Paranoid
, he never did. Now my music instructors always told me to sing from the diaphragm, not the head. Ergo, what we see with this, and every album up until Black Rain
, is Ozzy refusing to believe that his voice is going to pot (probably because of his over-use of pot, cocaine and other drugs), so he throws diaphragm-singing out the window and starts into an annoying head-voice.
Therein is one thing that Dio
never did, for those who love .
So yes, what good IS there to this album? Not a lot, unfortunately. Well, aside from his nasal, head-voice on almost every single track, the title track "Bark at the Moon
" is definitely one of the few good ones. "You're No Different", another ballad, is good lyrically, since it is Ozzy telling the nay-sayers they're just as bad as he. Another, and perhaps, the last good song on this album is "Rock'n'Roll Rebel". It also happens to have my favorite line from this entire album:
"They say I worship the devil
They must be stupid or blind"
Unfortunately, the album doesn't deliver much else. The rest of the tracks are just so boring and uneventful. "Center of Eternity
" feels like it should be a power-metal track, lyrically, but Ozzy's annoying head-voice just gets in the way. Barely a third of the album is listenable.
So why rate it so high? Well, I can't degrade the skill of Ozzy's co-musicians, even if the Prince of Darkness
was, according to his own words, so fat he looked like 'Jabba the Hutt
's fucking brother' during this time. This was perhaps his darkest time yet, with the over-use of his drugs, the death of his friend and band-mate Randy
Rhoads, ups and downs with his manager and future-wife Sharon and negative encounters with the law and everything (apparently, you don't tell a cop "I wouldn't give a fuck" after pissing on the Alamo. lol)
But, let us be fair. This depressing piece aside, it is good at least that Ozzy did not give up in the wake of so many trials. Those who just pack it in after one little bump in the road of life are quitters: those who give those bumps the finger and keep on going are the legends. Ozzy Osbourne
is definitely a legend, despite what the nay-sayers have to say. It is a wonder that he was even able to make an album in this trying time, and that is why this album gets at least 14 of 20, for persevering through hard-times and making something...at least half-way decent.