Black Rain

Ozzy Osbourne

After the BLACK SABBATH reunion tour and the fuss created by the HEAVEN 'N' HELL […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
May 20, 2007
Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain album cover

After the BLACK SABBATH reunion tour and the fuss created by the HEAVEN 'N' HELL one, Ozzy returns with his ninth solo album after almost six years since the Down To Earth release. He has already stated that Black Rain is the first album that he has created while being completely sober. Well it's up to us to judge whether his clean condition serves us in terms of creativity and inspiration.
The opening trackNot Going Away is mid-tempo and it's really heavy as hell comprising the classic Zakk Wylde vibrato. The bass guitar groove creates a solid rhythm as Zakk torments his guitar during the solo. Of course, there are no surprises in the vocals where Ozzy performs with his flat yet trademark one octave-voice. I Don't Wanna Stop turns up the heat with some No More Tears atmosphere and a really catchy chorus. The anti-war song Black Rain is next, comprising a really black atmosphere implementing harmonica melodies and some Eastern tunes to go with. This is probably the best track of the album starting with a ton-heavy tempo and slowly builds the tension that breaks out in the end. In every Ozzy album there is a power ballad and this time is entitled Lay Your World On Me. Personally, I don't find anything special or interesting in this kind of songs because they sound predictable. Back to the heavy stuff with the bass guitar driven song The Almighty Dollar. The keyboard solo fits perfectly to Zakk's guitar leads that come just before the strange break with the electronic sounds that create a bizarre atmosphere. I can't believe I'm still here, I know I should be dead sings Ozzy in the aggressive track Silver that was written about the new drug called crystal meth. Here the axeman Zakk really shines with his shredding licks and leads. Leaving behind Civilize The Universe which it's nothing special, we reach the piano based track Here For You that was written for the fans and has some pretty interesting orchestration. The album closes with the groovy track Countdown's Begun and the fast paced Trap Door where some more electronic sounds and the main guitar riff create a solid headbanging rhythm.
I think everyone will be happy with Ozzy's return proving he has more to give. Black Rain sounds fresh and if you don't my saying a little bit modern. It is better than the previous one even if there are just a couple of songs that could stand in a Ozzy live set list without blushing with shame. Let's hope that the next Ozzy album would be under the BLACK SABBATH moniker.

7 / 10


"Black Rain" Track-listing:

Not Going Away
I Don't Wanna Stop
Black Rain
Lay Your World On Me
The Almighty Dollar
Civilize The Universe
Here For You
Countdown's Begun
Trap Door

Ozzy Osbourne Lineup:

Ozzy - Vocals
Zakk Wylde - Guitar
Rob Nicholson (Blasko) - Bass
Mike Bordin - Drums

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