Overall Score: 8/10 Songs: 8/10 Diversity: 8/10 Replay Value: 8/10 Pros: Another great album from a true metal legend Cons: A hefty runtime creates some pacing issues
When OZZY OSBOURNE dropped Ordinary Man in 2020, his first new album in a decade, many of us assumed it would be his swansong. After 50 years in the game, it felt like he was bowing out. In reality we couldn’t have been more wrong, and here we are with a new album from the Double O.
Patient Number 9 is his most star-studded album yet, featuring a murderers’ row of collaborators. For long term fans, it’s the first album in 15 years to feature ZAKK WYLDE. Later, BLACK SABBATH bandmate Tony Iommi makes an appearence on an OZZY solo for the first time. Alongside these titans, there are features from ERIC CLAPTON and JEFF BECK, as well as members of METALLICA, PEARL JAM, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE and the late Taylor Hawkins (FOO FIGHTERS).
If Ordinary Man was an album reflecting on the life of OZZY OSBOURNE the man, then Patient Number 9 is a celebration of the performer. This is a unique album due to the number of collaborations, giving every track its own special vibe.
There are moments of fist pumping, full-blooded rock like Immortal. Feeling like a lost gem from the 80s while OZZY informs the world of his immortality, it’s big, brash and utterly glorious. JEFF BECK infuses his moments with prog tinged blues brilliance on the playful title track, and A Thousand Shades is a mid-album highlight, a celebratory meeting of legends bouncing off each other in the best ways.
ZAKK WYLDE picks up exactly where he left off on Black Rain. The thrilling Parasite is an adrenaline shot to the heart of the album. Elsewhere, Mr Darkness and Evil Shuffle are trademark slabs of heavy riffing, headbanging anthems that you only get when the two are combined. The mini reunion is one of the album’s biggest strengths, it will no doubt please fans who have been clamouring for a WYLDE return. One Of Those Days featuring ERIC CLAPTON is an unexpected wild card. Not a pair you’d think of putting together, but it bears some delicious musical fruit. An instant hit and one of the album’s most gentle and chilled out moments.
We cannot talk about this album without mentioning the Iron Man himself Tony Iommi. This was always going to be special, and both tracks featuring Iommi truly deliver. No Escape From Now is a doom laden stomper, reminiscent of BLACK SABBATH at their most creative, including an evocative opening that long term fans will get a kick out of. Degradation Rules is a heavy riff-driven track that allows OZZY to cut loose, while being backed up by some huge Iommi licks.
Patient Number 9 is an album many of us probably didn’t know we needed or wanted. Ordinary Man seemed like the perfect send off, so another album felt like it might be a step too far. It’s a pleasant surprise that this album is indeed very good.
Producer Andrew Watt knows how to get the best of OZZY OSBOURNE. By teaming him with a plethora of talent across the rock spectrum, as well as two of his most treasured collaborators, not only do we have an album that feels massive and revitalised, it also feels like a love letter to a legendary career. If we have learnt anything over the last couple of years, it’s that we shouldn’t be so quick to count OZZY out. His reign as the Prince of Darkness, has still got a lot of miles left in it
Patient Number 9 releases on September 9th via Sony
For more information on OZZY OSBOURNE, like his official page on Facebook.