Ozzy Osbourne

Patient Number 9

Ozzy Osbourne has worked with many of rock’s greatest guitarists – Tony Iommi in Black Sabbath, Randy Rhoads, Brad Gillis, Jake E. Lee, and Zakk Wylde during his solo career. Now imagine an all-star album, Iommi and Wylde included, with heavy-hitting axe gods Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Add bassists Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) and Robert Trujillo (Metallica), drummers Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and the recently-passed Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), among other notables. Osbourne’s 13th solo album is the striking result.

The spooky title track features surprisingly heavy Beck riffs and soloing, while his mind-bending tone and bright soloing on the melodic “A Thousand Shades” make both songs memorable. Iommi unloads a bashing riff on “No Escape From Now,” complete with shimmering solos, while the walloping “Degradation Rules” (with Osbourne’s harmonica honks) sounds like old Sabbath with a coat of 2022 sonic paint.

Clapton digs deep for bloodily brawny hard blues licks on “One of Those Days.” Wylde plays on most of the album; his aggressive fretwork appropriately energizes “Mr. Darkness” and “Evil Shuffle.” After several unsatisfactory efforts, Patient Number 9 finds the 73-year-old Prince of Darkness in prime metallic form.

This article originally appeared in VG’s November 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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