Album Review: Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number 9

Tour cancellations, life saving surgery then a surprise resurrection at the Commonwealth Games in his hometown of Birmingham with Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi. More recently kicking off the NFL season with a half time performance. The Prince of Darkness is back with his 13th studio album, Patient Number 9.

The title track with the accompanying nightmarish video from Todd McFarlane starts off the album. “Patient Number 9”, which also features Jeff Beck, is quintessential Ozzy. There are snippets of the past embedded here and it’s a wonderful starting point.

“Immortal” follows, this one featuring Mike Mcready, and before the songs ends you’re singing along to it as if it’s been out for years. Unfortunately “Parasite”, the first track with the very familiar pairing with Zakk Wylde, just doesn’t seem to connect with me. This may be in part because I feel that the wiggly solos are too long, but it is instantly saved by the intro to “No Escape From Now”. This obviously has the vein of Black Sabbath running through it thanks to one Mr Tony Iommi who contributes to the track. We then get the balladic side of the Prince of Darkness in “One of Those Days” with Eric Clapton, adding a splash of the blues which compliments Ozzy very well.

Jeff Beck returns for Beatles-esque offering “A Thousand Shades” before a triplet of tracks with Zakk Wylde. Luckily “Mr Darkness” has enough older Osbourne elements which flow into “Nothing Feels Right”. This is not only my highlight track of the three but my highlight track of the entire album. Finally, concluding this part of the album, is “Evil Shuffle”.

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Tony Iommi is back one last time for “Degradation Rules” which is without a doubt the heaviest track of the album. It is followed by another strong track “Dead and Gone”, which is on par with my previously mentioned highlight track.

Going from strength to strength “God Only Knows” has me convinced I could actually get my eldest daughter into this album if I played her this track first – an experiment I’m eager to try out. And just like that we are at the final track with some good old delta blues… which is honestly something I thought I would never hear on an Ozzy album. But I love both delta blues and Ozzy  so it’s a hit for me.

Lucky number 13 is a very welcome addition.

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Patient number 9 is out now

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