Ozzy Osbourne's tenth studio album was originally called Soul Sucka before fans shut the working title down. The resulting Scream may not win any awards for brain cell power as far as titles go, but the 11 tracks contained within find the Prince of Darkness in fine form. People who only know the metal legend from watching him mumble and baby step around his house in sunglasses and a track suit on reality television can hardly be blamed for steering away from his music, but it only takes one chorus of opener "Let It Die" to suggest otherwise. Like 1980's Blizzard of Ozz (Randy Rhoads), 1983's Bark at the Moon (Jake E. Lee), and 1988's No Rest for the Wicked (Zakk Wylde), Scream features a changing of the guard. Enter Greek power metal guitarist Gus G., a progressive, tech-heavy shredder who can pound out drop-D, Lamb of God-inspired doom riffs ("Latimer's Mercy") on one hand while paying respects to Rhoads' peerless "Diary of a Madman" intro on the other ("Diggin' Me Down"). His enthusiasm for the material acts like a charging dock for Osbourne, who co-wrote the record with producer Kevin Churko, and while Scream suffers from the same "a handful of songs are great and the rest are OK" curse that has plagued everything since 1981's Diary of a Madman, the songs that are great are indeed great. Ozzy Osbourne may be more product than man these days, but for every uncomfortable TV commercial there's a "Time" or a "Let Me Hear You Scream" to help remind people that the man behind the machine still has at least one hand on the wheel. ~ James Christopher Monger
Rolling Stone (p.82) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Ozzy shows signs of life on the six-minute 'Diggin' Me Down' and on 'Crucify,' where he compares himself to Jesus."
Entertainment Weekly (p.71) - "'Let It Die' and 'Let Me Hear You Scream' are just two tracks that thunderously frame Ozzy's shouted tones." -- Grade: B
Uncut (p.91) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Ozzy's customary double-tracked vocals are strong throughout..."
Billboard (p.33) - "[A] heavy-hitting, 11-track wet on which he sounds fully engaged and focused....Sludgy grooves put some muscle behind 'Soul Sucker' and 'Fearless.'"