Disappointing metal from Black Sabbath bass-man...
Since leaving Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne has been constantly in the spotlight, while guitarist Tony Iommi has also kept himself busy, with the release of his third solo album expected in July. Not wanting to miss out on the action, former Black Sabbath bass-player Geezer Bulter's G/Z/R return with 'Ohmwork', the long-awaited follow up to 1997's 'Black Science'.
When 'Misfit' opens this album you can't help but think you're in for a treat; the guitars have a huge metal sound, with a more trashy-rock edge, while Clark Brown's dual vocals combine the gravely growl of Rob Zombie with the grandiosity of Ronnie James Dio. But the song (and the album, in fact) goes rapidly downhill from here as Brown bursts into Linkin Park-like rap vocals... nothing wrong with this in theory, I suppose, but slightly disappointing here.
'Pardon My Depression' is momentarily reassuring; vicious metal guitar, fantastically raw vocals from Brown and the nearest the band come to a memorable melody. But in 'Prisoner 103' Brown's rap-like delivery continues, before changing to an ever-increasing scream. 'Aural Sects' (interesting play on words here...) is similar; driving, undulating bass and guitar rhythm, while the vocals become progressively more frenzied. Like nearly all of the tracks, this song feels hard to connect with as, at times, the guitars take on a high-speed, driving, almost Industrial edge, while the vocals don't adopt a strong enough sense of melody to stay with you when the album has finished. Similarly, Brown's vocals, although they can be sufficiently fiery, too frequently descend into a rap-metal style doesn't fit with the band's more aggressive metal sound.
And it doesn't get much better. 'Pseudocide' incorporates robotic-sounding female vocals, which seem to serve no purpose other than to be annoying- thankfully this is one of the shortest tracks on the album and is quickly over. 'Dogs of Whore', 'Alone' and 'I Believe' are the opposite, however; each feels too long, too monotonous, too repetitive and not sufficiently well structured to hold you attention.
Overall, a disappointing album, which is instantly forgotten after listening, however, if you were looking for something to annoy your neighbours with then the monotonous aggression of 'Ohmwork' would definitely do the trick.