That bit of aural ipecac aside, the remainder of Down to Earth is startlingly fierce, thanks in large part to Zakk Wylde's rottweiler guitar. Cranking out riffs damn near as thick as his skull, Wylde adds some real torque to scorchers like "Facing Hell" and the Soundgarden-owing "Junkie." Indeed, Down to Earth is Osbourne's most feral record since 1988's underappreciated No Rest for the Wicked, and Ozzy sounds downright inflamed when he bellows "Got no control" on the album's opening cut -- although it's hard to tell if he's speaking of his fate or his bladder. Okay. The age jokes are getting old, but Ozzy has made a career out of being publicly persecuted so that every other outcast can identify with him. It's a noble charge, for sure, and one that Ozzy revels in on the album's first single. "I still love the beating I get from you/I hope you never stop 'cause it gets me through." Glad to be of service.
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