The relationship between Ozzy Osbourne and guitarist Zakk Wylde feels, at this point, a little convoluted. Zakk, who also fronts his own band Black Label Society, was Ozzy’s guitar player for a long time following the death of legendary axeman Randy Rhoads. However, Wylde left the band following 2007’s Black Rain, and though he’s performed onstage with Ozzy throughout the metal god’s ‘No More Tours’ tour, the question of whether or not he’s Ozzy’s guitarist anymore always felt open. But now, it’s been revealed that Zakk won’t just be playing a solo or two on Ozzy’s upcoming new album as expected — he’s playing rhythm guitar on every track.
Speaking to Music Radar last month, Wylde explained that he’d be appearing on Ozzy’s new album, but would be focusing only on some rhythm guitar parts, as the lead parts were taken by some considerable heavyweights: “It definitely sounds slamming. The same goes for all the guys – what Tony Iommi played, and then Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, it’s all killer for sure. On those tracks I’m playing rhythm guitar for my heroes…it’s crazy! It sounds awesome and I’m beyond honored to be doing it.”
However, The Diary of the Madman – The Ultimate Ozzy podcast recently posted a picture of an exchanged between their social media accounts and the official Ozzy ones, in which the Ozzman’s team confirms the rumors that Zakk would play on every song: “Yes, Zakk plays all of the rhythm guitars on the new album. He was home from tour this time unlike when I did Ordinary Man.”
To which we say, WELCOME BACK, ZAKK! Ozzy will always rule, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t miss seeing your towering Viking-bearded bullseye-strapped self on stage next to him. We can’t wait to hear what you cook up on this record in the near future.
Words by Chris Krovatin