By Cecil Smith

The term “heavy metal” gets thrown around a lot these days. It tends to refer to bands that have such an aggressive and brutal edge to their music that “metal” is the only term that’s abrasive enough.

However, the sound of heavy metal is easily attributed to one band.

Black Sabbath threw a wrench in everybody’s gears with hits like “Paranoid” and “War Pigs” back in the ‘60s when most people were still surfing and throwing peace signs around.

The man behind such famous lines as “I am Iron Man” and “witches gathered at black masses,” the man notorious for biting the heads off doves and bats and urinating on The Alamo is none other than Ozzy Osbourne. And he’s coming to Freedom Hall in Louisville on Dec. 10.

Osbourne started out his solo career in ‘79 after he was booted out of Black Sabbath. Feeling depressed and slipping into drug addiction, Osbourne’s wife, Sharon, convinced him that he could once again change the face of rock.

Osbourne couldn’t change it by himself, however. Over the past 20 years, he’s employed some of the best guitar players on Earth. Legendary names like Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde have changed the face of guitar playing.

With hits like “Crazy Train,” “Flying High Again,” “Momma I’m Coming Home,” “No More Tears” and “See You on the Other Side,” Osbourne proved that metal was accessible to the masses.

Osbourne’s “Merry Mayhem” tour features Zakk Wylde on guitar, Mike Bordin, former Faith No More drummer, and Robert Trujillo, former Suicidal Tendencies bassist. This group of musicians is arguably the best Osbourne has every incorporated and promises to absolutely tear the roof off of Freedom Hall.

Opening up for Osbourne is creep master Rob Zombie and nu-metal extraordinaires Mudvayne.

Osbourne is the quintessential godfather of metal and did the same for metal that Elvis, Chuck Berry and The Beatles did for rock.

Everybody from Pantera, to Slipknot, to Metallica, to Korn, to Alice in Chains has Osbourne to thank for their success as metal bands. And if you’re a fan of any of the bands I just mentioned, you need to send him a Christmas card.