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- Dehumanizer review


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Band: Black Sabbath
Album: Dehumanizer
Style: Hard rock, Heavy metal
Release date: June 1992

Disc I
01. Computer God
02. After All (The Dead)
03. TV Crimes
04. Letters From Earth
05. Masters Of Insanity
06. Time Machine
07. Sins Of The Father
08. Too Late
09. I
10. Buried Alive

Disc II [2011 deluxe edition]
01. Master Of Insanity [single edit]
02. Letters From Earth [B-Side version]
03. Time Machine [Wayne's World version]
04. Children Of The Sea [live]
05. Die Young [live]
06. TV Crimes [live]
07. Master Of Insanity [live]
08. Neon Knights [live]

Fall of 1990 saw vocalist Ronnie James Dio trekking across the U.S. in support of his recent Lock Up The Wolves album. On one night of the tour, Dio's former bandmate, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, joined him onstage to perform an old classic from the Dio era of Black Sabbath: "Neon Knights." After the show, and probably over a few drinks, the two expressed interest in reuniting the Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath. And the rest, as they say, is history. Recording in late 1990, drummer Cozy Powell broke his hip, and was unable to further complete his drum tracks. Yet in a way, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as former drummer Vinny Appice was brought in as his replacement. Thus, the Mob Rules-era lineup of Black Sabbath, along with all its past energy and chemistry, saw its resurrection in the recording of 1992's terribly underrated Dehumanizer.

History lessons aside, Dehumanizer is probably the heaviest of the Dio-fronted Black Sabbath albums. There's an encompassing sound of "thickness" (for lack of a better word) and groove throughout the album, particularly on "Letters From Earth" and "After All (The Dead)," a vibe augmented by Geezer Butler's bass lines (see "Computer God" and "Master of Insanity"). But the album isn't just heavy in the doom-oriented sense often employed by the band. There are also a few faster, slightly more aggressive tracks ("Time Machine," "TV Crimes"), which help to give the Dehumanizer a bit of a sense of variety. And then there are the lyrics, which, with Dio at the helm, undergo an advisory nature, both questioning and warning of the ills befalling society (in this case technology and religious fundamentalism, among other things). Some passages are quite memorable, such as in "Computer God": "Computerize God, it's the new religion. Program the brain, not the heart beat!"

Why this album goes so often overlooked eludes me. It's nothing profoundly special, but then it's still a solid effort from the band. Where Mob Rules and Heaven And Hell had a more melodic, mellow atmosphere, Dehumanizer is a tad more up front and in your face. But in a way, this can be taken as a good thing, because it shows that this incarnation of the band tried something a little different with each effort, instead of sticking to the same general formula, and variation is (at least in my eyes) a good thing. This is the Dio-fronted Black Sabbath at their most intense. But sacrificing the epic atmosphere of their previous work certainly didn't sacrifice the band's musicianship, and Dehumanizer is, all in all, a very decent album.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by Auntie Sahar | 31.01.2012

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 8   Visited by: 121 users
31.01.2012 - 05:19
Haiwaan Das
Good Review, completely agreed.
Gr Gr Gr Gr Gr
31.01.2012 - 09:13
Rating: 8
M C Vice
The 3rd best album Dio ever did. And the first Sabbath album I owned (already had the 2 disk best of and the Dio Years).
"Another day, another Doug."
"I'll fight you on one condition. That you lower your nipples."
" 'Tis a lie! Thy backside is whole and ungobbled, thou ungrateful whelp!"
01.02.2012 - 00:12
This is actually my favorite Dio (with sabbath) album, love every track.
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
01.02.2012 - 04:43
Rating: 9
Rocker of Worlds
Written by Olli on 01.02.2012 at 00:12

This is actually my favorite Dio (with sabbath) album, love every track.

Yeah same here.
01.02.2012 - 15:40
Rating: 9
Really great album, and good review. Disagree with your 8, I would say 9.

17.01.2014 - 22:26
Rating: 8
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Good review of an album I'm loving at the moment. Such heavy riffs from Iommi and Dio is awesome on this album.
The sun shines over The Fool...
17.01.2014 - 22:36
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Written by Ace Frawley on 17.01.2014 at 22:26

Good review of an album I'm loving at the moment. Such heavy riffs from Iommi and Dio is awesome on this album.

I completely forgot I had even done a review of this album since no one had really touched it in a while. Thanks for the feedback though
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

19.06.2017 - 23:48
I had a blast from the past today and listened to this after a veeery long time. Great album, the only thing I'd change in your review is the performance score. All four musicians are outstanding in this I think and especially Tony and Dio.

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