Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer
22 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.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Band profile: Black Sabbath
Album: Dehumanizer


written by Apothecary | 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.


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Haiwaan Das - 31.01.2012 at 05:19  
Good Review, completely agreed.
M C Vice - 31.01.2012 at 09:13  
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).
Olli - 01.02.2012 at 00:12  
This is actually my favorite Dio (with sabbath) album, love every track.
Xim - 01.02.2012 at 04:43  
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.
AndMetalForAll - 01.02.2012 at 15:40  
Really great album, and good review. Disagree with your 8, I would say 9.

Ace Frawley - 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.
Apothecary - 17.01.2014 at 22:36  
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

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