BLACK SABBATH – Dehumanizer

Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer (2008, Rhino Entertainment)
Original Release: 1992, Reprise Records

1. “Computer God” … 6:10
2. “After All (The Dead)” … 5:37
3. “TV Crimes” … 3:58
4. “Letters from Earth” … 4:12
5. “Master of Insanity” … 5:54
6. “Time Machine” … 4:10
7. “Sins of the Father” … 4:43
8. “Too Late” … 6:54
9. “I” … 5:10
10. “Buried Alive” … 4:47
11. “Time Machine” (Wayne’s World Version) … 4:18

Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards

Produced by: Reinhold Mack, Black Sabbath (Track 11 only)

A 2008 re-release of the album, meant to cash-in on and promote the band reuniting with Ronnie James Dio as Heaven and Hell.

I keep reading this is one of Sabbath’s most underrated albums… But how can that be if virtually EVERYONE these days is saying it’s underrated? Maybe it was unrecognized by the mainstream upon its release (the height of “grunge”) but it seems like time has been kind to Dehumanizer. The album has taken its rightful place amongst the rest of the band’s classic material.

It’s no secret that I prefer the “off years” of Black Sabbath: those dark and poorly financed, poorly managed times when the band found itself on death’s door seemingly every month. There’s a lot of charm and high quality stuff to be found on those albums back when Iommi only had compromise with Iommi. After all of that mish-mash, the Dio era comes in 2nd place. I’m honestly having a tough time deciding which is the better Dio release because I have to say Dehumanizer is right up there with Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules (The Devil You Know, released under the Heaven and Hell moniker is good too, but too slow).

This is certainly the heavier album of the three, it’s pure heavy metal. Dehumanizer is angry, pessimistic and dark. That’s something not all of the songs on the two previous Dio Sabbath releases brought to the table.

It’s hard to pick a favorite out of the bunch. All of the highlights I list below I enjoy pretty equally. I really love the sound of “I” though. It’s heavy, but at the same time it’s has a bluesy classic rock vibe too. Ronnie James Dio himself has said it’s his favorite song from the album.

“Time Machine” is on here twice. There’s really not much difference between the regular album version and the version that was include in the movie Wayne’s World. The production is better for the Wayne’s World version, but that’s all I can hear.

Though this is a great Sabbath release, it’s a shame that Iommi so quickly dropped singer Tony Martin in favor of getting Dio back. Supposedly, Warner Bros/Reprise wanted either Ozzy, Dio or nothing at all, but it really seems like it was the also-returning Geezer Butler who got the ball rolling and Dio back in the band as he was the go-between initially for Iommi and Dio. The fact that the entire Mob Rules lineup reunited was pure accident because Black Sabbath’s then-current drummer Cozy Powell was all set to drum, but got injured so Vinny Appice was brought back in.

The night before the band’s final gig of this tour, Dio quit. They were supposed to open for Ozzy at his “retirement” concert, but Dio refused to do it (yes, Ozzy was threatening to retire as far as back 1992). So the SECOND Dio era came to an end. Rob Halford was brought in for the show and Tony Martin found himself back in Black Sabbath again by 1993…

Highlights: “Computer God”, “After All (The Dead)”, “TV Crimes”, “Master of Insanity”, “I”, “Buried Alive”, “Time Machine” (Wayne’s World Version)


Posted on August 29, 2009, in Black Sabbath and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. One of the best, and under-rated, Sabbath albums! I remember when this came out back in ’92, it was highly anticipated in my circle of friends. Dio-Sabbath was something we all really missed out on but we had the albums…..when Dehumanizer came out, we all rushed for tix to the Boston show at the Orpheum.

    Great album……’I’ is my favorite track with ‘Master Of Insanity’ a close second. I can’t really find a bad track on the record although I don’t really remember ‘Buried Alive’ at the moment.

    Just saw Heaven & Hell a couple nights ago in Boston and they played ‘I’ and ‘Time Machine’.

    Heavy Metal

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