Dehumanizer is the 16th studio disc by Black Sabbath, and the third featuring Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Ronnie returned to Black Sabbath after an 11 year hiatus in which he was performing as a solo artist.
This disc features the same lineup from the Mob Rules disc, which is Iommi on guitar, Butler on bass, Appice on drums and Dio on vocals.
Typically when people talk about Dio singing in Black Sabbath they will often refer to Heaven and Hell, and Mob Rules. Dehumanizer rarely gets mentioned, and that is a shame. It is a heavy disc, and easily as solid as the first two with RJD.
This disc starts off with Computer God, which is a very heavy track to start the pace of Dehumanizer. This is a well written and performed song, and quite possibly one of their best.
After All is a very dark and heavy track that sounds like it was a left over from the period when Ozzy was still in the band. This is a bit too dark for my tastes.
After All (the dead)
TV Crimes on the other hand is a killer track that I absolutely love. The tempo is high paced, and Dio sounds awesome on vocals. This is one that I hope they perform live on the Heaven and Hell tour. This is essential for any Sabbath fan.
Another track that I like a lot on Dehumanizer is Letters from Earth. This is another well written song, with cool lyrics, and superb playing by Iommi. Geezer’s bass sounds like it is going to rip the walls down, and Appice crushes on the drums here. Great Stuff!
Master of Insanity starts with a dark and gloomy bass riff by Geezer, and turns into a heavy rocker, that resembles more of a DIO solo track than a Black Sabbath song. Nonetheless, it is a good song, and one of the better ones on Dehumanizer.
Master of Insanity
I love the chugging guitars and fast paced bass rhythm of Time Machine. This song is another Dehumanizer stand out.
Sins of the Father is one of the most different Sabbath tracks I have heard in a while. It seems that Geezer’s bass is mixed so that it less audible. Iommi’s guitar seem to be tuned in a different key on this track. The end result is a very cool 80’s sounding Metal song.
Something about the track Too Late reminds me of Queensryche in a sense. It starts off as a low tempo acoustic track that allows Dio’s voice to shine, but then breaks in a heavy metal behemoth about midway through. This is one of those songs that you may not get the first time. I bet if you sit down, crank this song up, and close your eyes, and immerse yourself into the music, you will get into it to. I think it is a very cool song.
I is a track that grows on me more with every listen. The lyrics are cool, and the chorus is simple and sing songy…I..I..I. The music is good, and Dio sounds great as well.
Buried Alive is a song that I just could not get into. Its ultra heavy intro, didnt work for me. Sure Iommi has some cool solos here, but this feels like an average track to me. Quite frankly, I tend to skip this song when it comes up.
Aside from the intro on Time Machine, I can’t tell much of a difference in the Wayne’s World version. They could have used this one instead of the other version on the album, and added another original cut. There isn’t enough difference between the two to really support having two different versions here.
Bottom line, I believe Dehumanizer is a much better disc than a lot of people perceive it to be. It has some tracks that may need to grown on you a few times, and is probably the heaviest of the three discs that have Dio on vocals. It is still a good listen today, and to me and while it isn’t perfect, it is still a must have in my heavy metal collection!
- Computer God
- After All (The Dead)
- TV Crimes
- Letters from Earth
- Master of Insanity
- Time Machine
- Sins of the Father
- Too Late
- Buried Alive
- Time Machine (Wayne’s World Version)
Black Sabbath is:
Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Tony Iommi – guitars
Geezer Butler – bass
Vinny Appice – drums
Geoff Nicholls – keyboards