BLACK SABBATH — Dehumanizer

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BLACK SABBATH - Dehumanizer cover
3.68 | 75 ratings | 7 reviews
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Album · 1992

Filed under Heavy Metal
By BLACK SABBATH

Tracklist

1. Computer God (6:14)
2. After All (The Dead) (5:41)
3. Tv Crimes (4:02)
4. Letters From Earth (4:17)
5. Master Of Insanity (5:55)
6. Time Machine (4:15)
7. Sins Of The Father (4:46)
8. Too Late (6:55)
9. I (5:13)
10. Buried Alive (4:53)

Total Time 52:11

Line-up/Musicians

- Ronnie James Dio / vocals
- Tony Iommi / guitar
- Geezer Butler / bass
- Vinnie Appice / drums

- Geoff Nicholls / keyboards

About this release

22 June 1992
Reprise, I.R.S.

US Edition has the following bonus track:

11. Time Machine (Wayne's World version) (4:18)

Reissued as Deluxe Edition in 2011 with a bonus disc with the following tracklist:

1. Master Of Insanity (single edit) (4:09)
2. Letters From Earth (b-side version) (4:42)
3. Time Machine (Wayne's World Version) (4:18)
4. Children Of The Sea (6:23)
5. Die Young (2:16)
6. TV Crimes (4:23)
7. Master Of Insanity (7:39)
8. Neon Knights (5:35)

Total Time 39:25

Tracks 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, were recorded live at The Sundome, Tampa, Florida, July, 25, 1992.

Thanks to Raff, Pekka, Lynx33 for the updates

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BLACK SABBATH DEHUMANIZER reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Sinkadotentree
"Dehumanizer" marked the return of the "Mob Rules" lineup some 11 years later. I described "Mob Rules" as being a little heavier and darker than "Heaven And Hell" but "Dehumaizer" takes that even further, in fact i would call this doom-like. And while i do enjoy the previous two Dio fronted albums more than this one i can't deny that this is a quality release that left me impressed. It's just my taste in music that prefers the style of the other two more. My top three tracks start with "Matter Of Insanity" with that dark atmosphere early and check out the guitar solo later from Iommi. "Sins Of The Father" is another top three with Dio sounding almost Ozzy-like here. Some haunting guitar too in this killer track. Lastly is "I" a song with attitude and some good contrasts in it as well. A low 4 stars but when i'm in the mood for some doomy music this hits the spot.
Kingcrimsonprog
1992's Dehumaizer was Black Sabbath's sixteenth full-length studio album. It is sort of an anomaly in their career, in as much as that it was their third album with Ronnie James Dio on vocals, who had previously sang on the band's tenth and eleventh albums Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules but left the band to start a successful solo career, to be replaced firstly by Deep Purple's Ian Gillian for one album and then by Deep Purple's Glen Hughes for one album.

After the band lost Hughes they then recruited Ray Gillen before finally ending up with Tony Martin who, excluding this album which interrupts the five studio album and almost ten year streak, sang on every Black Sabbath studio album afterwards.

As if interrupting the Tony Martin streak didn't already make it feel a little odd, it is also a little odd in that it both is and isn't the band's final album with Ronnie James Dio on vocals because they did actually reform with him again briefly over a decade and a half later to put out three new songs on a greatest hits package and then once more with a different name (Heaven And Hell) and put out another album.

The album was produced by Reinhold Mack, who is notable for his work with Queen, ELO and Deep Purple. The production job of the album however is a source of complaint among many fans and critics, who argue that the record is too muddy sounding.

The general public and critical consensus surrounding the album was that it was the weakest of the three Black Sabbath albums with Dio, but people can differ on whether that's because this one is actually bad or because the other ones just happen to be even better.

How you feel about this subject will just come down to personal preference at the end of the day and you really have to try it for yourself to find out where you stand. The only thing I would say is that the album is a little dense and definitely a grower so if you really want the best out of it you should probably put in at least five or six serious listens before really making a judgment.

Musically, the album is very heavy, dark and doom orientated, primarily slow paced and mostly based around longer tracks; if any speed builds up its usually just for the guitar solo or the ending (with a few exceptions of course).

Fans of the album would argue that the songs are substantial, and critics of it would argue that the songs are overlong with too much repetition. Its not like the album is devoid of variety though, sometimes there are soft arpeggiated sections and there are a few tasteful touches of background keys, but to be fair it is mostly all about big riffs and Dio's vocals.

The tracks are quite powerful, brimming with teasing potential energy, that feels intense because the song feels like it is holding back something and threatening to explode at any moment. It can be frustrating to a lot of listeners that the songs basically overuse this teasing mechanic and rarely actually do explode as promised, but again depending on your viewpoint maybe that just makes it more intense.

If you are satisfied hearing some big Iommi riffs, a few guitar solos and Dio's inimitable vocals, then you can't really miss out on this album. It may not rewrite history and replace Paranoid and their debut in every critic's poll and top-100 list, nor should it be expected to, but it is another set of songs to be enjoyed in the form you already enjoy.

Stand out tracks include the musically-atypical single `TV Crime' which is a lot faster than the rest of the album, as well as the very heavy `Letters From The Earth' and the grand `I.'

Overall; There are certainly a lot of reasons to give this album a listen; if you are a Sabbath fan, if you are a Dio fan, if you enjoyed Heaven And Hell`s album and if you just plain like big doomy riffs and slow songs. I speculate that the album suits metal fans more so than the original rock fans, and that if you enjoy Stoner or Doom metal you'd be more accepting of the album's production and direction.

All in all, if you have the time, money and patience for it and suspect you'd be inclined to enjoy it then you should give this album a shot. At the very worst you'll get one or two new enjoyable tracks for your collection, and if you're lucky then maybe you will find something that you really connect with.
UMUR
"Dehumanizer" is the 16th full-length studio album by UK heavy/doom metal act Black Sabbath. The album was released in June 1992 by I.R.S./Reprise. After a relatively stabile lineup period in the band´s history (Tony Martin had been the lead vocalist on the three previous albums and Cozy Powell had been the drummer on the last two), Tony Iommi returned in 1992 with a totally different lineup to the one who recorded the last album "Tyr (1990)". The lineup was not unknown to Black Sabbath fans though as it´s the same lineup who recorded "Mob Rules (1981)". That´s Tony Iommi on guitars, Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Geezer Butler on bass and Vinny Appice on drums. A welcome return to one of the most celebrated lineups in the band´s history.

The music is a bit darker and a lot heavier than the music on the three previous Tony Martin led Black Sabbath albums. The keyboards are toned down considerably which is an excellent disposition IMO. There are predominantly intense heavy metal tracks on the album but "Too Late" brings a bit of variation to the table as it´s a power ballad. Dio´s vocal delivery is as strong ever. The man really had some strong and powerful pipes. The rest of the band are also tight and deliver a good performance. Heavy riffs and heavy beats.

The sound production is powerful and professional.

"Dehumanizer" is often overlooked by anyone but the hardcore fans of Black Sabbath which is quite a shame IMO. I really think that "Dehumanizer" is a strong album and I find it highly recommendable. To my ears "Dehumanizer" is the strongest album Black Sabbath released after "Mob Rules (1981)". A 4 star (80% rating is well deserved.
bonnek
Dehumanizer is another stunning powerhouse of an album where Dio's compelling vocals clash with the riff grandmaster Tony Iommi. It’s been copied a thousand times but still Sabbath remain one of the few bands who can pull it off so successfully.

Dehumanizer was released at the height of the grunge and doom revival years in the early 90's and they could fiercely hold their ground amidst all the youths from Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Cathedral and Solitude Aeturnus. Respect! You won’t find many other bands of the early seventies that were still creating something relevant at that time (or since...)

I remember that at the time of its release, everyone I knew loved this album a lot, even people that had given up on Sabbath for years. So I’m somewhat surprised at the lukewarm reception here. I guess the poor album art warns off many young fans and it's sure not polished enough for the power/sympho fans that went along with the other Sabbath albums of this era.

Whatever the reasons, this album is stunning. First of all, the song writing is as good as on the early 80's albums with Dio. But it’s not just a copy of those albums. Dehumanizer is a lot heavier and harsher. Which brings me to the strong organic sound of this album. Sabbath has definitely chosen not to continue the polished and perfected production standards of the previous studio albums. Instead we get a rough and untamed sound. The guitars are sharp and edgy, the drums very direct, the bass clearly audible and Dio simply singing the stars from the sky.

I would have a hard time picking favorites. Time Machine is probable the least accomplished song here but it's still good. The remainder of the songs are all very consistent, with the 3 closing tracks as absolute highlights.

This album is a very strong 4 star and another doom essential from Sabbath. Highly recommended to doomsters, grunge fans and all other dark music lovers.
Pekka
The history of Black Sabbath has been rather a confusing mess of falling outs and reunions, with every single recording vocalist with the exception of Glenn Hughes (but that was an Iommi solo anyway) making a comeback at some point. Not to even mention the various stints that Geezer and Bill have made over the years. One particularly enjoyable reunion brought back the Mob Rules era lineup, and resulted in perhaps the heaviest Black Sabbath album of all time, Dehumanizer.

A match made in heaven (and hell) to begin with, Dehumanizer brings back together the mighty riffs of Mr. Tony Iommi and the mighty roar or the late, great Mr. Ronnie James Dio, bless his soul. Hats off to the ever-dependable Geezer Butler for his cool bass patterns and the heavy hitting Vinny Appice, who could be mixed a bit lower though, but at the center of this album are the riffs and the vocals. No doubt about it. Sabbath are at their heaviest in slow grinders like After All (The Dead) and Letters From Earth, and TV Crimes and Time Machine sees them picking up the tempo and running with it. The chorus in Computer God is one of my favourite things from all Sabbath and all Dio, very few people can match the power of that delivery. Choruses overall are high points of the album, this group knows how to cash in with the promise set up by the verses.

This might be the least great album these guys ever produced together (counting in Heaven and Hell despite Appice's absence), which speaks volumes of the overall quality of their work. An excellent, solid piece of really heavy metal.
Time Signature
Letters from Sabbath...

Genre: heavy metal / doom metal

This album has been derided by a number of people, but I have always liked it. I liked the idea of Dio, Butler amd Appice being involved in Sabbath again, and I think that this album, while the production would be better (there's too much reverb on the drums - and, yet, the bass drum is barely audible), contains a number of quite strong songs.

I especially like the heaviness that there is to tracks like the groovy "Computer God", the doomladen "After All (the Dead)", the more melodic but still doomladen "Letters from Earth", and the semi-progressive "Too Late". The more uptempo song "TV Crimes" has been described as a more thrashy one, but I don't think so, it's more of an upbeat heavy metal song with some semi-aggressive riffing, which also goes for the considerably darker "Time Machine", which sounds a bit like Anvil meets motorcycle rock (to the extent that Anvil's music itself is not motorcycle rock, of course). The track "Master of Insanity", maybe a pun on "Master of Reality" starts out with an odd riff that makes one think of Atheist, before it kicks into the main song which oscillates between a melodic riff, which seems to draw on 80s metal and the emerging 90s alternative hard rock, and a more groovy riff that utilizes miniscule slots of silence. It is one of the best tracks of the album a long with "Computer God", "After All (the Dead)", "Letters from Earth" and "Too Late".

"Dehumanizer" is a rocking album which contains mostly solid and heavy tracks, and I think it might appeals to fans of traditional heavy metal and doom metal alike.

Members reviews

SouthSideoftheSky
"What do they do with your soul, is it just lying there busted, when did you lose all control, is there someone to be trusted?"

The much underrated Tony Martin-era was in my opinion musically very successful. However, it wasn't very commercially successful. Tony Iommi wanted to gain more mainstream recognition so he decided to make radical changes in both the line up and the musical direction of the band. Vocalist Tony Martin was thrown out of the band as was the musical approach of the traditional Metal and progressive TYR. The passage quoted above from After All (The Dead) describes this album quite well, I think; what did they do with the band's soul? It indeed seems to be "lying there busted"! This passage probably also reflects how Tony Martin must have felt when he was kicked out of the band. We find here a rather 'dehumanized' band.

The line up involved here is the same as that responsible for Mob Rules which means a return of Ronnie James Dio and Vinnie Appice as well as original member Geezer Butler. Keyboard player Geoff Nicholls is - apart from Mr. Black Sabbath himself, Tony Iommi - the only survivor from the previous line up(s). Even if Nicholls never was recognized as a full member of the band (despite participating on every studio album from Heaven And Hell onwards as well as following the band on tour), he played an important part of the sound of the band's 80's albums. On Dehumanizer, however, his role is reduced considerably with the album hardly having any keyboards at all.

Despite having the same line up as Mob Rules, Dehumanizer does not sound like that early 80's album, however. Rather, they created here a much more contemporary and 'trashy' sound in a very misguided attempt to achieve greater commercial success again. While Dio is usually a great singer, I do not like his vocals on this release. He is trying to sing in a more aggressive and contemporary style compared to how he sounded on previous Black Sabbath albums like Heaven And Hell and also on Rainbow's early albums. I recognize some quality here, but this music is just not my cup of tea. Geezer Butler's heavy bass lines are indeed enjoyable on songs like Time Machine, one of the better songs. But this is certainly not a return to the kind of music they did when Geezer was in the band.

Another problem I have with this album is its complete lack of diversity and variation. There are some decent riffs, but everything sounds basically the same. The more subtle and sometimes acoustic side of the band is almost wholly absent as are the symphonic influences from the previous album. This is an entirely different beast. There is one exception though, Too Late, which seems to be based the formula of earlier songs like Children Of The Sea and The Sign Of The Southern Cross. It falls very far behind those songs in quality, however. The progressive leanings of Dehumanizer are down to zero and the lyrics are often poor.

Too conclude, sacking Tony Martin and reuniting an earlier line up was a big mistake and the resulting album is indeed very disappointing. Tony and Geezer probably came to realize this and they brought Martin back into the band for the much better Cross Purposes album. I can recommend this only to hard core fans and collectors of the band, but even for us (at least for me) this album has very little appeal!

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