When it comes to musical collaborations, you never can tell what will happen. Ronnie James Dio’s previous work with Black Sabbath produced two fine studio albums, one “Heaven & Hell”, is usually rated by fans as one of Sabbath’s best. After leaving the group, Dio went on to a long and successful solo career. Long hailed as one of metal’s most powerful vocalists, Ronnie rejoined his former bandmates to produce an under appreciated metal masterpiece. Dehumanizer, is a powerful collection of music, with minimal filler material. Compared to Sabbath’s recent recordings featuring Tony Martin’s vocals, the music here definitely has a harder edge. Dio has ways been acknowledged as an outstanding songwriter. His contributions in that department take the level of quality of this recording above the typical Sabbath effort. No other Sabbath vocalist could give us songs like “I”, “Too Late”, and “Master of Insanity”. Tony Iommi, a heavy metal legend and creator of dozens of classic riffs, seems truly reborn here. His playing, while maintaining his signature tone seems to be exploring areas he has not been in before. The riffs are some of the best he’s come up with in some time. The tone is raw, with some wide mood and tempo swings. “After All The Dead” is slow number, the opening notes of which just drip evil, setting up a heavy groove. “TV Crimes” is “speed Sabbath”, played at an upbeat tempo favored by Ronnie in his solo work, the song rocks, and has a killer Iommi solo. “I” is a powerful heavy duty number featuring major wah wah usage. “Master of Insanity” has an “electric” edge, and a pounding groove that suits Dio storytelling vocal style. There are also two versions of the powerful song “Time Machine”, both are great, but the Wayne’s World version seems tighter, and the lyrics work better. Geezer Butler’s bass is not particularly prominent in the mix. And Vinny Appice’s drumming is serviceable rather than flashy. So Ronnie Dio and Tony Iommi really do dominate the sound. Will Dio ever team with the Sabs again? Who knows? What can be said is that this particular short-lived reunion produced one of the heaviest and best Sabbath recordings ever.
Dehumanizer is seen by many metal aficionados as a ’lost classic.’ Released after a decade-long hiatus, its highlights include ’I’,’Computer God,’ and ’TV Crimes.’ This remastered album features in-depth liner notes including new band interviews.
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After mediocre and poor albums fronted by Tony Martin, Dehumaizer was a breath of fresh air. You could just see the mighty Sabbath Beast coming up through the ground ready to conquer again. Dio, Tony, Geezer, and Vinnie put together a steller album that destroyed anything Sabbath had done since Born Again.Songs like Computer God, Time Machine, and TV Crimes, are a punch in the face that will rock your world. However, my favorite song by far is ‘I’. Whenever I hear it I want to tear down walls and beat the hell out of anything I’m near.I saw the Dehumanizer Tour in Tampa with Testament opening. Sabbath put on one of the best shows I had ever seen them do. Dio’s writing and singing skills fit Sabbath like a glove. Unfortunately, egos surfaced again and the mighty reunion did not last. At least we have what they did when they were together.
After several so-so album releases carrying the name of Black Sabbath,we long-time fans FINALLY get a CD with the ‘Heaven&Hell’ line-up intact.Even though the ‘Mob Rules’ lp was good,I would say,that technically this record COULD be ‘Heaven&Hell’s follow-up,easily.Very well done,guys.I’ve heard several fans(like myself)comment that Ronnie James Dio’s vocals on this record simply never sounded better,in Sabbath,Dio nor Rainbow for that matter.Not sure if I’d totally agree with that,but rest assure,’Dehumanizer’is a great reunion effort.Only downfall is I personally doubt this CD did as good as the label Warner Bros. or the band had hoped for.Notice that both guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler’s overall playing here is outstanding too.Tracks that truly pull the listener in are “Time Machine”,”After All”,”TV Crimes”(still see the video for this song on Headbanger’s Ball now and again),”Computer God”,the Dio-like “Letters From Earth” and “Buried Alive”.Enjoy this disc as I’ve met Dio himself TWICE now while catching him out on tour and he’s mention to me that he’d NEVER reunite with Sabbath again because this CD marked the second time he was ‘burned’ by the other members.Sad,but at least fans got a ‘final’ chapter in the saga.Wouldn’t it be great if this line-up would sometime do the annual Ozzfest summer tour instead of Ozzy?Just a thought.Recommended.
Dehumanizer is a concept recording dealing with the evils of modern technology.This is truly a heavy and powerful offer from what I believe was the best of all of Sabbath’s lineups.Dio’s masterful voice with Iommi and Butler’s great riffs make “Dehumanizer” a classic.From the opening”Computer God” we have a heavy evil sounding riff with Dio’s bounding voice.”Letters from Earth” and “Time Machine” are also powerful,pounding songs.A favorite of mine is “T.V. Crimes” a brilliant attack on dishonest TV preachers and charletans who enslave the minds of their followers. Some other great tunes are “Sins of the Father” which has a great riff. Two of my favorites are the sociopathic “I” with it’s nihlistic and narcissitic lyrics. Next is a hard pounding, powerful song called “Buried Alive” which is an attack on organized religion and it’s destruction of the happiness of people. Dio’s voice is a screaming, angry powerhouse on this track!
If your a fan of the Sabbath,especially the Dio era,this is a must for your collection.The “reunion” with Ozzy is not the reunion I think would be the best.Bring back Mr. Dio and his brilliant songwriting.Dio and Iommi together are the best Sabbath has offered.This brings them back to the glory days of “Heaven and Hell” and “Mob Rules”.This is powerful stuff,don’t pass up”Dehumanizer”.
Since I wrote this review seven years ago, my dreams have come true. Sabbath is back with their best singer and frontman Ronnie James Dio as “Heaven and Hell”. Their tour has been a huge success and they are back stronger than ever. If you want to re connect with this era, “Dehumanizer” would be a great start!
I remember when this Black Sabbath come back album came out in 1992 or so. Ronnie James Dio was back at the helm and a very cool music video for “T.V. Crimes” (with a junky, obsolete television playing nothing but Sabbath is constantly being stolen) was playing on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. I liked the single, but only later did I purchase Dehumanizer. I was stunned at how solid this album is. It is right up there with Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules. In fact, I like it better than Mob Rules. The first track “Computer God” just rocks! The vocals are awesome (as they usually are for Dio, but especially on this track). “T.V. Crimes” is a fast-paced rocker. “After all (The Dead)” and “Letters from Earth” are dark and haunting. “Sins of the Father” is a track I think Ozzy would have sounded great on as it sounds like his style. “Too Late” is one of my favorites. It is a very powerful song, quiet at the beginning and then launches into a blistering metal track with killer lyrics: “It’s too late too late for tears, too late and no one hears you, welcome to forever, it’s too late.” “Time Machine” is the most mainstream of the tracks with two versions on this album (one from Wayne’s World which I cannot tell apart from the original). The anthem here, though, is “I.” It is amazing musically and lyrically: “I am virgin, I’m a whore, Giving nothing the taker the maker of war, I’ll smash your face in, but with a smile.” There is nothing weak on this album. It rocks from beginning to end. If you are missing this album in your Black Sabbath/Dio collection, Buy It! You will not be disappointed.