Black Sabbath/Dehumanizer

Dehumanizer is the sixteenth studio album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in 1992.

It was the first Black Sabbath studio album in over a decade to feature Ronnie James Dio on vocals and Vinny Appice on drums. Initial writing and demo sessions at Rich Bitch Studios in Birmingham featured Cozy Powell and bootlegs exist. The line-up of Dio, Appice, Tony Iommi on guitars, and Geezer Butler on bass would reunite in 2006 under the moniker Heaven and Hell. It is also noted that this album was recorded in Wales at Rockfield Studios where Queen had recorded A Night At The Opera.

Commercially, this album is regarded as a resurgence for Sabbath. The album reached the Top 40 in the UK. It peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200 chart

Computer God—-From the onset, you knew that this was not your brother’s Black Sabbath, but you also knew that they were not far removed. Once the track really enters its own, the bass dirge is magnificent and Ronnie sounds like he was meant to sing for this band all along. The slow and dense music creates a perfect backdrop for the tales of Dio…a magnificent but contentious relationship. This is fantastic…classic release that I still love to listen to. This is a huge song, with mood swings and tales of computers ruling the world…great sense of foresight, guys!!! Fantastic!!!

After All [The Dead]—-Now…..this is a MASTERPIECE of a song. The track has this huge dense classic Sabbath feel. The vocal enters and is  mundane and detached until the golden voice soars and brings even more promise to the song…you know you are going to hear the band open up at any moment and the waits not long. Dio delivers vocals that are so emotive…he tells the stories well and it all through his magic voice. When he utters that first…”After all”…I just get goosebumps. This is grand!

TV Crimes—-Much more aggressive, the track has a much ‘cleaner’ sound from the very onset. The track is fast paced and Dio manages to jam words into sentences. The song has a nice story line…a general piss off to the media in a round about way. The band sounds so acceptable on this track…it is hard to believe they can do from the very deep dirge to this lead driven metal song….fantastic!!!

Letters From Earth—-Returning to full on melodic sledge, the bass intro to this song is the precursor of everything that means anything today. The intro is long and when Dio enters and mentions the word ‘cold’ you feel exactly that. The song has a wonderful, cold detached feel in the music…the vocal is as emotive as ever. The premise of the lyrics are weird…but would you expect anything else?

Master Of Insanity—-Introduced by some sound bite tape, the song is not a computer generated track like the intro would lead you to believe. What we are treated to is the best of both worlds….there is the slight drudge of classic Sabbath, a more pronounced lead guitar…aggressive drums and Dio painting story books of Medieval Horrors in your ears. Who the hell could ask for more.

Time Machine—-Again, the band surprised me with this pretty fresh sound of really present leads and the feel of Dio leading the direction of the music sometimes. I mean face it, the Dio sound never differed that much except he removed the dredge! This could have been a Dio solo track if I heard it fresh and had to guess. This is classic Metal….few bands really rock like this anymore. Even better is that great hook of the melody…yes, sometimes it resembles other songs…but this is special!

Sins Of The Father—-At the onset of this track, Ronnie sounds so much like OZZY, you shake your head. Man…I would love to hear him sing this song. This is a straight up really great impression that becomes its own as the song progresses. Dio paints these huge 12 foot canvass’ with his lyrics in 5 minutes or less…this is magnificent. The music really is built around Osbourne, but Dio claims it and owns it.

Too Late—-Beginning with lots of fanfare, the acoustic guitar that enters is a surprise and you raise your eyebrows….Dio enters with a gentle wavy vocal full of magic and fire and all of that typical Ronnie fare [LOL]……when the song does open up, it is indeed in ballad form. The difference is the odd lyrics and vocal delivery…it becomes more of a wizard tale. The chorus opens up even more, sounding deep and dirty with a slight tinge of blues. This is fantastic….heavy and full of vivid imagery, the track is a mini-opus.

I—–This is one….of many…..songs I would have to have on a deserted island and never have human contact again. This is such a wonderfully constructed song….the beginning that dirty blues of Birmingham, England. The song opens up and adopts that dirty deep sound, while the lead is still present. Dio emerges and proclaims that he is EVERYTHING!!!! This is fantastic…live, this in incredible. A true classic Metal song, there are lots I would give up for this song on an island. And when Dio screams “…..and no one makes the hero bleed….” WOW!!

Buried Alive—-A nice drum assault goes along with the guitar at the first note…the vocal enters almost immediately and really manages to rub me the wrong way. I love the music…the dirge is there, while the lead is still present…the vocal is a shout sing that really irritates me…the only weak song on this release!!! Not bad odds.

Time Machine [Wayne’s World Version]—-What’s the difference??? Well the song seems even bigger and seems to have some electronics running through it. Dio still sounds like he is singing a classic track from Holy Diver…this is so much like his solo material. The ‘reconstructed’ version still retains the huge sound and magnificent delivery of the original.

****1/2 out of 5


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