Release Date: Jun 1992
Genre: Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Stoner Metal, Doom Metal
Label: Warner Bros.
Number Of Tracks: 11
With ten-year-old internal tensions still gnawing away at the band, they hastily created "Dehumanizer", a weird side note in their long history.
DownInAHole., on january 12, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Man, I really wish I was old enough to know who Black Sabbath was or appreciate them when this album came out. Unfortunately, I was just a mere one year old. However, I can only imagine the excitement and anticipation behind this record's release. A return to the Dio era could bring joy to almost any Sabbath fan, and that's the way I approached listening to this record for the first time: stoked. The certain element that Dio always brought Sabbath drew me into the music. He was so formulative and so- evil.
Nevertheless, 1992's "Dehumanizer" definitely lived up to the aforementioned expectations. The first thing that's immediately brought to the listeners attention is the return of Tony Iommi's seemingly powerful, yet groovy guitar riffing. It was more or less lacking after Dio left the band in 1981, but the chemistry is far more prevalent here than it was during the Tony Martin era of Black Sabbath. It all comes together as it did before. 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 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's storytelling vocal style. 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. What can be said is that this particular short-lived reunion produced one of the heaviest and best Sabbath recordings ever, and I am much appreciative. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: Growing up with progressive rock, I have always been a huge fan of the concept album. One thing that Dio always outshined Ozzy with was creating great conceptual lyrics and Dehumanizer is a testament to that. The lyrics written on this album are deeply fascinating, as this record warns all of us of the evils of modern technology. "TV Crimes" was a good one to read along to. The lyrics are obviously a stab at corrupt televangelists who enslave the minds of their viewers and embezzle money. Subjects also covered include: a brilliant attack on organized religion, narcissism, and the deterioration of happiness in modern society. The theme of the album basically infers that technology as we know it is contributing to the obsoletion of humans, thus "dehumanizing" them. Dio had everything right here. // 9
Impression: I am so glad this album exists. It was definitely a breath of fresh air following the albums from 1983, onward. If you're a fan of Black Sabbath (particularly during the Dio era), this album is a must-have for you. It is a tragedy that this is the last work he'll ever do with Sabbath, so that's probably why I am so attached to it. This album also put Sabbath ahead of their metal counterparts Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. In the 90s, their works significantly softened. It is important to understand that Dehumanizer proves that Sabbath still represents metal, and Ronnie James Dio took the metal all the way to his grave. // 9
Smitty370, on august 29, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Man, this sounds classic, Sabbath needed this album, it might have not been a big seller here in North America, but is should have. Everything sounds great, Iommi always on his game, Geezer matching Iommi, Appice keeping that drum kit going with the right beat and Dio, what can I say about Dio? He sounds great in every album he does. This album is very heavy, really. Even thought it's heavy, Sabbath kept it sounding like Sabbath. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Dio, Geezer and Iommi are the best writers in heavy metal history, in my opinion. Their musical writing is just as good as their lyric writing. It's typical heavy metal lyrics, the doom of mankind, the path humans are taking to having androids in the future and eventually the androids get some kind of virus to destroy humans. I guess that's what the title means, 'De'Humanizer. // 10
Impression: I'm very impressed with this album. Dio and Appice came back one more time to create a very well done album. To bad, eh? If they stayed for one more album, it could have been better than this one. The only thing I was disappointed with is 'It's too Late', in my opinion, please don't give me any shit for this, it should have been a ballad not a power ballad with the heavy stuff in between. They could have started out with the acoustic beginning with a fade in and kept it on the down side, the solo area was fine. And yeah, it has to be this heavy to match with the rest of the album, but this song could sound better. This album was surprisingly not hard to find, but if you don't have it, buy it. If you have it keep it. Keep on Rocking, Cheers. // 10
J.R. Legrasse, on december 10, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The lackluster result of an ill-timed reunion, 1992's "Dehumanizer" displays a Dio-fronted Sabbath not prepared to deal with that decade's changing musical landscape or the inescapable pressure of their own legend. If "Dehumanizer" is about anything, it's all about the song "I".
Having had the great fortune to catch the late, great Dio (along with, obviously, the rest of this classic line-up) in 2008 when Heaven & Hell toured with Judas Priest, Motorhead and Testament, I can attest to the power of "I" live. This stomping anthem stands as the strongest of "Dehumanizer"'s unholy trinity of best tracks, alongside the album's rocking single "TV Crimes" - with its searing indictment of predator televangelists (forgive the redundancy)- and the majestic ballad "Too Late".
"TV Crimes" also serves as a fantastic showcase for Geezer Butler's masterful basswork. Seamlessly he manages to keep the song driving while noodling with glorious abandon. Geezer himself had only recently returned to Sabbath following a stint in Ozzy Osbourne's solo band during the late '80s. Honorable mentions go to "Buried Alive" with its churning "Zero The Hero"-esque riff and the mournful epic "After All (The Dead)".
Far from flawless (note such filler as the surprisingly weak opener "Computer God" and "Sins Of The Father"), the album is more akin to a comfy old pair of corporate hard rock slippers than the innovative sturm und drang, diabolus in musica and other flowery foreign language descriptors of the timeless Sabbath sound fans love. Tracks like "Master Of Insanity" and "Letters From Earth" aren't bad, but they are quite safe from being mistaken for the A material. Speaking of mistaken, "Time Machine" (which appears twice, once as a "Wayne's World" soundtrack mix) could easily be mistaken for a Dio solo effort, having no distinctly Sabbath essence about it. // 6
Lyrics and Singing: Vocally, Dio is in his usual full-throated glory. The lyrics, with sparse exception, seem mostly an afterthought. Stock angst and rebellion, though delivered with all the professional passion Dio could muster. Perhaps he was saving the good stuff - chock full of the mystical and mythical - for his own solo works, or perhaps occasional lyricist Butler helped him dash off some words so they could simply finish the recording. Whatever the events, there's nothing particularly memorable nor cringe-worthy about the lyrics, they merely are. // 6
Impression: At the core of "Dehumanizer"'s failure to be spoken of in the same reverential tones as "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules" is the surprising absence of Tony Iommi and his Immortal Riffs. Still trying to shake off the banality of the Tony Martin years, there's no true Immortal Riff herein. The solos and parts are perfectly fine, but not even in the same galaxy as Iommi's best.
Overall, this brief rekindling between old mates quickly went the way of the dinosaur, leaving behind a fossil worthy of excavation solely as an historical curiosity for Black Sabbath and/or Dio completists.