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Articles Home » 1992 Articles » Black Sabbath - 1992 Dehumanizer
Black Sabbath - 1992 Dehumanizer

ARTIST: Black Sabbath
ALBUM: Dehumanizer
SERIAL: 7 13155-2
YEAR: 1992
CD REISSUE: 2011, EMI, EIRSCDX 1064 (bonus CD, remastered)


LINEUP: Ronnie James Dio - vocals * Tony Iommi - guitars * Geezer Butler - bass * Vinny Appice - drums *

Guest: Geoff Nicholls - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Computer God * 02 After All (The Dead) * 03 TV Crimes * 04 Letters From Earth * 05 Master Of Insanity * 06 Time Machine * 07 Sins Of The Father * 08 Too Late * 09 I * 10 Buried Alive


1992 saw the reunion of Black Sabbath and their former vocalist Ronnie James Dio. The reunion came about due to the departure of Tony Martin from Sabbath, and Ronnie's decision to put his own band Dio on hiatus following the disappointing sales of 1990's 'Lock Up The Wolves'. It was essentially the same lineup as 1981's 'Mob Rules' although the sound and direction taken with themes and lyrics is much different, darker and heavier. Originally, Sabbath drummer Cozy Powell had recorded material with the band leading into sessions for this album, though he suffered a horse-riding injury which prevented his further participation. Former Dio and AC/DC drummer Simon Wright was put forward as a replacement by Ronnie, but was overruled by the rest of the band; the drum-spot taken by Vinnie Appice, an acceptable choice for all concerned. Also returning is Geezer Butler, who hadn't been with Sabbath for years. 'Dehumanizer' is considered to be a 'lost classic' among the Sabbath back-catalogue, and even though it's 16 albums into their discography, long time fans couldn't really disagree, even if 1992 wasn't the best year to release it.

The Songs
The combination of Tony Iommi's heavy riffs and Ronnie James Dio's brutal vocals is the collision of two of HM's most influential members. In the current-day (2013) - if only we'd known about this back then, but prophetic that 'Computer God' is, given the way technology has taken over society in most facets of our lives. This is a track for all the doomed Apple fan-bois out there. 'After All (The Dead)' is a tortured slow-tempo affair with crashing cymbals that finally gets going after awhile. Dio is a snarling menacing force throughout. One of the faster tracks on the album is 'TV Crimes'. It compares favourably with material from 'Heaven And Hell' and 'Mob Rules' in terms of similarity of style. 'Letters From Earth' is a doom-laden spectacle, taking references from the Sabbath of olde. 'Master Of Insanity' keeps Sabbath late 80's style intact. It's mostly melodic all round, and does chop and change tempo to keep things interesting. I love the chugging riffs on 'Time Machine', combining Sabbath's early 80's sound with Dio's equally spellbinding material from the same era. No doom for a thousand clicks on this track folks! 'Sins Of The Father' probably has the most typical Sabbath sound from across their discography. Iommi's trademark guitar parts, plus some inter-stellar keyboards from guest Geoff Nicholls. If you listen closely, the riffs sound they were lifted from Armored Saint's 'Can U Deliver'. Strange but true. Call it acoustic doom or what have you, but 'Too Late' could be 'Don't Talk To Strangers' reconstructed for Sabbath's purposes. The definitive personification 'I' stands out for a number of reasons. Its no holds barred approach for starters, plus Dio's command of presence.

In Summary
Of course I have written this article as a lead-in to Sabbath's latest 2013 album featuring Ozzy Osbourne. This follows Iommi's band Heaven And Hell being put on-hold since the passing of Ronnie James Dio in recent years. Just how Sabbath 2013 will fare is anyone's guess. Most of us know that there's nothing wrong with Iommi's skill-set given the ravaging of time, but the same can't be said for Osbourne. Only time will tell I guess. In the meantime, warm up with some vintage 21 year old Sabbath featuring the late great Ronnie James Dio.

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#1 | AOR Lee on February 14 2013 04:41:51
I bought this at the time of release and found it very abrasive and hard to get into at first. Time has been good to it though, enjoying it for what it is
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