Customer Reviews: Dehumanizer
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Showing 1-10 of 36 reviews(verified purchases). Show all reviews
on August 19, 2016
Love this one, But keep in mind that Ozzy is not in this one. Ronnie James Dio sings in this one. He has that different kind of sound,I would say more of a yelling and screaming sound more less, but I think that it was time for Black Sabbath to change there style anyway. I really think this is what kept them to continue making so many records, I give them a lot of credit on that. So to sum it all up, I really like most all Black Sabbath stuff.
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on May 9, 2007
At least as far as studio albums are concerned... anyway, let's get to it: first let me tell you that my ACTUAL rating for this album would have to be 3 ½ stars (I'll explain why later), but since I cannot put that...sporting one of the goofiest album covers ever, "Dehumanizer" is the third and last studio album recorded by the Dio led Black Sabbath, but it was the second I got. Common wisdom points that one should normally buy records in chronological order in order to fully experience the evolution of the artist, and while I don't always agree with this notion, I'd say that this is one of those instances where it truly rings true.

As you can read in my review for "Heaven & Hell", I am a latter day Sabbath fan, and in my country back then, you just couldn't go into a record store and pick whichever record you wanted. You had to buy what they had or order cd's at an obscene price. So shortly after falling in love with "H&H", I wanted more, and I started to look for the other 2 Dio Sabbath releases. It would take me some 2 years to finally get "The Mob Rules"(which I ultimately HAD to order, at an obscene price, because record stores just wouldn't carry it), but I was able to find "Dehumanizer" after a few weeks of digging, and my curiosity overcame by chronological stubbornness.

So I went home to play the record hoping to find some more material like "H&H", only to be hit in the head with the unashamed, unabashed, unforgiving heaviness of "Computer God". I was totally shocked, but in a good way, mind you: I thought the music was dark and heavy, the sound potent, Dio (my ALL TIME favorite singer) in top form, Tony spewing pure darkness from his SG guitar, Geezer rocking the bottom end like I had never heard him before and Vinny Appice pummeling like there was no tomorrow. To this day, that song remains my favorite of the album and one of my favorite Dio Sab tunes overall. I just loved it! Everything was top notch: the music, the performances, the lyrics, the sound...superlative, really...

The band sounds very tight, with regained focus for the most part, and I believe the production really showcases the best that these musicians had to offer at the time. Of special notice are the lyrics of this album and its subject matter: Ronnie was going through his "angry period", which started with his own "Lock up the Wolves" and encompasses "Dehumanizer", `Strange Highways" and "Angry Machines". And it is a BIG change, since you're not gonna find his trademark dungeons and dragons fairytales here, but rather much rawer, down to earth lyrics.

The next song, "After All (The Dead)", I must admit was a bit of a surprise after such an auspicious start: very slow, very doom-y, and in all honesty, it didn't impress me as much. In time, I came to appreciate it more, but it's not one of my favorites, I must say. I thought (and I still think to this day) that it was in the wrong place, cutting dramatically the pace of the album. Something that becomes that much more obvious with the next song, the gargantuan "TV Crimes": again fast, heavy, brutal, a definite highlight. The album contains at least 3 more jewels: the swift and heavy "Time Machine", the powerful "I" and closing "Buried Alive". The former was a winner with me at first listen, and having had the privilege of catching a live performance of this song last year by Dio (the band), I really must say that it remains just as vital and powerful after all these years, while the latter also took me a little time to get, but once I got it, it became one of my favorites.

At first listen, there were 3 songs that didn't particularly attract my attention: "Letters from Earth", "Master of Insanity" and "Sins of the Father". While not scorchers like the ones I mentioned before, they keep the pace going. But to be honest with you, at first I thought they were "filler". Before you start sending death threats my way, let me define what "filler" means to me: to me, "filler" is not necessarily a bad song, but simply one that, after repeated listening, fails to catch my attention, meaning that I can't sing along the chorus (because I can't remember it), I can't hum the melody or any of its riffs. Simply put, songs that in and by themselves fail to catch my attention. And after all (no pun intended...) these years, I still think that category applies at least for "Master of...", 'cos I've grown to really like "Letters..." and "Sins...".

And if we're going to be completely honest about things, then I must also say that "Too Late" falls in this category as well: EVEN IF I LIKE IT, I still think that the song is not as good as it could (should?) have been. My guess is that they were hoping for a new "Children of the Sea" or "Sign of the Southern Cross", but this one doesn't quite cut it. The last song on this CD is an alternate version of "Time Machine" which was used for the soundtrack of the movie "Wayne's World" (possibly the original demo of the song...): for the most part, it's the same song with a few changes in the lyrics and a somewhat sleeker, cleaner, softer production which I guess was (maybe...?) an attempt to get radio airplay and exposure (?). It is good, but I honestly like the original, heavier version much better.

Now, many critics and fans alike have stated that this record sounds a little like a "Master of Reality-era kind of riffs" album with Dio singing instead of Ozzy, and while I do not fully agree with that, I must admit that they probably have a point: the music does sound a little like a throwback to the classic Ozzy-era songwriting of nasty guitar riffs. In any case, I think the music is closer to "Master of Reality" than it is to the more melodic, straightforward direction of "Heaven & Hell". But here's the thing: if you listen to the 3 Dio Sabbath albums in chronological order, the evolution DOES make sense: you'll hear the "melody meets heaviness" approach of "H&H", the "increased heaviness with melody" formula of "Mob Rules" and the "take no prisoners, heaviness first, melody second" approach of "Dehumanizer". After finally adding "The Mob Rules" to my collection, suddenly this record made perfect sense. This is by far the heaviest record of the Dio trilogy. According to an interview with Geezer on the Jan '98 issue of American magazine "Metal Edge", he came up with A LOT of the riffs for this record, specifically, A LOT of the heaviest material. After hearing what Geezer has done with his G/Z/R band, I'd say he's telling the truth!

The bottom line: as a fan, I'd give this record 4 stars because I enjoy it a whole lot, but as a (ehem...) "critic", I must also admit that it is NOT in the same category as the first 2 records from this lineup, and therefore I'd give it 3 stars. So, by making an average, I get the final rating of 3 ½ stars that I told you about at the start. (If you read my reviews for the other 2 records, you'll have more context). It is a shame that this reunion was short lived and only produced this last record, as I believe they could've given us much more.
Want proof? Look no further than the lyrics to "Computer God", written well before the advent of the internet!!! They ring even "truer" NOW than 15 years ago, when they were originally written! If you ask me, I think that this music has aged just as good as their music from their 70's heyday. But in the end, I think that the album was rushed and could've benefited from a little more pre-production: I mean, 6 great songs out of 10 is not bad, but it is a long shot from a true classic. This record is to Black Sabbath what "Perfect Strangers" was to Deep Purple: a difficult comeback record done after 10 years of not working together, and the result was just the same, only a "good" record when it should've been a GREAT record. If you're looking to get started with the Dio Sabbath, I'd suggest you go the chronological way. But if you like heavy music and you're willing to take chances...
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on March 11, 2016
Such a great album from Iommi/Dio/Butler/Appice. I do feel it is a bit underrated and maybe under-appreciated. I believe this really has that dark and doomy sound from the early 70s Sabbath work, just updated. This was overshadowed by the "grunge" era, but that doesn't make it invalid. All 4 players really do a fantastic job, along with very solid writing. As ever, Ronnie James Dio shines on vocals; the man was just amazing. Tony Iommi comes up with many new and refreshing riffs here, but this is Tony Iommi we are talking about. Riffs are what the man is and always has been about. Vinny Appice and Geezer Butler sound great on the rhythm section, especially Butler, who is criminally underrated as one of rocks great bass players.

I personally love this album, from start to finish. However, there are a few tracks that are especially worth noting. Check out the tracks Computer God, Letters From Earth, Too Late and I. Just outstanding work here, and Ronnie James Dio would go on to use the themes started here for the Strange Highways and Angry Machines. This is highly recommended for Black Sabbath fans who don't own it, and for fans of good metal. Also those Dio albums I just mentioned are also highly recommended.
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on August 14, 2013
This album has aged very, very well. I recently repurchased it because somehow it had gone missing and I had not heard it in a long time. These songs stand the test of time and go down as some of the best work Dio ever recorded. The band is tight as hell here, Tony and Geezer belting out perfection as always. The flow of this album is fantastic and Ronnie's voice is just about at the pinnacle here (although he never really lost that much). My personal top five in no particular order: TV Crimes, Computer God, Too Late, Time Machine and I. I was blown away by The Devil You Know but head to head the edge goes to Dehumanizer!! Both are must haves and classics in the Dio/Sabbath cannon. Underrated as many have stated and FIVE STARS...
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on August 13, 2013
"Heaven and Hell" and "The Mob Rules" are good albums but "Dehumanizer" blows them both out of the water. Dehumanizer is by far the best Sabbath album with Dio. The riffs are rimenisent of early Sabbath kicked up a few notches and Tony Iommi kicks on some major lead solos. Highly recommend this album, especially to any Sabbath and/or Dio fan. You won't be dissappointed.
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on July 24, 2006
A powerful but overlooked Black Sabbath album with the definitive vocals of Ronnie James Dio. A mercilessly heavy song selection boasting excellent production, something "Mob Rules" can't say, strong songwriting and some of the best musicians on the planet. From this springboard you can see where Dio went with the release of his next solo albums. "Dehumanizer" will stand the test of time as one of the three best Sabbath albums ever alongside "Mob Rules" and "Heaven and Hell."
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on March 11, 2013
The greatest studio album Dio recorded with this Sabbath lineup - powerful songs, aggressive production. A big difference here is Dio-s lyrical focus - reputedly, Iommi and Butler told him from the start that they wanted and needed something different. Unhappy with the decision, Dio nevertheless supplied some of the best lyrics of his career and delivered an impassioned vocal performance on this release.
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on October 16, 2013
Next to Heaven and Hell, this is the best Dio era Black Sabbath CD, and the second best Sabbath disc overall. This definitely is some of Sabbaths finest work, woefully under rated, probably because it came out at the height of the Grunge movement. It is definitely a work that stands the test of time, and sounds as new today as it did 21 years ago!
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on April 22, 2012
I Remember when this was first released in 1992.I was surprised that Dio had joined Black Sabbath after a 10 year period, however for some reason i passed this one by.
I recently bought this one to complete my Black Sabbath / Dio years collection as i also have Heaven & Hell and Mobs Rule. All the songs on Dehumanizer i have not heard before so when i first played it my jaw virtually dropped after a few seconds of playing Computer god....This is one awsome Black Sabbath record has everything from the over the top vocals from Ronnie to the heavy quick guitar riffs to the monstrous drumming !!!. My favourite tracks are Computer god, After All, Letters from Earth, Master Of Insanity, Time Machine and I. Generally there are no fillers whatsoever here. They have certainly created a masterpiece here and they have also blown away their previous albums. It is my favourite Black Sabbath / Dio recording. Anybody that likes Dio(solo) or Black Sabbath post ozzy buy it now!!! you will not be dissapointed !!!
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on September 9, 2013
Beginning to end a solid metal album. IMO no filler songs here. All songs are worthy of Dio/Sabbath fans. Im partial to Dio as the Sabbath front man. Love his vocals. Love Dio period! RIP Ronnie James Dio.
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