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Black Sabbath

Dehumanizer

Review by Gary Hill

This album saw Dio return to the Black Sabbath fold after a decade away. The disc might not have the high profile that the earlier studio works featuring Dio were (Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules), but it’s at least as strong a release. It’s one of the heaviest albums that the group ever released – right up there with Born Again. It’s one that holds up quite well. I’d have to chalk it up as one of the best of the post Ozzy CD’s.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Computer God

I think they might have picked the best tune to open the disc. Machine types of sounds start this. From there we are taken to a killer classic Sabbath styled jam. I love the trademark Iommi riffing. Dio sounds great on this thing, too. The mellower dropped back section is a different side of classic Sabbath. The first guitar solo segment is furious and a bit on the raw side, but in a tasty way.  The instrumental section at the end just plain screams. It does a great job of taking the song out in style.

After All (The Dead)
Doomy modes lead this off and then they power it out into a rather unusual, but very heavy and cool, verse with the vocals really stealing the show. This is a song that has some definite ties to very early Black Sabbath sounds. In fact, I hear a lot of the first couple albums on this.
TV Crimes
Extremely heavy this is really a lot more reflective of Dio solo than it is of Black Sabbath. Still, there’s Sabbath thunder whenever Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi are on the case. Somehow this has always reminded me of the hook from the song “Radar Rider” by Riggs that is found on the soundtrack to the movie Heavy Metal. Of course, this is far heavier than that track. 
Letter From Earth
I like this one a lot. It has a catchy hook and yet it’s classic plodding Sabbath. This might well be my favorite piece on show here and it’s got some incredibly tasty guitar work. 
Master Of Insanity
As Black Sabbath songs go, this one is pretty unique. There’s a bass driven segment that opens it that really makes me think of a metal King Crimson. Then they shift it out into a motif that feels a little like classic Queensryche. And yet, we also get some definite Dio solo type material and some more classic Sabbathisms. It’s a very dynamic and powerful piece of music. 
Time Machine
This one’s quite unusual, too. It opens with an uberheavy jam that feels rather like something from Born Again. We get some music that’s a bit like Dio solo meets Mob Rules Sabbath. The unusual section comes mid-track. It’s a jam that feels a lot like Hawkwind goes heavy metal. All in all this is another killer cut on a disc that has absolutely no shortage of them. 
Sins Of The Father
We get an almost psychedelic texture to this track. It’s definitely different from the other music here, but it’s still cool. It turns quite heavy later and we get some of the disc’s tastier guitar work. 
Too Late
Starting with a mellower motif, this is essentially a powered up ballad in classic Dio era Sabbath tradition. This band always did these extremely well and this is no exception. It’s powerful and evocative in its delivery. 
I
Another highlight of the set, this is perhaps the most like something from Heaven and Hell. The chorus is very catchy and the music to the whole piece is just plain classic. 
Buried Alive
Here’s another super heavy cut. This one reminds me of Born Again. It’s another that has some exceptional Iommi soloing. Somehow this reminds me of “Zero The Hero.”
Time Machine (Wayne's World Version)

The set’s closed with another version of “Time Machine.” The main difference I can hear is a little electronic sort of intro added to the start.

 
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