Sunday, October 26, 2014

Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer (1992)

More than a decade after the release of "Mob Rules", the line-up from that album was reunited. Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice all returned to the band and created the band's 16th album "Dehumanizer" together with Tony Iommi. So you would expect the band to go back to the sound they had during the previous Dio era, where the more straight forward rock approach dominated the fantastic albums "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules", but even if there is some truth to that, "Dehumanizer" is darker and heavier than its brothers, which is not surprising since the band have had that direction during the whole Tony Martin Harford era.

Most of the lyrics in this album is about technology and how humans worship it, but the album also discusses the afterlife and individualism, so it is some heavy subjects this album is taking up, especially compared to the two previous Sabbath records in which Dio was in. Dio is an excellent lyricist and he does a good job on this album, but it is no doubt that it his voice that steals the show. I definitely think that if Tony Martin Harford still was in the band, he would also do a good job on "Dehumanizer", but Dio is Dio, and no one can really match up with his grand vocals.

The album reach its absolute high point in the middle with the two fantastic songs known as "Letter From Earth" and "Master of Insanity". "Letters From Earth" contains a simple, but effective riff that carries the song on its shoulders, and the tempo is just right for Dio to really visualize the story. "Master of Insanity" is just incredibly catchy, thanks to its groovy riff and simple chorus. These two songs are very simple, and they show that less is sometimes more in good music.

And that is just what most of the album is all about. Simple, straight forward songs that are not overly complicated, which makes "Dehumanizer" easy to listen to. I definitely like that the band takes the straight forward direction for this album, but I would like this album a bit more if it had some more complexity in it, give it something that will keep the listener on his toes. Because even if I like the nudity that songs like "After All (The Dead)" and "I" shows, they really does not last very long. That is why "Sins of The Father" is another song that stands out in "Dehumanizer", because the tempo in the song does change the further the song goes, which makes the listener interested. And it also helps that it has one of the best grooves in the album.

I would say that "Dehumanizer" is the worst album of the ones that Dio has been on, but that would not be fair towards the record. "Dehumanizer" is another excellent record that just shows how Black Sabbath has evolved and matured with their age. The straight forward attitude is admiring and the heavy sound fits like a glove to the band. It does contain some fillers and an overall staleness that is not so good, but thanks to the strength of Dio's vocals and good song writing, "Dehumanizer" is just another one of those underrated albums made by Sabbath that was released in the 90's. A good album made in a time where technology started to take over.

Songs worthy of recognition: Letters From Earth, Master of Insanity, Sins of The Father, I

Rating: 8/10 Time Machines

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