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Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer CD (album) cover

DEHUMANIZER

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

3.11 | 275 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars The third instalment of Dio's creation with Sabbath came in the early 90's (when no-one was paying attention anymore) with Dehumanizer and its semi-conceptual (I believe, but not sure, anyway who cares?) and the return of Vinny Appice on drums is also a good news. I believe that the early 90's where not exactly peak years, as this album went largely unnoticed by everyone, but the die-hard fans. Even I (hardly a major fan) heard only of this album in 07, after this very line-up got back together to a Heaven & Hell tour.

Actually, this album is a rather worthy one, one that makes a worthy follow-up to Mob Rules, but clearly not on the level of H&H. Iommi is in excellent form with his usual crunching and crushing riffs, with relatively short solos (there are exceptions that confirm the rules of course). Vinny's drumming was never that of brother Carmine, but remains solid, but lacking subtleties, but WTF this is a metal album, so subtlety is not exactly a keyword or an issue. Butler's bass is not the usual booming self; I find that it's more buried in the mix, which is a shame, knowing how much it made Sabbath. Dio's vocals are of the usual Sabbath calibre, meaning he tends to hold a definite line that his own albums don't or won't. Indeed the singer is not the only master on this ship, so he holds up with lyrics often pre-occupied with the usual metal canons and worries (read the track titles, you'll get an idea) and his voice is some of his career best, approaching H&H and MR days, but not nearing the Rainbow days. The songwriting is the usual (meaning from average to good) Sabbath, as there are no stinkers or duds, but there lacks a few highlights or epic.

While I would never consider this album even close to essential for progheads, to Sabbath fan it might fit that category as it definitely makes a worthy third chapter to Dio's Sabbath adventures, one that might even be better than Mob rules if it had a track of the calibre of Sign Of The Southern Cross. I guess I'll have to get an ear on the fourth chapter sometime soon.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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