Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 22 years ago today, Dio rejoined Black Sabbath to create one of their heaviest albums of all time, Dehumanizer.
Dehumanizer is truly one of the most underrated albums of all time in my humble opinion. It was Dio’s first of his short-lived reunion with Sabbath, their first album together since Mob Rules 11 years prior. When speaking Dio, everyone talks Heaven and Hell, and sometimes you’ll get people now that give praise to Mob Rules. This album was lost because it came out in ’92, when a lot of metal was suffering with the birth of grunge. For my money, this is the heaviest, angriest Sabbath record of all time. Dio is still melodic, but he is SO pissed off on this album. The energy and aggression is unmatched. “Computer God” is in the running for my favorite track of all time. “Letters From Earth” is a track that I feel is criminally underrated. Iommi has some great riffs in it. Then there are the insanely heavy, and most talked about tracks “I” and “T.V. Crimes,” and the spooky “After All (The Dead).” “Master of Insanity” is another great track that Geezer Butler wrote in one of his solo projects. The track on this album is barely any different from the version from his solo projects. Check it out! “Too Late” is a sad, beautiful track that harkens back to the older Dio-Sabbath albums too. It’s truly an amazing record. I also really love the album cover for the album.
The bad for this album is summed up in two words for me. “Time Machine.” I hate this track SO deeply. It’s the only reason this album isn’t perfect, for me. It’s by FAR the most boring Dio-Sabbath track of all time. It’s just so bland, with vocals that aren’t up to the rest of the album, and one of the worst riffs I’ve ever heard from Iommi. Out of every single thing Dio ever did with Sabbath, there are only two tracks I can’t listen to. “Ear in the Wall” off of The Dio Years boxset is the other, but I would listen to that track 100 times before I sat through “Time Machine” once more.
Favorite Tracks: “Computer God,” “Master of Insanity,” “Letters From Earth,” “I,” “Buried Alive,” “Too Late,” “T.V. Crimes,” “Sins of the Father,” “After All (The Dead).”
If you haven’t listened to this album, it’s one you should really pick up. It’s in a VERY different vein than the previous Dio-era Sabbath albums, so don’t expect that super melodic Dio you might be used to from those. This is pure, heavy, aggressive, pissed-off rage from Dio, with the Iommi riffs, masterful bass from Geezer, and pounding Vinny Appice drums behind him. With the exception of the very loathed “Time Machine,” it’s one of my favorites. Pick it up, and play it loud! It’s an album that needs to be talked about more than it is.