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Ronnie comes back, and we have a masterpiece! - 100%

Rainbow, December 15th, 2002

This album cannot be slagged in anyway. The component are; Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice, and Ronnie James Dio. This lineup in a sense, is perfect. Ronnie came back into the fold after jamming at a concert one night with Geezer, and so it just seemed like a good idea from a financial standpoint, since the maximum NON-DRAWING power of Tony Martin was leading Sabbath into onlivion. I respect Tony, but ANYONE could've been better than him. So here we are in 1992, and the Sabbs release their last true piece of art....Dehumanizer. The songs aren't the same phoned in riffs and cliche imagery that dominated Headless Cross -> Tyr era Sabbath, hell no. The band gives us an almost concept album on the future, with a production job that captures this theme immensely. This is the sound Sabbath is best in, and it shows clearly as their simply is no low point on the album. I've tried to find it, as I've looked to see which was my least favorite song, listened to it a few times and began to love it. My biggest suprise was Dio's lyrics, because he'd been on a creativity drought since Sacred Heart and here he's got totally new themes and a great new angry growl that would go on to rule his DIO follow-up "Strange Highways". The drumming is perfectly matched with the music, and Geezer's bass fills in "Computer God" make the song work and flow nicely. Words cannot describe the long term value of this album, I am still finding new things to appreciate in it. Sure addicts to "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules" might not like the production, but this album in my opinion is stronger than either of those, and its a shame both Ronnie and the band have forgotten this classic in their setlists.