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Perhaps a tense reunion? - 85%

Satanwolf, August 2nd, 2007

Black Sabbath's 1992 album Dehumanizer marked the first reunion of the "Mob Rules" lineup of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ronnie James Dio and Vinnie Appice (the second being 2007's tour under the alias Heaven and Hell). A classic version of the band, for sure. But with a decade apart, one wonders if there wasn't a bit of tension surrounding this reunion. It's been said that Iommi wanted to increase Sabbath's profile in the US, and in that aspect the reunion was a success. The album, however, is something of a mixed bag.

Dehumanizer fails to capture the vibe of the early Dio-Sabbath albums, "Heaven and Hell" and "Mob Rules." The music and production values are more modern, as is to be expected. But maybe the band should have taken more time to become comfortable working with each other again (most evident in the fact that this is the only album they did before breaking up again). Dehumanizer isn't a weak album by any means. Fact is, it's mean as Hell on some tracks. But it's about half-and-half, and the other half kinda bores me. The standout tracks are classic Sabbath, and I'd say those are "Computer God," "After All(The Dead)," "TV Crimes," "Too Late," and "I." These five songs pretty much sum up what is best about Dio-Sabbath. Sadly, the other songs don't really measure up to the best songs. They're not bad, but they are somewhat filler. "Time Machine" appeared on the Wayne's World soundtrack, but they only played about ten seconds of the song during the movie. Iommi appeared onscreen briefly in Wayne's World 2, but I digress.

Regardless, Dehumanizer is another great album in the Sabbath discography and a must have for Dio-Sabbath fans. The musicianship is superb, but songwriting-wise they should have taken a bit more time to clean the rust off of this legendary heavy metal beast before venturing back into the studio.