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Every masterpiece has to have something of a teaser that works well for promotional purposes, and that is exactly how “Time Machine” functions in relation to “Dehumanizer”. It’s not the most adventurous and original songs to come out of the album, but it is an easy way to articulate the different direction that the band was going in. After releasing the very epic, melodic, and somewhat pristine sounding album “Tyr”, it was basically time for Black Sabbath to move into darker territory like they had done on other occasions such as “Born Again” and “Headless Cross”.
Though some point to a move towards “Master Of Reality” as being the principle influence in how these songs took shape, this particular song hints at more of a “Sabotage” influence, particularly the main riff of the song, which is a slightly more complex version of the main riff to “Symptom Of The Universe”. Unlike the latter song, there are no quiet interludes that seem to come from out of nowhere, but instead a very tight and driving up tempo chug session with some very formulaic riffs. Ronnie’s lyrics are also very simple, not resorting to any elaborate metaphorical imagery, but just telling a series of general descriptions about escapism.
This is the sort of release that is done solely for the sake of getting the word out about a great upcoming album, and like theatrical trailers, rarely has any lasting value except as fodder for eccentric collectors of such things. Just take this as one more reason to check out “Dehumanizer” and thus understanding why the albums that this band has done with Ronnie Dio at the helm can do no wrong.