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Dehumanizes All Sabbath Deluxe Editions By Far! - 92%

TheKilla, July 25th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2011, 2CD, I.R.S. Records (Deluxe expanded edition)

Black Sabbath and heavy metal as a whole were in big trouble around 1992. After a couple of mediocre studio albums, notably Headless Cross and TYR, Sabbath fell into the "man, they were great way back when..." speak as well as the state of metal after grunge came in and swept their depression-rock all over the music landscape. Outside of Metallica at the time, you didn't, or in a lot of cases couldn't, put out a metal album that would take much notice.

Even metal vocalist great Ronnie James Dio couldn't catch a break, playing to 3000 seat venues after playing 30,000 ones less than a decade earlier. But at one of those smaller venues former Sabbath bass great Geezer Butler visited Ronnie at one of his shows, grabbed a bass, and the two played music together after ten years apart. After speaking to only original member left guitarist Tony Iommi about the experience, it was decided that it was time again to join forces and reclaim Black Sabbath Mark II. And that result was Dehumanizer.

With the original line-up that created the classic album Mob Rules, Dehumanizer retained that metal power while ditching Ronnie's trademark "dungeon and dragons" lyrics with ones based upon the world of the early 90's, being the computer age "dehumanizing" the people that created it. The album featured amazing Iommi riffs, Dio vocals still in top form, Geezer playing with new life, and drummer Vinny Appice once again laying down the doom & boom of his powerful drumming. It was hard to believe that at the time these guys had been already recording music for over twenty years because this reunion showed them with more strength and power than ever. Well produced and still to this day as fresh as the year it was created, Dehumanizer brought Sabbath back into the spotlight and clearly shown through amidst the grunge river of the 1990's.

This reissue has got to be one of the best Black Sabbath Deluxe Editions out there. Where others have vocal-less versions of songs, some bad sounding live tracks, or a B-Side or two, Dehumanizer has 10 extra tracks, each worth your purchase. Not only do you get the alternate versions of both "Time Machine" & "Letters From Earth" (both of which I personally prefer over the ones that ended up on the album), but the single edit of "Master Of Insanity", and what I would like to go into with detail, the "Sundome" live tracks.

You see, I've been a fan of Sabbath since I could remember, but by the time I was old enough to go to concerts, it was very hard to actually see them live. The Iommi-led version of Sabbath just didn't sell enough tickets to continue an American concert tour back in the late 80/early 90's. But when the reformed Dio-era/Dehumanizer tour was announced, I was ready...and so were the fans. The concert they performed in Tampa Florida (only their second USA show on the tour) was amazing, and they played like they were twenty-feet high. It was a show worthy of a live album, and somehow my prayers were answered because when the Master Of Insanity promo CD single (Parts One & Two) came out, select tracks from my show were there! They recorded and released a total of 4 songs from University Of South Florida Sundome show.

Now not only does this Deluxe Edition feature those 4 tracks, they dug up yet another, the medley of "Master Of Insanity/After All (The Dead)", all remastered and sound great compared to the original CD-single issue. Along with all this, is great book-like packaging with unreleased photos and new liner notes that really explain what the life of Sabbath was like back then, and what eventually led to it's way-too-quick end until the 4 would re-reunite for Heaven And Hell over another decade later. So if you're a Dio or Sabbath fan, own Heaven And Hell or Holy Diver, this album deserves your attention. It is just as important as the Dio-led 80's albums and needs to be heard in this remastered form. Worth every, single penny I paid for it, this is the Deluxe Edition of Sabbath I'll cherish the most. All Hail Black Sabbath!