Last updated

Studio album by
Released22 June 1992
RecordedLate 1991–Early 1992
Studio Rockfield Studios, Rockfield, Monmouthshire, Wales
Genre Heavy metal
Label I.R.S.
Reprise (US/Canada)
Producer Reinhold Mack
Black Sabbath chronology
Cross Purposes
Ronnie James Dio chronology
Lock Up the Wolves
Strange Highways
Singles from Dehumanizer
  1. "TV Crimes"
    Released: 1992
  2. "Master of Insanity"
    Released: 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [2] [3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Classic Rock Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [5]

Dehumanizer is the 16th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in June 1992.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.


It was Sabbath's first studio album in over a decade to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinny Appice [6] , and their first in nine years to feature original bassist Geezer Butler. Initial writing and demo sessions at Rich Bitch Studios in Birmingham featured drummer Cozy Powell; bootlegs of these sessions exist.

Ronnie James Dio American singer-songwriter and composer

Ronald James Padavona known professionally as Ronnie James Dio or simply Dio, was an American heavy metal singer-songwriter and composer. He fronted or founded numerous groups throughout his career, including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell.

Vinny Appice American musician

Vincent Samson Appice is an American rock drummer best known for his work with the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, and Heaven & Hell. Of Italian descent, he is the younger brother of drummer Carmine Appice.

Geezer Butler English musician, bassist and lyricist of Black Sabbath

Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler is an English musician and songwriter. Butler is best known as the bassist and primary lyricist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He has also recorded and performed with Heaven & Hell, GZR, and Ozzy Osbourne. He currently serves as bassist of Deadland Ritual.

The album's lineup – Dio, Appice, Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi – reunited in 2006 for a greatest hits set, Black Sabbath: The Dio Years , and a new studio album in 2009, The Devil You Know (billed as Heaven & Hell).

Tony Iommi British guitarist

Anthony Frank Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. He was lead guitarist and one of the four founding members of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was the band's primary composer and sole continual member for nearly five decades.

<i>Black Sabbath: The Dio Years</i> 2007 compilation album by Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath: The Dio Years is a 2007 compilation CD of material from recordings made during vocalist Ronnie James Dio's tenure in the band. The CD contains full album length, remastered tracks culled from all three studio albums: Heaven and Hell (1980), Mob Rules (1981), Dehumanizer (1992), and the live album Live Evil (1982). It also contains three new recorded songs: "The Devil Cried", "Shadow of the Wind", and "Ear in the Wall".

<i>The Devil You Know</i> (Heaven & Hell album) 2009 studio album by Heaven & Hell

The Devil You Know is the first and only studio album from heavy metal band Heaven & Hell; the members had previously recorded as a group in an earlier line-up of Black Sabbath. The Devil You Know was Ronnie James Dio's final studio appearance prior to his death in May 2010.

The album was re-released, with bonus content, on 7 February 2011. [7] [8]


Lyrically and musically, Dehumanizer is considered one of Sabbath's heaviest albums. Lyrical themes vary from a computer worshipped as a god (Computer God), to televangelists (TV Crimes), to individualism (I) and doubts about the afterlife (After All (The Dead)).

Individualism moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual

Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group, while opposing external interference upon one's own interests by society or institutions such as the government. Individualism is often defined in contrast to totalitarianism, collectivism, and more corporate social forms.

The afterlife is the belief that the essential part of an individual's identity or the stream of consciousness continues after the death of the physical body. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary, may not, as in Indian nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death.

The album was recorded in Wales, at Rockfield Studios. It was intended to feature Cozy Powell, then Sabbath's drummer, but he was immobilised by a broken pelvic bone sustained in a horse riding accident. Dio initially wanted to replace Powell with Simon Wright, from AC/DC and his own band, but Butler and Iommi rejected him. They instead recruited Vinny Appice, who had served as Sabbath's drummer during most of Dio's previous tenure with the band, from 1980–1982.

Wales Country in northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

Rockfield Studios recording studio

Rockfield Studios is a recording studio just outside the village of Rockfield, Monmouthshire near Monmouth in Wales. called the studios one of the top five (recording) studios in the world.

Cozy Powell English rock drummer

Cozy Powell was an English rock drummer, who made his name with many major rock bands and artists like The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Gary Moore, Robert Plant, Brian May, Whitesnake, Emerson, Lake & Powell, and Black Sabbath.

During sessions for the album, Tony Martin made a short comeback when invited by the band to try the songs out. He stayed for just a couple of days and the band continued with Dio. Martin stated: "I had already started my first solo album Back Where I Belong – so, when I got the call to go back, I was committed by that point. And in fact it was just a couple of months after they had started the thing with Ronnie James Dio. I was determined to finish my solo thing and so turned them down at that point. We did keep in touch though and I went to some shows. Ronnie wasn’t too pleased, but eventually they had enough and asked me to rejoin again later so it felt like I hadn’t actually left. In fact, I was never formally fired; the phone just stopped ringing. Ian Gillan (Deep Purple singer, and another ex-Sabbath singer) asked me once if I had actually been fired and I said, 'No.' He said, 'Neither have I.' We should just turn up one day and walk on stage!" [9] [10]

Demo sessions with Powell yielded numerous recordings, including two unreleased songs – "The Night Life" (also called "Next Time"), whose riff was later used for "Psychophobia" on Cross Purposes , and "Bad Blood", which sounds very similar to "I" on Dehumanizer. These songs can be found, along with other demos and untitled songs, on the Complete Dehumanizer Sessions bootleg. "Computer God" was the title of an unreleased song by The Geezer Butler Band, in 1986 – only the title made it to Dehumanizer. The Butler version is available as a download on his website. [11] "Master of Insanity" was also an unreleased Geezer Butler Band track, of which the Dehumanizer version is essentially a rerecording. Jimi Bell, the guitarist with Butler's band actually wrote the song and Jimi's Solo was actually used on the dehumanizer record. Geezer promised a credit and payment but Jimi never was paid or credited for his contributions. [12]

"We wanted it to be real rock 'n' roll: real basic," Dio told WERS' Nasty Habits show. "We wanted to capture what we are live and that's really what I think we did. We didn't do tons of overdubs or a lot of chorus-y kind of things. I think the important thing is that a band should be able to do all the things they do on record live, without any kind of sampling crap or that rubbish – so, of course, we didn't. We recorded it true to what the band is: just guitar, bass, drums and vocals, y'know – a couple of keyboard things here and there." [13]

Although the Sabbath lineup was the same as 1981's Mob Rules , the musical direction is very different, and a marked change from their previous material, particularly the preceding Tyr . Much of the album anticipates the directions taken by Dio in his eponymous solo band's next two records, Strange Highways (1993) and Angry Machines (1996). Commercially, the album marked a resurgence for Sabbath. It reached the Top 40 in the UK, [14] and peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200 chart. [15]


"It was good to try that with Ronnie…" Iommi reflected in 1997. "[But] we lost millions on it… because of the time we took to record it, and fly backwards and forwards to the States with everything, all the gear; bringing it back; recording here [the UK]… A lot of messing about and a lot of money wasted… If it came to it again now, we could plan it different and it'd be okay, but we had to try that. Originally Cozy was involved, then he wasn't." [16]

This incarnation of Sabbath ended when Dio's contract with the band ended several days before the Costa Mesa reunion shows in November 1992. According to Iommi, Dio quit because he was asked to support Ozzy Osbourne's final shows at Costa Mesa, referring to Ozzy as a "clown". [17] Dio would not record or perform with the band again until 2006. [18] For the two Costa Mesa shows, the band replaced Dio with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford; on the second night, Iommi, Butler and original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward joined Osbourne onstage for four songs. Halford and Dio were friends (Dio having been impressed with Halford's work ethic on the 'Stars' project) and Halford would only do the Costa Mesa shows with Dio's blessing, which he received when he spoke with Dio by phone. Both shows were unofficially recorded in their entirety and are now widely circulated as audio and video bootlegs.

Dehumanizer is included in the Black Sabbath box set The Rules of Hell . [19]

The album was rereleased on 7 February 2011. This version includes a bonus disc with alternate recordings of several songs ("Master of Insanity", "Letters from Earth" and "Time Machine", the latter of which is available on the US version of the album as a bonus track) and several other songs recorded on 25 July 1992 in Tampa, Florida. [7] [8]

Track listing

All songs written by Geezer Butler, Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi, except where noted. [20]

Side one
1."Computer God"6:10
2."After All (The Dead)"5:37
3."TV Crimes"3:58
4."Letters from Earth"4:12
5."Master of Insanity *Written and Guitar solo by Jimi Bell [21] "5:54
Side two
6."Time Machine"4:10
7."Sins of the Father"4:43
8."Too Late"6:54
10."Buried Alive"4:47


Info taken from Dehumanizer liner notes [20]

Black Sabbath


Release history

United Kingdom30 June 1992 I.R.S. Records
United Kingdom??? EMI
United States1992 Reprise Records
Canada1992Reprise Records
United StatesOctober 2008 Rhino Records

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Mob Rules</i> (album) 1981 studio album by Black Sabbath

Mob Rules is the 10th studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in November 1981. It followed 1980's Heaven and Hell, and it was the second and last Black Sabbath studio album to feature lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio prior to the 1992 album Dehumanizer.

<i>Live Evil</i> (Black Sabbath album) 1982 live album by Black Sabbath

Live Evil is the first official live album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. The previously released Live at Last (1980) was not sanctioned by the band. Live Evil peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.

<i>Strange Highways</i> 1993 studio album by Dio

Strange Highways is the sixth studio album by the American heavy metal band Dio. It's also their first album since Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice's reunion tour with Black Sabbath. The European release was on Vertigo, in October 1993; the U.S. release was on Reprise Records, in January 1994.

William Thomas Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer of the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He also performed lead vocals on two Black Sabbath songs: "It's Alright" from the album Technical Ecstasy and "Swinging the Chain" from the album Never Say Die!.

<i>Heaven and Hell</i> (Black Sabbath album) 1980 studio album by Black Sabbath

Heaven and Hell is the ninth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on 25 April 1980. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in 1979.

<i>Cross Purposes</i> 1994 studio album by Black Sabbath

Cross Purposes is the 17th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in January 1994.

<i>The Best of Black Sabbath</i> 2000 greatest hits album by Black Sabbath

The Best of Black Sabbath is a double CD compilation album by Black Sabbath released in 2000 on the Sanctuary Records label. Its 32 songs are presented chronologically from the band's first 11 albums, spanning the years 1970 to 1983. Black Sabbath's classic six-album run, from 1970s debut Black Sabbath through 1975's Sabotage is celebrated with three to six songs from each album. Original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne's subsequent final two albums with the band, 1976's Technical Ecstasy and 1978's Never Say Die!, are represented by one and two songs, respectively. Replacement Ronnie James Dio's early 80's stint fronting the band on two albums is acknowledged with the title track of 1980's Heaven and Hell and a track from 1981's The Mob Rules. The compilation closes with a song from 1983's attempted rebirth, Born Again, former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's sole album with the band. The Best of Black Sabbath does not include any later material with vocalists Glenn Hughes, Tony Martin (1986–96) or the returning Dio.

Tony Martin (British singer) English heavy metal musician

Anthony Philip Harford, better known by his stage name Tony Martin, is a heavy metal vocalist, best known for his time fronting Black Sabbath, initially from 1987 to 1991 and again from 1993 to 1996. Martin was the band's second longest serving vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne. He has since been involved in many other projects.

<i>The Sabbath Stones</i> 1996 compilation album by Black Sabbath

The Sabbath Stones (1996) is a compilation album of Black Sabbath songs taken from albums ranging from 1983's Born Again to 1995's Forbidden. It was never formally released in the US or Canada, and was the last album to be released by Black Sabbath with I.R.S. Records.

Heaven & Hell (band) American band

Heaven & Hell were an English-American heavy metal band active from 2006 to 2010. The band was a collaboration featuring Black Sabbath founding members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler along with former Black Sabbath and Dio members Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice.

<i>We Rock</i> (DVD) 2005 video by Dio

We Rock is a compilation video album by the American heavy metal band Dio. It collects the out-of-print videos Live in Concert (1984) and A Special from the Spectrum (1984), which had been available on VHS and a Japanese issued Laserdisc, minus a couple of songs.

<i>The Black Sabbath Story, Vol. 2</i> 1992 video by Black Sabbath

The Black Sabbath Story Vol. 2 - 1978-1992 is a documentary video about the biography of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It is the follow-up to The Black Sabbath Story Vol. 1 - 1970-1978, and it's about their story from the leaving of Ozzy Osbourne to the recording of Dehumanizer, discussing the line-up changes Black Sabbath experienced during the period between 1978 and 1992. In addition to comments by the storic members Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, there are interviews with other people that have been in the band, like Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Cozy Powell and Vinny Appice. There are also live clips and video clips of various songs. In 2002 a DVD Version has been released, with 19 min of never-seen footage, not included in the previous VHS Version.

Neon Knights 1970 single by Black Sabbath

"Neon Knights" is a song by British rock band Black Sabbath from 1980's Heaven and Hell, their first album with American vocalist Ronnie James Dio.

"Children of the Sea" is a song by heavy metal band Black Sabbath, from their ninth studio album, Heaven and Hell (1980).

<i>13</i> (Black Sabbath album) 2013 studio album by Black Sabbath

13 is the 19th and final studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath. The album was released on 10 June 2013 in Europe and 11 June 2013 in North America, via Vertigo Records and Republic Records in the United States, and via Vertigo Records worldwide. It is the only studio album released by Black Sabbath since Forbidden (1995), and was the band's first studio recording with original singer Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler since the live album Reunion (1998), which contained two new studio tracks. It was also the first studio album with Osbourne since Never Say Die! (1978), and with Butler since Cross Purposes (1994), the first since Never Say Die! not to feature longtime keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, and the first since The Eternal Idol (1987) on the Vertigo label.


  1. Torreano, Bradley. "Dehumanizer review". AllMusic . Rovi Corporation . Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  2. "Dehumanizer; Mad Hatter Review". Entertainment Weekly . 14 August 1992. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  3. Pierce, Ken (17 October 2008). ""Dehumanizer" (remaster) by Black Sabbath". Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  4. "Black Sabbath: Album Guide". Rolling Stone . Archived from the original on 6 March 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2012.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. Dome, Malcolm (February 2011). "Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer". Classic Rock . 154. London, UK: Future plc. p. 88.
  6. Saulnier, Jason (24 March 2012). "Vinny Appice Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Dehumanizer Deluxe Edition Announced". Black Sabbath Online. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2010.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. 1 2 "Black Sabbath Announce Dehumanizer Reissue Featuring Dio". RTT News. Retrieved 28 December 2010.[ permanent dead link ]
  9. Interview: Former Black Sabbath Lead Singer Tony Martin
  10. "Workshop with Tony Martin in Gothenburg". Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  11. "Audio Rarities | The Official Geezer Butler Website" . Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  13. WERS Nasty Habits, recorded at New York's China Club, 6 August 1992
  14. 1 2 3 "Black Sabbath Official Charts". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  15. 1 2 "Chart history Dehumanizer". Billboard . Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  16. Scott, Peter (May 1998). "Tony Iommi Interview". Southern Cross (Sabbath fanzine) #21. p. 38.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |magazine= (help)
  17. Iommi, Tony, with T.J. Lammers. Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, 2011. Chapter 70: "Bound & Shackled".
  18. Iommi, Tony, with T.J. Lammers. Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, 2011. Chapter 86: "Heaven and Hell, tour and band".
  19. Welte, Jim (22 April 2008). "Legends align for Metal Masters Tour". . Archived from the original on 24 April 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2008.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  20. 1 2 Dehumanizer album notes. Reprise Records. 1992. p. 3.
  22. "Sabbath - Dehumanizer". (in German). Media Control Charts. Archived from the original on 7 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  23. "Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer (Album)". Media Control Charts . Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  24. "Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer". (in German). Media Control Charts. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. "Album – Black Sabbath, Dehumanizer". (in German). Media Control Charts . Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  26. "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 56, No. 5, August 01, 1992". Library and Archives Canada. 1 August 1992. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  27. "Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer". (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  28. "Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer (Album)". Media Control Charts. Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)