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How Black Sabbath introduced Heavy Metal to the world

How Black Sabbath introduced Heavy Metal to the world
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The British group starting out as just another Rock n Roll band in the late 60s soon flourished to be the pioneers of heavy metal music.

By Arshi Banerjee

It was a bright summer morning of 1967. In the popular city of Birmingham in England, four school mates, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geeze Butler and Bill Ward gathered together in one of their garages in order to look for an escape from their usual factory work with the help of blues music. Their music was primarily influenced by psychedelic blues bands such as Cream and Led Zeppelin.

The band initially started as a blues band known as the Polka Tuts where they mostly played covers of Led Zeppelin and Cream and also focused mainly on a psychedelic feel on their music inspired by the said bands.

All of that changed drastically when the bassist, Geeze Butler came up with the idea of a song that was inspired by a disturbing apparition. By using eerie melodies, heavy bass and rhythm distortion along with dark lyrics, the band came up with their debut album and soon created the name Black Sabbath. They finally discovered their sound and created more albums with similar music. Due to its uniqueness, the audience loved them and soon many bands created music that were influenced by the heavy sounds of Black Sabbath, giving birth to a genre known as Heavy Metal.

The band initially started as a blues band known as the Polka Tuts where they mostly played covers of Led Zeppelin and Cream and also focused mainly on a psychedelic feel on their music inspired by the said bands.

All of that changed drastically when the bassist, Geeze Butler came up with the idea of a song that was inspired by a disturbing apparition. By using eerie melodies, heavy bass and rhythm distortion along with dark lyrics, the band came up with their debut album and soon created the name Black Sabbath. They finally discovered their sound and created more albums with similar music. Due to its uniqueness, the audience loved them and soon many bands created music that were influenced by the heavy sounds of Black Sabbath, giving birth to a genre known as Heavy Metal.

 

Their self-titled debut album ‘Black Sabbath’ released in the 70s gave them a new recognition as a ‘heavy underground band’ which is something that they are known as till date despite selling over 75 million albums worldwide

 

Heavy Metal is a well-known and appreciated music genre that has shaped the way people perceive music. Its versatile sound along with the crass political and religious message in the lyrics often put light to the harsh realities of our society. Between the 1970s and 1980s, talking about politics and religion in music was considered to be very different and brave. Bands like Black Sabbath initiated that bravery in art which became the essence of Heavy Metal music.

With their debut song Black Sabbath that released on Friday the 13th 1970, the band knew that they have wreaked havoc upon the public. They proceeded to create music such as ‘God is Dead’ and ‘War pigs’ which questioned political and religious agenda and depicted a sense of rebelliousness that now represents heavy metal. The crazy and unique showmanship of the band along with the overall dark and loud aura they had in the stage has also influenced the visual aesthetic of many metal artists. Renowned bands like Metallica, Opeth, Slipknot and Iron Maiden have openly admitted to be influenced by the band’s musical heaviness and out-of-the world showmanship. “There is no doubt that Sabbath invented pure heavy metal,” Slipknot front man Corey Taylor says.
In one of his interviews, founder member and guitarist Tony Iommi has elaborated on Black Sabbath’s versatility: “We are aggressive, raw and fat. I think that is everything that constitutes Metal”.

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