Good day all,
Wednesday was the 40th anniversary of Black Sabbath’s debut album and to most the birth of heavy metal. I can get behind that because lets face it, Black Sabbath are the godfathers of metal and it all started with them and the release of Black Sabbath. With that distinctive doom sound and the unmistakable and unimitateable voice of Ozzy Osbourne heavy metal was conceived through the copulation by Marshall stacks and distortion and released through the birth canal of the devil. Take a minute and think about where the world of heavy metal has gone since then. It is amazing what a band from the small steel town of Birmingham England where able to do to the history of music and the creation of heavy metal.
So using the release of Black Sabbath as the starting point how has the last 40 years treated heavy metal and what has happened within the genre? The evolution of metal is something to be amazed at if you ask me, the genre has grown so much since that initial and most important Sabbath album. Sure, sometimes it is hard to tell where the line between heavy metal and other genres of harder rock meet and/or separate but overall I would have to say we are in great shape as fans of this genre. Think about all of the bands from our youth that are having extraordinary resurgence over the last few years: Testament, Anthrax, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Flotsam and Jetsam, Destruction, Kreator, Sodom, among many others and hey even the godfathers themselves, Black Sabbath are releasing a new album. Now look at all of the great up and coming bands that will be carrying the torch of metal for the next generation: Holy Grail, Gypsyhawk, Avenged Sevenfold, Striker, Dust Bolt, and again many, many more. Being a fan of heavy metal, or heavy music in general is really exciting right now!
I think one would find it hard to argue the fact that Black Sabbath really did lead the way to the heavy and that the genius that is Tony Iommi was the force behind what a band can do if the guy making the moves is strong. Sure there were a ton of personnel changes in Sabbath and from all that is written about them Iommi may be hard to deal with on a long-term basis but even without knowing Ozzy personally I have to believe he is a bit difficult to deal with and if not him definitely his wife. Regardless Iommi and company were able to take the loss of Ozzy and turn it into a gain with the hiring of the great Ronnie James Dio. Seriously! What other band has been able to pull a vocalist switch like that and succeed like Sabbath did when they fired Ozzy and hired Dio? I can’t think of many who have done the switch and achieved the same type of success.
So as we celebrate the beauty that was Black Sabbath the album as well as the band think about how far our favorite genre of music has come in the last 40 years. We are a lot better off than most genres of music, at least we don’t have a Justin Bieber or a One Dimension, what we have is a genre that is expanding and benefiting from the advancements of technology and ingenuity! So horns up to the great Black Sabbath on this anniversary of their groundbreaking album and Happy Birthday Heavy Metal, we love you all!
Until later, Peace!