To celebrate and mourn the news of Black Sabbath's final tour
Will Butler
13:08 4th September 2015

In an attempt to escape the mundanity of factory life, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward took to create Black Sabbath to celebrate and relish in the doom and gloom of the current state of affairs in the late 60s. With their aggressive innovation, Black Sabbath went on to not only define the metal genre, they continued to reinvent it throughout their career.

Between the distinctly different but equally influential vocals of Ozzy Osbourne and replacement singer, Ronnie James Dio, the incredible guitar-work of Tony Iommi and the lyrical intensity of Geezer Butler, Sabbath's influential career has stretched over nearly 50 years of rock history.

Here are 12 bands that they inspired, and wouldn't exist without Black Sabbath.

  • In an attempt to escape the mundanity of factory life, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward took to create Black Sabbath to celebrate and relish in the doom and gloom of the current state of affairs in the late 60s. With their aggressive innovation, Black Sabbath went on to not only define the metal genre, they continued to reinvent it throughout their career. Here are 12 bands that wouldn't exist without Black Sabbath.

  • Metallica: "Sabbath got me started on all that evil-sounding shit, and it's stuck with me. Tony Iommi is the king of the heavy riff", said James Hetfield during his introduction speech inducting Sabbath into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Metallica are considered a metal staple, more than that, legends and they owe it all to the forerunners of the genre.

  • Alice in Chains: At a cetain point, all branches of rock music reach a central point, even grunge. The gloomy lyrics and sludgy guitars had to come with somewhere, and Alice in Chains wear their influences on their sleeves. The band even paid tribute to Sabbath on 1992’s Dirt with the the tongue-in-cheek skit ‘Iron Gland’.

  • Black Flag: From their genesis the California punk band were lambasted with claims of thievery for having a name so similar to that of Sabbath's. Greg Ginn didn't seem phased by the comparison citing Sabbath as one of his favourite bands and saying that he was "comfortable with all the implications of the name."

  • Kyuss: Another band labeled as a product of Sabbath's influence, the psychedelic-hard rock of Kyuss was incredibly emblematic of Iommi's riffage. Queens of the Stone Age frontman and former Kyuss guitarist, Josh Homme said of the comparison: "I wanted to be able to claim that I'd never heard the music that supposedly influenced me." This just proves that the Sabbath feelers could reach the musical minds of those actively avoiding them.

  • Iron Maiden: Bruce Dickinson has said in the past that the operatic vocal stylings of Ronnie James Dio helped him develop his own voice for Iron Maiden whereas bassist Steve Harris said that the heaviness of the band changed the way he thought about playing bass parts. People cite Iron Maiden as the original pioneers but they were about 10 years late to the party, by which time Sabbath had reworked the genre to their mould.

  • Guns N Roses: Slash has been very outspoken of how influential Black Sabbath were on his music career, but more specifically their Paranoid album: "There's just something about that whole record that, when you're a kid and you're turned onto it, it's like a whole different world. It just opens up your mind to another dimension ...Paranoid is the whole Sabbath experience; very indicative of what Sabbath meant at the time."

  • Anthrax: Guitarist Scott Ian said "I always get the question in every interview I do, 'What are your top five metal albums?' I make it easy for myself and always say the first five Sabbath albums." - simple as that.

  • The Smashing Pumpkins: The riff from 'Zero' is, frankly, timeless. Corgan's guitar playing is the result of his fascination with music and, more specifically Black Sabbath records. Obsession is an inherent facet of Corgan's character and that becomes more evident than ever when you consider how much of his songwriting he owes to the greats.

  • Disturbed: Not held by the same invaluable standards as Sabbath, Disturbed's guitarist, Dan Donegan, cites the Birmingham metal band as the music that first inspired him to pick up the guitar. "always guitar-based, riff-driven, double-bass, hard, slamming, powerful melodic vocals. Those are the ingredients that we have. I guess we have always just viewed ourselves as a metal band trying to expand and follow in the footsteps of the greats."

  • Opeth: Swedish metal band Opeth push the complexity of the genre but have never fully alienated from the simple beginnings of their craft. Back in 2007, the band performed a full cover set of all their favourite classics - the setlist was Black Sabbath heavy for the most part.

  • Slipknot: People don't give enough credit to Corey Taylor for his songwriting, he's mastered the art over many years and owes a lot of his ability to Geezer Butler. "Unconsciously, growing up as a Sabbath fan, it made me realise that things didn't just have to follow musically. Things could fit on top of each other that maybe didn't sound like they could coexist."

  • Silverchair: The Australian trio have cited Sabbath as an influence but claim that the band's proficiency actually caused them to move in the opposite direction. Daniel John admits: "We were always influenced a lot by Black Sabbath it just so happened that we weren't very good at playing that style of music. So we were put in the whole grunge category because it was such a garage-y, heavy music term." One solution to this came in the form of a 'Sweet Leaf' sample in their 'Leave Me Out' tune.


Photo: Wenn