Black Sabbath is long considered one of the most powerful heavy metal bands. Their riffs can still be heard in the brains of hard rock enthusiasts around the world, even after 40 years. Sabbath was always more than a heavy-rock band. Their music contains acoustic interludes as well as jazz phrasings and blues chords. Their overall sound is unrelenting.
Here are some songs that I believe cement Sabbath’s well-deserved reputation of being the most heavy in the country.
This song would be my choice if I had to choose one song to demonstrate Black Sabbath’s unmatched heaviness. This song contains more top-of-the-heap metal riffs than any guitarist can come up with in a lifetime. Tony Iommi is the leader of the pack with this song. His tone and attack make it feel like you are slowly being encased by molten iron. It is important to note the band’s chemistry. Without Ozzy’s vocals in the wilderness, and Bill Ward’s rhythm section, Geezer Butler, plodding and swinging simultaneously, the track would have half the weight. Technology has made it easier to produce heavier tones and production sounds. However, the reason this track still sounds so heavy is due to Ozzy’s voice, which can be heard in the wilderness, and Geezer Butler’s rhythm section. Iommi’s incredible hand vibrato as well as the band’s chemistry.
Are you being overplayed? Perhaps. It might. This song is almost parody-worthy and it is awesome.
Another hit from the same album, “War Pigs”, is also worthy of inclusion. This song is a worthy candidate for the heaviness hall-of-fame because of its opening chord.
This album is home to some of Sabbath’s most heavy songs, such as “Hole in the Sky”, Symptom of the Universe and “Megalomania”. While all of these songs should be on the list, “The Writ”, despite its emotional power and anguished delivery, is my favorite. Ozzy’s vocals are often overlooked in the heaviness of Sabs’ most dense material.
It was impossible not to include something from the Dio era. I chose to include “Follow the Tears”, from the 2009 album “The Devil You Know”. Although it was recorded by the same people as “The Mob Rules”, the album was released under the name of Heaven & Hell and not Black Sabbath. This is why I am calling it a difficult choice on technicality. Both of these tracks are diyactive mind-numbingly hard and support Iommi’s and Butlers’ ability to deliver world-class heaviness with only two different drummers (Vinny Apice and Ronnie James Dio). Another contender is “I” from 1992’s “Dehumanizer”.
It’s difficult to choose five of the most important heavy moments for these guys. However, I think you will see why Black Sabbath is one of the most powerful bands ever.