When it comes to the history of head-banging heavy metal, there is no doubt that it was created by the one and only Black Sabbath. Formed in 1968 initially as a blues band, in Birmingham, England, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, singer Ozzy Osbourne and drummer Bill Ward invented metal music buy using blues and rock as a foundation to create a much gloomier, darker, psychedelic inspired form of rock music. It was a sound that no one had ever heard before, one that would subsequently evolve into what is now known as heavy metal music.
With Iommi's spiritual, gut wrenching guitar riffs, and Butler's thick bass lines, Ward's powerful percussion, and Ozzy's mysterious, haunting vocals, Black Sabbath pushed the limits of normalcy among conventional rock bands. With songs seeking out the mythology and the occult, describing the destruction of war, foreshadowing Armageddon, questioning religion and the afterlife and retelling stories of good versus evil. Many were frightened by band's doom and gloom approach to rock n roll music, drug and alcohol abuse and rumors of Satanism, which only added to the eerie, mysterious aura of darkness that followed the four piece rock band its entire career. In honor of the original Black Sabbath lineup (minus original drummer Bill Ward) coming to Irvine's Verzion Wireless Amphitheater Wednesday, we conjured up a list that fits perfectly with the upcoming Fall Season. The 10 Creepiest Black Sabbath Songs.
This is a newer song by the members of Black Sabbath (featuring drummer Vinny Appice) who recorded and went on tour as Heaven and Hell, to differentiate between the band with Ozzy. One of three songs written in 2006 with Dio, and released in a Best hits collection in 2007, "The Devil Cried," is a mid tempo track about Satan, reminiscent of the earlier albums, but with a faster, more polished.There is a certain eerie vibe that can be felt and heard in Dio's vocal performance.9.Lady Evil, Heaven and Hell (1980)
Dio's voice is distinctive and his lyrics although not gruesome, deal more with the nature of evil and a mythical heavy metal universe, full of Evil forces, witches, sorcerers, and dragons.This musical epic tale about a female demon might not sound as menacing as the lyrics are:There's a place just south of Witches Valley/ Where they say the wind won't blow / And they only speak in whispers of her name /There's a lady they say who feeds the darkness / It eats right out of her hand /With a crying shout she'll search you out And freeze you where you stand. 8.Electic Funeral, Paranoid (1970)
Another song best appreciated on Halloween night, this grisly, technocratic dystopian song has an esoteric theme, with a recurring theme of on the supernatural and evil forces that rule the world. It hooks listeners in with Ozzy's slow shrieks, and a beat slow enough to head bang to but not fast enough to mosh to. The tune opens with a harsh warning of a future atomic disaster:Reflex in the sky warn you you're gonna die / Storm coming, you better hide from the atomic tide.7. Under The Sun/Every Day Comes & Goes, Volume 4 (1972)
This song sounds menacing, but in reality after listening to the lyrics, fans realize it isn't as evil as it is anti-authority and religious dogma, and for individuals finding mechanisms for self empowerment. You can hear the riffs sliding off of Iommi's guitar. The instrumental ending is grim, yet magical; a depressing, epic doom metal classic.6. Hand of Doom, Paranoid (1970)
Another blatant anti-Vietnam War doom metal song, this grisly track details the horrors the battlefield, the psychological trauma, and the escape from reality by using drugs such as heroin and LSD. Slow and steady at first, the anticipation of the heavy build up is hypnotic and the combo of Butler's bass and Ward's percussion truly shine as a cohesive sound there to accent and compliment the Iommi's heavy riffs and Ozzy's grim vocals.5. War Pigs, Paranoid (1970)
One of the most famous anti-war songs ever constructed, this classic heavy metal tune embellished yet frightened fans with the anti establishment message that still is significant in context of today's current events.
It uses a sound that is taken for granted, as stoner metal today, to instantly lull listeners in with a thick haze of lush echoes leading to the classic song about military leaders and politicians being 'evil minds that plot destruction,' who create wars, but send the poor off to die. Death and Hatred to Mankind /poisoning their brainwashed minds. The element of evil appears within the music as Ozzy sings about the role of the Devil in world affairs: Day of Judgment, God is calling /On their knees the war pigs crawling/ Begging mercy for their sins/ Satan, laughing spreads his wings."4.Children of the Grave,Master of Reality (1971)
The opening of this song, sounds like it could have been like black metal or stoner metal, and the menacing, stoned megalithic riffs could be easily mistaken for Venom, or High On Fire. You can feel the bass and tribal drums in your chest cavity when played loud enough. The lyrics are ironic in that they offer social commentary, against war and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but also serve as a stern warning to the youth, to avoid an apocalyptic doomsday scenario:If you want a better place to live in/ spread the words/ today/ Show the world that love is still alive/ you must be brave / Or you children of today are Children of the Grave, Yeah!
3. Symptom of the Universe,Sabotage
(1975) This song is cosmic in nature, with dark ethereal guitar riffs, smashing drums and vibrant bass, and from the first instant initiates head banging. Iommi's guitar riffs are electrifying and pulsating, while Butler's throbbing bass matches perfectly with the percussion add an eerie-layered sound to this song about the creation of the Universe and a 'love that never dies'. Ozzy's vocals are high-pitched b creating the perfect balance between menacing and melodic. Adding to the mystic vibe are lyrics most likely influenced by marijuana and LSD, which explains the songs conclusion recalling the classic '60s music sound of clean guitars and a hippie session.2. N.I.B., Black Sabbath (1970)
This song is also from Black Sabbath's land mark 1970 self-titled debut recording, and also has lyrics that are still as dark and evil as they were over four decades ago when they were first released. The introduction is heavy bass solo that lulls in listeners in to the riff heavy acid rock, homage to Satan.The conclusion of this tune couldn't be any clearer:Look into my eyes you'll see who I am/ My name is Lucifer please take my hand.
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This choice was obvious, but that doesn't take away from its timelessness. It is the first track on the debut album, which was recorded in 1968. More than four decades later, it is still just as eerie. With a spooky, nostalgic echo, the intro is thunderstorm and chiming bells, perfect for a witch's coven. Ozzy's vocal performance will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. His voice full of panic and despair, in this musical tale about a demonic entity black hood with 'eyes of fire' standing at the foot of his bed. The sheer evil climax comes, as a mysterious build up of slow pounding, fading drums and clean guitars fades to a doom, dread, and fright filled Ozzy screaming,Oh no, no, please God help me!