Five '70s Metal Bands Who Are Better Than Black Sabbath

Categories: Metal

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Black Sabbath

OK, we get it. You like Sabbath. Everyone does. But there's a whole big world out there of '70s metal bands that goes beyond Sabbath -- even beyond Sir Lord Baltimore, if you can believe that. The '70s offered so much in the way of doom-and-gloom heaviness that it's criminal so many stop with Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and that other guy. If you're out of high school and still think Vol. 4 is the pinnacle of human heavy metal achievement, it's time to get with the program.

See also: No Context: Orchestral Black Sabbath (Backwards) at Passerby

5. Highway Robbery

Highway Robbery's debut, For Love or Money, is almost entirely devoid of meandering bluesiness. Instead, there is a deafening heaviness. The power trio had every reason to believe they'd be the next big thing: They shared a management company with Little Feat and The Weather Report and were in-house favorites. Record execs forced them to add a couple potential hits -- "Bells" and "All I Need (To Have Is You)" -- but the album basically went nowhere, despite an unrelenting onslaught of furious riffing and surprising tunefulness.

Where To Start: They only cut the one record, so For Love or Money is it.

4. Poobah

Cleveland's Poobah played under-appreciated nuggets of rock and roll, tying acid-addled Chuck Berry shuffling to the psychedelic meanderings of the late 1960s. The band, still gigging today, boast both a healthy boogie sensibility ("Rock N Roll" and "Live To Work") and a wicked sense of humor, displayed on talking interludes between songs long before they were de rigueur in the world of hip-hop.

Where To Start: Their debut album, Let Me In, is the perfect soundtrack for Sunday afternoon knife hits.

3. Granicus

Granicus are also from Cleveland, which speaks to the teeming underground rock scene the city once boasted. Besides, what else are you going to do there but smoke a grip of dope, play loud, heavy rock and roll and dream of getting the hell out? Granicus boasted impressively heavy riffs and a singer who screeched like a combination of Ozzy and Stevie Nicks, but somehow you've never heard of them until right now.

Where To Start: The self-titled debut is perhaps the best slice of punk psychedelia on tap from 1973.


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27 comments
slug
slug

love all these and more, including Blue Cheer, who get no mention. - yes, loads of cool stuff from seventies, much more than sabbath - but these sounds are not comparable at all, are they? This piece might as well have mentioned GFR and loads more. But none of these have the same innovations in terms of the origins of heavy sludgy guitar,  basenes,. slowness and build. So the author just shows his / her ignorance and lack of musical ear. How embarrassing to have written this ignorant piece. Did some dumb editor choose the 'better than sabbath' headline? You have to live with it now! :)

Jay Ramaswamy
Jay Ramaswamy

I think the rag of a tabloid should be called the Village Idiot's Voice. See Ben Stiller as Simple Jack in Tropic Thunder.

Andrew Bowers
Andrew Bowers

I used to feel that way. Then I tuned into the fun. Priest, Motorhead, AC/DC and Deep Purple all seem to have a sense of it. I'm sure there are others.

Andrew Bowers
Andrew Bowers

Started listening to all out of curiosity. Couldn't finish one of them. :P

Vincent Baine
Vincent Baine

Sorry, but we didn't get a memo about any competition. Nicholas Pell, what are you in high school or something? (I was, in 1975) Spread the love around, mate!

Randy Bapst
Randy Bapst

The real question is..."which 1 guy in that picture didn't have ghonnerea?

Pamela Brown
Pamela Brown

Well if they aren't really metal that probably explains why they don't suck so bad .

Matthew Morris
Matthew Morris

See, I personally would consider most of them hard rock rather than metal, but it's mainly a question of definition. If I were to consider LZ metal, then of course they're superior to Black Sabbath.

Pamela Brown
Pamela Brown

Ok , if I have to name some metal that's o/k. AC/DC , Motörhead and Sabbath, led zep and jethro Tull .

Randy Bapst
Randy Bapst

Oh man I forgot about the nunna nunna nunna naaaas! Paper Lace touched my soul!

Matthew Morris
Matthew Morris

I'm no metalhead, but I like some metal. Sepultera, Slayer, Bad Brains.

Matthew Morris
Matthew Morris

--which brings me to another question: how many people consider Rush metal? I consider them hard rock, but most of my metalhead friends have also been Rush fans. (This is leaving aside whether they are better than Black Sabbath or not.)

Jay Ramaswamy
Jay Ramaswamy

Paper Lace...And they thought they knew all about the night Chicago died....that was well before BO and Rahm the comm

Randy Bapst
Randy Bapst

Paper Lace....they made anti Vietnam songs with Billy Don't Be A Hero! Mean rockin flutes!

Brent Henshaw
Brent Henshaw

If those bands are so much better than Sabbath, why haven't I heard of them?

Dan Grove
Dan Grove

both Blasphemy AND Sacrilege

Will Iam Dunn
Will Iam Dunn

Yes they are. Deep Purple is better than Sabbath. Nazareth & MC5 gave them a run for their money as well. Blue Cheer kicked ass as well.

Wil Rodgers
Wil Rodgers

hey Nick- how do you breathe with your noggin that far up your ay-nuss?

Nic Buccolieri
Nic Buccolieri

black widows, atomic rooster, graciuos... only few names of great "dark" bands from that time...

Ken Vail Jr.
Ken Vail Jr.

well i like to read about obscure bands I've not listened to yet, thanks to youtube and countless blogs I've learned about many bands...

Nic Buccolieri
Nic Buccolieri

it's not blasphemy or sacrilege, but those bands are NOT better than them...

vmitchellbell
vmitchellbell

@Pamela Brown jethro tull metal ? LOL ooooookkkay

epac666
epac666 topcommenter

@Pamela Brown Fine, stop trolling.

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