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

Categories: Metal


2. Budgie

Budgie might be the king of unsung 1970s rock bands. Covered by both Van Halen and Metallica, Budgie are one of the most influential bands you're unfamiliar with. Along with Motörhead and Judas Priest, Budgie were one of the main reference points for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. This was the movement that fused metal with the intensity and authenticity of punk rock, eliminating the lingering trappings of psychedelia and blues. Budgie, however, were doing all this years before the army of punters existed, making them criminally unknown in the United States -- though apparently they were huge in Texas.

See also: What Makes NYC Metal?

Where To Start: If nothing else, If I Were Britannia I'd Waive the Rules is the most clever album title in history. The parakeets in space suits on the cover don't hurt either.

1. Bang

The screeching guitars of Bang are better than anything in '70s metal. "Lions, Christians" is a creepy crawl through the burnt-out remnants of 1960s counterculture. "Questions" expresses an often unexplored sentiment: "Questions all around me / Questions bring me down." The rhythm guitar tracks sound like Frank Glicken is using a tin can lid for a pick. The lead riffs are catchy, but strangely unique -- you'll love them, but you've never quite heard anything like them before. The cover art of their debut album is worth the price of admission alone. So be ready to pay: This and the other records mentioned on this list are rare, though repressings are often available.

Where To Start: The band's self-titled debut shows why 1971 was a high water mark for acid-addled doom rock heaviness.

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