Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Pioneers of hard rock and what became known as heavy metal, Birmingham’s doom-laden quartet have had such a major influence on rock music they deserve a metal statue the size of Big Ben. Instead they must be satisfied with a meteor storm of honours and tributes from all over the rock universe. Loved by fans for their uncompromising, monolithic sound, Black Sabbath were dismissed or even derided by critics. Yet over time their catalogue has been reassessed for its potency and influence. From their startling self-titled 1970 debut through the classics Paranoid, Master of Reality, and Volume 4, to 2013’s surprisingly vital 13, the Sabs have turned deafening lo-fi guitar-drenched thunder into an art-form. Many consider their first quartet of albums essential, and there was plenty that followed: all resoundingly powerful and reliably heavy. Thor would approve.