Archive for the School Category

Heavy Metal History – The Big Bang

Posted in Black Metal, Classic Metal, Doom, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, School, Stoner with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2013 by Murderdeth

sabbath1970

Some time ago I found myself in a conversation defending Sharon Osbourne against a claim that she “knows fuck all about Metal!”. Now, being as she married one of the men who is credited with inventing the entire genre and having had the likes of Gary Moore, Motorhead and Coal Chamber under her management. I found this statement somewhat confusing.

This being said I have taken it upon myself to give a series of history lessons on the subject. You may not agree with some of it but I don’t really care!

Lesson 1 – Diabolous in musica

On 13 February 1970 four blokes, John, Anthony, Terence and William, from Birmingham, UK, changed their heavy blues rock bands name from ‘Earth’ and released the self titled album ‘Black Sabbath’ after the Mario Bava film of the same name.

The first 3 notes 37 seconds into the opening song on the album is the “Big Bang” point in the metal universe where the Heavy Metal Genre was born.

This 3 note interval, known as a tritone, the Devils chord or ‘diabolous in musica’ (which was later used to title a Slayer album, but more on them in the future) bought fear upon people in the middle ages who believed that it would summon the devil due to its dissonance. Now, at this point I should say that the tritone was widely used way way before Tony Iommi cranked it out, most notably in Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite “Mars, the Bringer of War” but I don’t want to go back too far!

Recorded over two days in November of 1969 the rest of the song follows standard building blocks of almost all metal nowadays. Heavy, overdriven guitars with amps set to 11, bass and drums pounding along underneath everything, screaming guitar solos and then lyrics about a “Figure in black”, Satan, Fire and Death… Sound familiar? While Im on the subject of lyrics I should mention that Deej would be happy to report that the track “Behind the Wall of Sleep” on the album was written in reference to the H.P. Lovecraft story of the “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” and we have already showed that there is a myriad of Lovecraft metal out there!

Moving on to the album artwork we find a long haired figure in black stood in front of trees and a ‘spooky’ building which is a staple especially amongst most Scandinavian metal album covers…. Darkthrone’s ‘Panzerfaust’, Burzum’s ‘Aske’ anyone? This is not to mention the inner sleeve of the album on which was an upturned crucifix which did nothing to quell the allegations that they were a ‘Satanic’ band. A small factlet regarding the band member’s names on the inner sleeve is that Ozzy’s name was misspelled as ‘Ossie’ on the original print.

Metal has been written which may sound heavier or be scarier or faster or louder than the previous bands release but all can be taken apart and have its origins found right back at Black Sabbath. Replicated time and time again and probably will be many many more times!

Although this is not an album review as such Ill leave you in anticipation of Black Sabbath’s 21st album due later in 2013 by raising 10 mead horns and giving you this quote from Lamb of God’s Chris Adler:

“If anybody who plays heavy metal says that they weren’t influenced by Black Sabbath’s music, then I think that they’re lying to you. I think all heavy metal music was, in some way, influenced by what Black Sabbath did.”

Cheers

Murderdeth