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Houston Press: Every Metal Subgenre Began as a Black Sabbath Song

In part one of my Video History of Metal, I described Sabbath’s second and third albums as “a blueprint for the creation of metal music.”

In his article for the Houston Press, Nathan Smith takes us on a tour of nine metal subgenres, and cites the specific Sabbath tunes which laid their groundwork. I mostly concur with his analysis, although I feel the premise is nearly overreaching in its ambition. Case in point: He points to “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” as a precursor to Death Metal, on the grounds of its morbid subject matter and elaborately spooky album cover art. I believe this is a bit of a stretch. While we both agree on the scope of Sabbath’s influence, I don’t feel it necessary to trace connections backwards from recent innovations to specific moments in Sabbath’s music. Rather, I see Sabbath as the trunk of a massive family tree — a source of all branches without a necessarily direct connection.

Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the exploration of Sabbath’s catalogue, and I agree with the well-deserved credit he gives Black Sabbath for inspiring the next five decades of heavy music.

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