Black Sabbath @ 50: The debut album covered!

Rock fans and critics have long debated over what constituted “the birth of heavy metal”. Some will claim its roots stem from Dave Davies’s brilliant power chords on those early Kinks singles. Others suggest that the musical genre began to take shape at the end of 1966 when Jimi Hendrix pushed the boundaries and experimented with the sounds an electric guitar could make. Perhaps metal’s origins lie with Deep Purple, as they took 60s beat group and psychedelic sounds into a much more intense direction…? The speed and power could even derive from ‘Communication Breakdown’ from Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut LP. Although Zeppelin have always been keen to distance themselves from the leather trousered, heavier sounds which came later, there’s an obvious root there.

On February 13th 1970, an album was released that would change the world. Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album was without question one of the heaviest things the world had heard at the start of a new era for rock music.

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INDONESIAN JUNK – Spiderbites

It took Milwaukee garage punk trio three releases to strike gold. Their debut album was ragged beyond belief and very much an acquired taste; its follow up, 2017’s ‘Stars In The Night’ took their hybrid of garage rock, punk and sleaze up a notch, and although it included a couple of far superior songs, it would still be a stretch to call it an essential listen. With 2018’s ‘Darkness Calling’, they finally released a disc that showed their true potential as heirs to the Johnny Thunders and New York Dolls legacies. Its blend of trashy riffs, big choruses and party attitude deserved to be appreciated by fans of a proto-punk sound everywhere.

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THE LIVERMORES – The Livermores

The Livermores’ 2019 self-titled disc follows a couple of EP releases (including a fun split with Proton Packs), is advertised as a full album but still only clocks in at a length that some bands would still consider an EP. In an especially lean twenty four minutes, though, this band smashes their way through a full thirteen tracks of speed-driven punk, creating a listen that’s both enjoyable and incredibly energetic.

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VOFA – Vofa

When it comes to extreme metal, the Scandinavians have a long and rich history. Quite often, their extremes are rooted in the black metal sphere, but sometimes a more gothic approach will rear its head with interesting results. In the hands of Iceland’s Vofa, the latter definitely applies since their debut album comprises of three very lengthy, title-less pieces that explore the heaviest end of the funeral doom subgenre. In many ways, it sounds almost exactly how its sleeve art looks.

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RED LIGHT REBELS – Rewind Erase EP

Two years on from their ‘Joyride’ full length, Red Light Rebels sound as if they truly mean business on their ‘Rewind Erase’ EP. It isn’t really that the band have toughened up, or even changed their sound dramatically; it’s more a case of everyone sounding ever more confident as their musical journey progresses. Having long established their sound and put in some hard yards on the live circuit supporting The Ataris, Teenage Bottlerocket, Swingin’ Utters and others, on ‘Rewind Erase’, these Gloucestershire based lads present their finest studio recordings to date.

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