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The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath: #30-21

The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath: #30-21

The origin of heavy metal is a very fuzzy thing, but most historians and fans can agree that Black Sabbath’s eponymous 1970 debut was the first true metal album. Its thunderous drums, sinister riffs and downright evil lyrics left little to be debated, but what we at Guitar World wanted to know was this: What was the heaviest song before Black Sabbath?

We ranked these songs based on a variety of factors: distortion/fuzz, speed, darkness, volume and shock value. Most importantly, however, the song had to have been released before 1970. It would have been easy to list the first two Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix albums and call it a day, but we dug deep to find some hidden heavy gems from the era of peace and love.

We'll be revealing 10 songs each day until Sunday, when we reveal the heaviest song before Black Sabbath.

The Full List
The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath: #50-41
The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath: #40-31
The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath: #30-21
The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath: #20-11
The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath: #10-1

30 - Jimi Hendrix, "Purple Haze" (1967)
Hendrix’s calling card, “Purple Haze” brought a level of dissonance to popular music that had previously been touched on only by the free-jazz crowd. Many will credit Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath” as being the first use of the tritone (otherwise known as diabolus in musica), but Hendrix was tapping the dark side of music a whole three years earlier.

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