Black Sabbath play their final show


Photo: Graham Young

The legendary metal pioneers have played the final stop of their farewell “The End” tour in what could likely be the band’s final ever performance. Fans from all corners of the globe gathered at Birmingham’s Genting Arena for one final hit-packed set after nearly 50 years in the business. Closing the show with an encore of ‘Paranoid’, the title track from their most celebrated album, it was a fitting farewell for the rock icons and has hailed in the end of an era.

Black Sabbath announce final tour

(Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images)

Black Sabbath, the pioneers of heavy metal, have announced their last ever world tour simply entitled ‘The End’. The announcement on the band’s website stated: “It promises to surpass all previous tours with their most mesmerizing production ever. When the tour concludes, it will truly be the end.” The tour does not include any UK or European dates. Heavy metal, and music in general, will surely miss them.

Must Own Albums: Masters of Metal

paranoidBlack Sabbath – Paranoid

Not many bands can be credited with creating a new genre, but all forms of modern metal can trace their roots back to this very album. Tony Iommi is in another league when it comes to creating slow growling riffs that sound like the ever encroaching apocalypse. Songs like ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’ and the title track ‘Paranoid’ sparked a musical revolution.

number of the beastIron Maiden – The Number of the Beast

The new wave of British heavy metal brought music that was more complex, both musically and lyrically. Beast was the band’s first album to feature Bruce Dickinson on vocals and the last to feature Clive Burr on drums. The album features some unforgettable singles in the form of the title track and ‘Run to the Hills’ as well some great storytelling on ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ which is about a prisoner sentenced to death.

britishsteelJudas Priest – British Steel

Whilst it may not be Judas Priest’s heaviest album, it was however the album that brought them mainstream success. It brought heavy metal into the public eye and helped define many of the genre’s defining characteristics. Big singles like ‘Breaking The Law’ and ‘Living After Midnight’ may seem tame and commercial by today’s standards, but at the time of release they were some of the heaviest songs on the radio.

holy diverDio – Holy Diver

Ronnie James Dio is one of the best, if not the best vocalist in heavy metal. Having already made incredible albums with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, and created the famous metal horns hand gesture, Dio pulled together the best musicians he could find and made yet another great album under his own name. The title track, ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ and ‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ condense his expansive fantasy lyrics into a radio friendly format.

masterofpuppetsMetallica – Master of Puppets

Metallica are undoubtedly the most famous band in metal and one of the most innovative. Master of Puppets was the band at their creative peak. The aggression and fast tempos set a new standard but no other band, not even Metallica themselves, have managed to match the quality of this album. The title track and the instrumental track ‘Orion’ in particular are a master class in metal.