Can Black Sabbath still be considered the Greatest Metal Band of All Time?

Not only are Black Sabbath considered to be the founders of heavy metal music, but they have also been ranked as the Greatest Metal Band of all time by MTV. The English rockers stayed relevant over several decades, despite societal and musical changes constantly happening around them.

The claim the Black Sabbath is still the best metal act to have ever existed could be contested, though, with many people believing the crown should go to Metallica.

Black Sabbath Adapted to Changes Throughout the Decades

Part of the success of Black Sabbath has been down to the notoriety of Ozzy Osbourne, who has always managed to position himself in the spotlight in mainstream culture. He was originally the lead singer in the early years between 1968 and 1979, before being sacked in 1979. Black Sabbath then went through various lineup changes, but thanks to Osbourne’s fame throughout the entertainment industry they were always able to attract new followers.

Aside from Sabbath, Osbourne is best known for appearing in The Osbournes in the early 2000s. This reality television series coincided with his rejoining the band and helped give them extra exposure. More recently, the iconic singer has been immortalized in iGaming, with the Ozzy Osbourne slot found in lists of online slot games alongside other popular reel spinners like Book of Vikings and Chilli Heat. This is a common way for brands to get extra attention in the internet age.

It’s clear that Osbourne has been a driving force behind keeping Black Sabbath in the mainstream, but the band itself has also done a lot to appeal to young and old fans. They have kept their distinctive sound over the years and have also been one of the hardest-working bands on the planet.

Metallica Could Be the Closest Challenger to the Crown

In discussions about the best metal bands ever to have graced the stage, Black Sabbath is always worthy of mention. However, not every metal fan agrees that they deserve the crown. Indeed, there are many who believe that Metallica are the best heavy metal rockers in existence.

Indeed, the band featuring James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo has been more commercially successful than Black Sabbath, selling more than 125 million records worldwide. Sabbath have only managed to ship around 70 million. Metallica has also stayed more consistent throughout their tenure, with few lineup changes or breakups. They have continued to exist since their inception in 1981 up to now.

Black Sabbath Could Potentially Return

Black Sabbath are currently in another hiatus, but there is potential that they could return to the stage again. Osbourne previously expressed an interest in performing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games with the band, but this has not been confirmed yet. It does suggest that the group members would be willing to get together for one-off concerts rather than full tours. There has also been talk about a new album as original drummer Bill Ward shares has discussed recording a new album with the band’s management after sitting out of the group’s 13, released in 2013.

There’s no doubt that Black Sabbath are still up there with the greatest metal bands of all time, but it’s hard to say whether they still top the pile. In terms of sales, Metallica is in the lead by some margin. However, Sabbath deserve a lot of credit for starting such an enduring and iconic genre.

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Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email:

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