Black Sabbath are solely responsible for conjuring the diabolical power of heavy metal. When guitarist Tony Iommi lost his fingertips as a teenager, he turned to a less painful style of playing— a style that produced a new, genre-defining type of gloom and heaviness. The band climbed through the seven circles of British podunk hell to international rock star success, but the lore of their dark imagery compelled the freaks to flood out of the woodwork and to their shows. Despite composing songs that warned against the evils of the occult, Black Sabbath attracted legions of devil worshippers, occultists and 1970s freak-flag-flying practitioners of the dark arts. Kids went mad for their metal. Critics hated it. And much to the band’s dismay, Satanists found their battle cry in the heavy gloom that Black Sabbath had awakened.
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