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The Black Sabbath Sound vs the Led Zeppelin Sound


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I always found Zeppelin to be more of a varied group that was much harder to define musically.

True, although Sabbath did try different things on later albums. Overall they seem to be "Shade and more shade" as opposed to Zep's "Light and shade" Zeppelin's sound is more multifarious and harder to pin down, and as a result, could influence artists as diverse as Rage Against the Machine to Jeff Buckley or Tori Amos. However, If a band says they are influenced by Sabbath then you can have a reasonably good guess that 9 times out of 10 they will be down-tuned and fairly dark and heavy sounding. And It tends to be Iommi's guitar sound that people try to approximate and is the most influential element of Sabbath's sound (and perhaps Geezer Butler's darkly themed lyrical content) whereas all four members of Zep were musically influential, overall.

I do find it slightly strange that people seem to be really concerned with who "invented heavy metal" which to me isn't a very interesting genre of music; especially all those bands who looked like they had stepped out of an S & M dungeon, and with their overt Satanic posturing and ludicrous over-theatrical vocals (Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, for example) It's all very caricature and Spinal Tap esque. I watch some of that stuff and think "is this a joke?"

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