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Bill Ward vs. Vinny Appice – Greatest Metal Drummer, Round 1

Kevin Winter / Paul Kane, Getty Images

This one is an intriguing matchup. In one corner, we have Black Sabbath founding member Bill Ward. The human octopus provided the backbone for the pioneers of heavy metal. His playing ranges from mind-altering drum fills to incredible restraint in keeping pace with the varied rhythms of Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. He played on the first nine Black Sabbath albums, but sat out 1981s ‘Mob Rules,’ for which he was replaced by his first round opponent, Vinny Appice, before returning for 1983’s ‘Born Again,’ the last full Sabbath studio album Ward has appeared on.

In the other corner is Vinny Appice, who bashed the skins on Black Sabbath’s ‘The Mob Rules’ and ‘Dehumanizer’ as well six Dio albums. He has a knack for playing incredibly slow without sounding banal, which is a difficult task. The drummer played with Iommi, Butler, and Ronnie James Dio in Heaven and Hell and pounded away on the mammoth album ‘The Devil You Know.’ Many have tried to imitate his style, but none can capture the essence of the playing. He is currently playing with former Pantera bassist Rex Brown in the ultra heavy band Kill Devil Hill.

Bill Ward or Vinny Appice? Cast your vote for the Greatest Metal Drummer in the poll below! Voting for this round closes on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 11:59PM ET. Fans can vote once per hour, so keep coming back to make sure that your favorite metal musician wins!

Next: Clive Burr vs. Mikkey Dee

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