Black Sabbath vs. High on Fire – Metal Madness 2014, Round 1
Raise those devil horns as we've got quite the matchup to kick off the Devil Horn Region. It's one of metal's pioneering acts pitted against a band who's done quite well in carrying the torch to a new generation. Which of these acts deserves to move on in the battle to find the best metal album of the 21st Century? That's up to you.
In 2013, Black Sabbath returned with the '13' album to much acclaim. The disc was the first original Sabbath album since 1995 and their first with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals since 1978. This is one case where the reality lived up to the expectations, as Sabbath did a great job of revisiting early musical touchtones while making a modern record. The lead single 'God Is Dead?' earned the band a Best Metal Performance Grammy and enjoyed radio airplay. 'End of the Beginning,' 'Loner' and 'Age of Reason' from the disc have also received praise from fans and critics.
They say most bands hit their stride on the third album, and that's certainly the case for High on Fire, who yielded a stellar offering with their 2005 disc, 'Blessed Black Wings.' The heavy, distortion-fueled album is a pummeling collection of tracks, featuring such standouts as the album opener, 'Devilution,' the rampaging 'Cometh Down Hessian' and the full throttle 'Silver Black.' The disc also features a powerful instrumental, with 'Sons of Thunder' closing out the record on a memorable note. Matt Pike and band truly rocked listeners' speakers with 'Blessed Black Wings.'
So which will it be -- Black Sabbath's '13' or High on Fire's 'Blessed Black Wings'? Vote for which album you think should advance in the March Metal Madness competition to determine the best metal album of the 21st century in the poll below.
(This poll will end on Sunday, March 9 at 11:59 PM EST. Fans are able to vote once per hour, so keep coming back to make sure your favorite album wins!)