Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history. They distinguished themselves through occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and tuned-down guitars. Their debut album, Black Sabbath , was released the following month. Though it received a negative critical response, the album was a commercial success, leading to a follow-up record, Paranoid , later in
An English hard rock institution whose influence on heavy metal cannot be overstated, Black Sabbath not only pioneered the genre, they helped launch the career of one of its most colorful and controversial characters in Ozzy Osbourne. The band distilled the smoke and strife of its industrial hometown into a punitive blast of doom-laden heavy blues-rock via bass player Geezer Butler 's dystopian lyrics, which leaned heavily on the occult, and guitarist Tony Iommi 's seismic riffing. When paired with Bill Ward 's economical yet formidable work behind the kit and Osbourne 's primal tenor, the effect was both powerful and accessible -- a blueprint for aspiring decibel pushers of every skill level.
Sad news today from the camp of heavy metal forebears Black Sabbath, who report that longtime keyboardist Geoff Nicholls has died following a long fight with lung cancer. During this time of change for Sabbath, Nicholls was a steady presence alongside founding guitarist Tony Iommi amid an often tumultuous lineup. Geoff and I have always been very close and he has been a real true friend to me and supported me all the way for nearly 40 years. I will miss him dearly and he will live in my heart until we meet again.