Metal Essentials I: Grandfathers of Metal (1970 - 1975) - FINAL ROUND - Zeppelin vs Sabbath

vote for your FAVORITE song in each pair

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  • Speed King has cool parts, namely that vocal wail and the fat distorted bass, but it cannot compare in any way to Man On The Silver Mountain. The latter is a better composition, far catchier, has better performances, and it has Dio. Blackmore’s guitar layers under what could be a simple blues shuffle are just awesome.
  • Bloodsucker oozes with heavy blues vibes and is a cool jam, but Self Portrait is just so much more interesting to me. The timing of the main riff, Dio’s incredible vocal melodies that somehow don’t clash with Blackmore’s noodling, the melodic guitar lead, once again it’s a more rewarding composition.

  • Child in Time is essentially a long two-part song: one a dramatic build-up that culminates in screaming wails, the other another solid Deep Purple blues jam. In the end, it’s a more exciting piece of music than one of Rainbow’s weaker songs in Black Sheep (which is a cover song to begin with). I truly, truly hate the lack of vocal writing on Purple’s end (half of the damn song is nonsensical yelping) and that ending “dramatic” bit sounds like the whole band having a seriously painful orgasm.

  • Flight of the Rat has many cool parts and, as always, great instrumental performances and another emotional showing from Ian Gillan, but still all sounds like a giant jam band writing on the spot. Catch the Rainbow couldn’t be more opposite. The composition is tight, the performances mesmerizing. Dio uses his rare breathy tone and has incredible harmonies, Blackmore’s playing is beautifully restrained, and those stutter-stop kick drum patterns and bass syncopation are just gorgeous. It’s a chilling tune. One of Dio and Blackmore’s best. It’s crazy to think that it only took Blackmore 5 years to go from blues rock jams to this gem.

  • Into the Fire is a good rocker with some cool blues riffs and passion from Gillan, but I prefer the tonalities and melodies in Snake Charmer. Plus, that bass is on fire.

  • Living Wreck is another solid blues rock tune, Temple of the King is fucking beautiful.

  • Hard Lovin’ Man has a lot of drive and a cool gallop riff. The organ is a bit loud for my tastes and the lyrics once again suck, but overall it’s pretty badass. The little syncopated turn arounds throughout are nice. The ending, however, is stupid. A poorly edited wanking guitar solo with the band fading in and out around it…that’s not the end of a song, that’s the end of a jam. It’s just plain annoying. Still I’m Sad has a very similar riff and groove, but with added cowbell! When you play these back to back it almost feels like one complete song. Truth be told, I prefer the melodies and feel of Still I’m Sad, but it’s a cover and feels like an interlude, so I’ll give Purple another one.
Overall: The recording of In Rock sounds like a demo, possibly out of necessity or possibly out of a desire to be raw. The recording of Rainbow is incredibly clean and still ends up sounding heavier and more powerful.

Voting 5-2 in favor of Rainbow.

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
All I can say at this stage is that Self Portrait is the olny song that holds a candle to Child In Time

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Well, that was disappointing. Outside of the absolute monolith that is "Child In Time" and the fun and engaging "Flight Of The Rat", there's nothing on this album that's gonna draw me back in. "Bloodsucker" was pretty solid, everything else was meh. I'd say more about it but I'm not in the mood. Ratings:

Speed King - 5/10
Bloodsucker - 7/10
Child In Time - 9/10
Flight Of The Rat - 8/10
Into The Fire - 6/10
Living Wreck - 6/10
Hard Lovin' Man - 5/10

That's a score of 66%. Bland album. For a classic of hard rock, I really don't see what draws people in. The guitar playing is good, the vocals are good, but the whole album is just... meh.

This was much better. The Deep Purple vibe runs through this record, but Rainbow does more with it than In Rock did. Blackmore and Dio work well together, and there isn't a bad song here. "Catch The Rainbow" and "Snake Charmer" did the least for me, but they still have a lot of good elements. "Man On The Silver Mountain" is a titanic force of proto-metal and early Dio, and it's the best song here alongside the utterly beautiful "Temple Of The King". Damn, that song was great. The others are all good too. It's confounding that "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" got shafted in this game, because it's one of the best songs on here.

Man On The Silver Mountain - 10/10
Self Portrait - 8/10
Black Sheep Of The Family - 8/10
Catch The Rainbow - 7/10
Snake Charmer - 7/10
The Temple Of The King - 10/10
If You Don't Like Rock N Roll - 8/10
Sixteenth Century Greensleeves - 9/10
Still I'm Sad - 8/10

That's a good 83%. Very nice album, I liked it.

Speed King VS Man On The Silver Mountain
Bloodsucker VS Self Portrait
Child In Time
VS Black Sheep Of The Family
Flight Of The Rat VS Catch The Rainbow
Into The Fire VS Snake Charmer
Living Wreck VS The Temple Of The King
Hard Lovin' Man VS Still I'm Sad


Bleeding Freak
Probably won't get chance to listen to the albums and vote this time round, but I'm not a fan of either band so my votes would be worthless anyway


Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
It's interesting that In Rock is getting nicked because of its live jam feel. To me, that's a big part of its appeal. But it's not enough to overcome the superior compositions that mark the best of Rainbow.

That off-the-floor Speed King intro became much-copied over the years, to the point of being cliche, but why not? It's so good — heavy and raw. The track keeps that feel and energy — essential, genre-defining stuff. Loving the drums and the heavy riffing. Loses its match however because the competition does everything right in terms of performance and is an easy step above in terms of composition. Gillan pushes the envelope for Purple, with some great metal histrionics, but Dio sings on The Man of the Silver Mountain and so well. And of course the riff is unforgettable.

More great singing on Self Portrait and such an emotional solo. I'm terrible with time signatures, but is this a waltz? Interesting beat, regardless. Blood Sucker also has interesting rhythm and a similar extended riff to close each couplet. Again I like edgy, sweaty live feel. But again the nod goes to Rainbow for better composition and (much) better melody.

Third match-up is not even close. Child in Time is a better composition than it is getting credit for, with a great build, great atmosphere and a monster vocal performance. Black Sheep is a vaguely boogie-woogie, inoffensive bit of filler.

I feel a little sorry for Flight of the Rat because it is straight-out fun riff-rocker with cool instrumental section. But it is nowhere near the slow blues playing, delicate vocals and affecting chorus of Catch the Rainbow.

Into the Fire is a decent bluesy jam, but it is also where In Rock starts to feel a little samey to me. Snake Charmer is more original-sounding, but neither the rhythm, nor the vocal melody are doing it for me, especially the chorus. Purple with a slight edge in the poorest pairing so far.

It can't be anything other than Temple of the King for me next. Might be my favourite ballad ever. Beautiful melody, perfectly sung by my favourite voice, with a rhythm that keeps it moving like a boat carried along by the current through a poignant, medieval landscape. Elegant and epic, with a solo that is the epitome of how feel trumps all. I think Living Wreck has a stronger melody than some of the blues jams that came before but it's in over its head here.

Hard Loving Man is OK, but I am stunned it is beating Still I'm Sad. Melody trumps all and the latter's main guitar melody is gripping with a cool solo break. More cowbell was the right choice.

These two albums are a nice comparison in the sense that the edginess and musicianship of In Rock might make it more important in terms of the evolution of heavy music, but Rainbow is proof it's the songs that matter most and (with the exception of Child in Time) its best songs are head and shoulders above the competition here.


Educated Fool
I voted for the hypens, I thought that's what you vote for when it's a draw??
It is not. They are only there to indicate that each vote counts as a head-to-head instead of an overall vote for every option. Voting for a draw is the same as not voting.
Yep, this way it seems like a mis-click.

It seems like Deep Purple will win this one 4-3.

@Mosh Can you at least say which next 2 albums will be?

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
It seems like Deep Purple will win this one 4-3.
Ack. I missed the vote in this one, but I probably would have voted with the majority on pretty much everything. That said -- sorry to pile on, Mosh -- "Greensleeves" is one of the very best Rainbow songs!! It likely would have beaten either Into the Fire or Hard Lovin' Man. A different song selection might have resulted in a different outcome. Still, if you'd asked me which album I think is better, I probably would have said In Rock, and history tends to have treated it better too.

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
Also missed the vote but enjoyed listenin to both of these during the week. Would have went with the majority mainly although I would have went with Self Portrait over Bloodsucker.
I think Rainbow is the better album but as the Hick says, history certainly favours In Rock.


The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Yes and once again songs were removed using the survivor as a guide to get it down to 7. Since people were unhappy about Greensleeves last round (don’t blame me, blame voters in the 2012 Dio survivor for voting it out first round) I’ll give some time for any objections to this list.9655E811-3C88-4BB5-93CB-2CA423D5F2C0.png

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
Yes and once again songs were removed using the survivor as a guide to get it down to 7. Since people were unhappy about Greensleeves last round (don’t blame me, blame voters in the 2012 Dio survivor for voting it out first round) I’ll give some time for any objections to this list.View attachment 8721
Secret treaties has 8 tracks otherwise it looks good

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I’ll give some time for any objections to this list
Good idea! And I have a strong recommendation that you replace "In the Lap of the Gods" with "In the Lap of the Gods...Revisited." The latter ("Revisited") is the album closer, with the "whoa-oh-la-la-la" Hey Jude-like chorus. It's the version more people will actually recognize, and the band played it live. It's great. In contrast, the first one (non-Revisited) kind of, ahem, sucks.
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Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
If I know this forum the next matchup will be tilted toward Queen and I won’t be surprised or disappointed.
But Secret Treaties is every bit Sheer Heart Attack’s equal. Queen gets edge in polish, musicianship and pop hooks, BOC for subversiveness, feel, and proto-metal cool.
Two very different albums, both of them highly original, essential and my favourites so far in the game.

I think the songs of Secret Treaties come alive much better live. If you’re not already familiar, I’d encourage you to give these live versions a listen.



Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I can already see myself voting for more from Secret Treaties. An absolute favourite of mine, and Astronomy alone is a thunderous album anchor.


clap hands
I've never had great listening experiences with any full Queen album, they had a much stronger singles collection. Conversely, I've never heard a single BOC album all the way through, so I'm excited for that.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I’ve always thought that Queen was one of the more overrated acts in rock - although I respect them as artists, definitely - and I’m more interested in hearing BÖC personally.

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
Wow, lots of Queen hate!
Queen gets edge in polish, musicianship and pop hooks
Translation: Queen has more musical talent, better songwriting and better production. :D But they're trendy right now, with the Oscar-winning film, so there will be the inevitable backlash (e.g., "overrated").

Queen is by far the better band, in every conceivable respect, but Secret Treaties is BOC's pinnacle. Both are great representatives of 1974 hard rock, so this match-up should be interesting. Boogie vs. pomp.

By the way, "we like comin' up here from New York City cuz we know Poughkeepsie is serious about rock and roll" (mckindog's middle video, 'Dominance & Submission,' at 2:55) is one of the most joyously stupid things I've ever heard on a live record. I laugh every time I hear that.
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