World Cup of Maidenfans final: Black Sabbath versus Judas Priest

What is the second best band in the world?

  • Black Sabbath

    Votes: 12 46.2%
  • Judas Priest

    Votes: 14 53.8%

  • Total voters


Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Strong contender indeed (but not better than the Priest one, for me)! Off-topic question: Which side is your favourite?
  1. Tom Sawyer
  2. Red Barchetta
  3. YYZ
  4. Limelight

  1. The Camera Eye
  2. Witch Hunt
  3. Vital Signs
Side A. Side B is great too, but I never liked Witch Hunt. I would honestly take any song off the first side of MP over any song on Defenders of the Faith. Except for in some cases the Sentinel. I would also take Camera Eye over most of the Defenders songs.


Ancient Mariner
Looks like Sabbath might win this after all. Nice passionate post Per! And naturally it's good to see some appreciation for the Tony Martin era. ;)

Also mckindog. Great explanation of what Priest defines. The conclusion as well.

What is there in the world of music that can compare to songs such as NIB, Children of the Grave, Heaven and Hell, Falling off the Edge of the World or When Death Calls? I've heard my share of heavy metal in my lifetime, and I have never, ever heard anything that comes close to it.

I guess indeed some stuff by Priest doesn't do as much to you as most Sabbath.
I'd like to mention some unmentioned Priest songs which made a big impression on me: Saints in Hell, Sinner, Run of the Mill, Rock Hard Ride Free, all unmentioned songs from the Painkiller album (apart from All Guns Blazing which I like a bit less), Hard as Iron, Reckless, Running Wild, Grinder, Victim of Changes... well... I could go on for a while but I need to go to work. ;)

Crimson Idol

Great posts by both Perun and Mckindog. Everyone has different tastes at the end of the day, I certainly agree that Heaven and Hell/Falling off the Edge of the World are amazing pieces that blow me away, but the same can be said for many Priest tunes (for me at least). I enjoy NIB/Children of the Grave but I wouldn't class them in nearly the same category as the other 2.

I do like your description of what Ozzy brought to the table, not talent but mood. Mood can turn a good piece of music into a great piece of music, but often it was being relied upon too much to cover Ozzy's shortcomings in my opinion. I certainly agree with your sentiments, they just greet and affect me a different way.

Amusingly out of the albums that Perun listed as Diamond/Stinker... the only one I don't really like is Point of Entry. I adore Ram it Down/Nostradamus. Mckindog's description of Halfords capabilities and contributions sum up pretty well why I love Priest, they cover all angles and so I can find something by them to listen to no matter my mood. In that regard the one thing I have to disagree with Perun on is the band members, Halford is an exceptional singer and I think it's very unusual to classify him as anything else, I actually prefer his voice of the last few years I think overall (Prefering the more operatic and 'warmer' tone to the style portrayed in say SFV - I actually think his peak was Resurrection era) but all of his career it has been fantastic. I think of Tipton as being ahead of Downing, but the pair of them while not necessarily fantastic compared to what guitarist's seem to be doing these days on average (although that age old phrase "It's not the notes its how you play them" or even "its not what you put in but what you leave out" etc still make me class them as better :p), I think they surpass Iommi for technical ability displayed. Iommi's best trait - and one that very well compliments his playing - is his ability to write such monstrous riffs.

Iommi + Dio was certainly one of the greatest song writing combinations though.


Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
mckindog, you obviously have the same passion towards Priest as I have towards Sabbath. That's a great thing, I think, and we obviously see different things in both bands. The only point I'd contest is this:

Live Sabbath could not hold a candle to the energy Priest inspired.

I've seen both bands live at a point that is generally considered to be past their prime, although I don't think I'd agree on that. I saw Priest in 2004 and 2009, and Sabbath (under the Heaven and Hell moniker, but it was obviously Sabbath) twice in 2009. Were Priest good? Definitely. Did I have a hell of a time? No doubt. Would I have missed something hadn't I gone? Certainly. On the two gigs, they played most of my favourite songs of theirs, and I really did start to love some others I had disregarded before after hearing them live, such as One Shot at Glory. Priest are, or have been, a fantastic live band, knowing how to work the crowd and delivering the goods. No question.
Nevertheless, from the instant Black Sabbath entered the stage, I knew they were in a different league. No, they don't run and jump around, they don't get the crowd working in the same wild way as most of our favourite heavy metal bands do - they mostly let the music do the job. For the rest, as I said, I think it's the chemistry between Iommi and Dio that does the very most, especially because both have their own charisma. To say it in a cheesy way, Halford could reach me, but Dio could touch me. It was a completely different experience. From my extensive live experience, I would find only two or three concerts that can hold up with the two Sabbath gigs in some way - Maiden in '08 and '10, and perhaps Primordial.
Maybe if we compared classic live albums, Unleashed in the East and Priest... Live! Could beat Live at Last and Live Evil, but I'd rather evaluate by gigs I experienced myself.

I have to share an experience here. When I first saw Sabbath in Berlin in 2009, I had this moment when I thought: "Wow, what an amazing gig. If I had it my way, they're gonna play Die Young, Heaven and Hell and Neon Knights now, and it would end on a perfect note. Maybe, if they tossed in the riff of Country Girl somewhere, but that's just absurd."
And that is exactly how it went. I couldn't believe my ears. Even if Priest closed with Diamonds and Rust, Touch of Evil and Turbo Lover, it would not even remotely stand up to that.

Crimson Idol

I would've loved to see Dio fronted Sabbath/HnH but sadly everytime I tried something seemed to interupt my plans :( The final time being his illness.

I have however seen Ozzy fronted Sabbath, in 2005 admittedly but it was still them. As much as I LOVE the Dio albums, they are the minority of Sabbath material and so I would take the Ozzy sabbath as more of a 'normal state' for them to be live... I can't really say Ozzy was great at well, anything. His stage moves consisted of jump up and down hunched over in an almost tantrum like pose, and rock back and forth holding the mic stand while starring intently at the autocue rather than the crowd. I still thoroughly enjoyed the gig, but it was very different to either of the Priest gigs I got to see. I daresay had it been Dio fronted sabbath it would've gone VERY different. Sadly though that is my experience of them live, and in album terms Ozzy is present for more even if they are not better. Seeing as we are comparing entire catalogues etc of a band, Sabbath's is more hit and miss for me than Priest.

Priest didn't close with those 3, but they did play all 3 during the set, whereas of course... Sabbath played none due to them all being Dio songs. The sabbath setlist I saw was:
1. NIB
2. After Forever
3. War Pigs
4. Fairies Wear Boots
5. Dirty Women
6. Symptom of the Universe / Sweet Leaf / Electric Funeral
7. The Wizard
8. Iron Man
9. Black Sabbath
10. Into the Void
11. Paranoid w/ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath intro.
12. Sleeping Village
13. Children of the Grave

We have seen essentially two completely different era's of sabbath, and I gotta say you saw the (in my opinion) far better one :p I mean some of those early songs are fantastic but I would take HnH/Die Young/FofEotW/CotS/Mob Rules over them any time.

I respect your opinions of course, everyone has their own views and that's what makes music great :)


Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Two final thoughts that undoubtedly color my perception:
I like most Sabbath, but it is only with Dio that I truly love them; had they spent more time as a unit this might be closer contest for me. The fact that the band has had so many changes is a knock against them.
And, to be fair, I saw Priest in their prime. Tacoma, 1984, 25,000 fans, the perfect setlist, their biggest stage show. It remains the best concert I ever saw.


Ancient Mariner
On the two gigs, they played most of my favourite songs of theirs, and I really did start to love some others I had disregarded before after hearing them live, such as One Shot at Glory.

That would probably be Between the Hammer and the Anvil. I am afraid One Shot.. was never played, unfortunately.
Tacoma, 1984, 25,000 fans, the perfect setlist, their biggest stage show. It remains the best concert I ever saw.

That setlist indeed comes near perfection. Their 5-5-1984 Long Beach concert is the best bootleg ever.


Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
That would probably be Between the Hammer and the Anvil. I am afraid One Shot.. was never played, unfortunately.

Yeah, I was gambling between those two - simply not sure which of either. You see, had it been Sabbath, I'd have remembered for sure which songs they played. ;)


Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
And the final vote is in.
Number one seed Black Sabbath wins the first World Cup of Maidenfans and is crowned the second best band in the world.
Not my pick, but undoubtedly a good one.
Thanks all for playing.


Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member

Either way, thanks for hosting! It was fun.