Let’s Talk About Dinosaur Metal
L-R: Flushed, flushed, flushed.
With the recent release of Black Sabbath™ brand-Converse® brand sneakers, it should be painfully obvious to a superior patrician metal fan such as the average Toilet ov Hell reader that in 2014, Black Sabbath are the last band any self-respecting IMN should cop to liking. I know, I know, their riffs are pretty sweet and they have a sick collab with Ice-T, but corporate merchandising is so untrve. Presented here for your enjoyment and edification are several forgotten dinosaur metal/psych rock bands that any self-respecting elitist should be jocking if they wish to craft an advanced personal brand.
Atomic Rooster are the #1, 0-flush early metal band you need to be listening to. Check out that atonal piano intro—way creepier than those lame bends in Iron Man, and those chromatic gallop sections are a pretty obvious sign of things to come. This album is basically Vol. 4 without the lame filler and instead every track is a total jam.
Lucifer’s Friend are to me the perfect bridge between the fuzzy darkness of early Ozzy-era Sabbath and the more upbeat Dio years. Every riff in this song shreds and those horns are flawless. If you like Black Sabbath, you like this band and don’t even know it yet. John Lawton later sang for Uriah Heep but these dudes are way more interesting.
Toad aren’t quite so heavy as the previous acts but this song is undeniable. The guitar playing wouldn’t sound out of place on a Hendrix album but here the other guys are allowed to play too.
Writing on the Wall were one of many organ-based metal bands that sprang up around this time, and they’re excellent. You can find this track on an excellent compilation called Downer Rock Genocide, from which I’ll be posting some other songs. Fun fact: Billy Joel was in a keyboard/drums metal duo called Attila in 1969 and it’s terrible (insert joke about how the rest of his discography/that other band called Attila also suck).
Hey look, a band called Iron Maiden that doesn’t bore me to tears! Wizardry, I tell you.
Ultimate Spinach are probably the least metal band in this post and their name is ridiculous but they had some legit bangers.
Alright, enough of this hippy-dippy psychedelic crap, let’s get back to the metal. This band is called Iron Claw and this song is called Skullcrusher. I don’t know what else I need to tell you, because the title fits this song perfectly.
Valhalla are a bit better known but I still think more people should be talking about this band. That moment when everything drops out around 3:05 is such a simple idea but works so well.
Anyone who thinks Sabbath were the heaviest thing going around the early 70s knows nothing of Bedemon. This song might as well be on Dopethrone, it’s so uncharacteristically badass for the time period. I wrote a description of this song but I couldn’t come up with words to accurately illustrate the crushing vibe on this song so I deleted it. If you listen to one thing in this post it needs to be this.
For a change of pace, enjoy this upbeat Warhorse song. I don’t have much to say other than this is some quality hard rock with just enough blues-iness to balance out their early metal thunder. Also the singer could totally pass for John Fogerty.
This is Satan by Bulbous Creation off the album You Won’t Remember Dying. Come on, that’s just metal.
This is the only recorded output of Detroit’s Astaroth but damn, that first track has such an obscene amount of swagger it’s ridiculous. If you like the MC5 you need to take a listen to this and recalibrate.
Heavy Goods Vehicle didn’t get their start until 1975 but they jumped right in. As the back of the CD says, this is true stoner doom. It also sounds like it was recorded underwater and I’m totally okay with that.
I made a conscious effort not to include bands you may already know like Budgie or Blue Cheer in the hope that you might discover something new but I have to make a concession for King Crimson. Everyone knows this song but I think few even realize just how heavy THAT RIFF is, and the lyrics are totally brutal. Of course, this song wasn’t a one-off, either; check out their album Red for some crazy stuff that’s still heavier than anything being put out now.
Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the music. As you can see, the late 60s/early 70s were hardly the wasteland devoid of crushing riffage you may have pictured, and there’s a lot more out there than just Sabbath.