Few bands are able to stake a claim to the kind of influence that Black Sabbath can. As the progenitors of what we now know as heavy metal and its endless rolodex of sub-genres, the Birmingham outfit are the foundation.

Naturally, the list of bands that simply would not have come into being without Sabbath’s influence is virtually endless. But there are many notable examples that not only took inspiration from Sabbath, but used that inspiration to forge new soundscapes and genres.

What’s perhaps most interesting is the way the band has managed to have an impact on bands outside of the heavy metal genre. Indeed, Sabbath’s influence extends everywhere, from metal and hard rock, to indie, punk, and even hip-hop.

To celebrate all things Sabbath, the Corner Hotel will be hosting a Black Sabbath Tribute night this Friday, 14th March, more info at www.cornerhotel.com.au.


Naturally, heavy metal as a genre would not exist without Black Sabbath. Certainly not as we know it, anyway. Sabbath laid down the formula for what we now know as heavy metal. Of course, that formula was refined and tweaked and hand-balled around amongst countless bands.

Arguably the most famous is Metallica, who’ve been paying their dues to their forefathers since they unleashed themselves upon the world with 1983’s Kill ‘Em All. As well as regularly performing covers of the band’s material, such as on 1998’s Garage Inc., Metallica were selected to induct Sabbath into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Alice In Chains

As Cameron Crowe highlighted in his sterling 2011 documentary Pearl Jam Twenty, the Seattle bands that became the cornerstone of what we now know as “grunge” listened to everything. Forced to stay indoors by constant rainy weather, they played a lot and they listened a lot.

This included Alice In Chains, who bear the trademarks of countless influences, though one stands out more than others. Is it any surprise that the band’s sludgy guitars, pummelling drums, and gloomy lyrics were directly inspired by Black Sabbath? The band even paid tribute to Sabbath on 1992’s Dirt with the the tongue-in-cheek skit ‘Iron Gland’.

Black Flag

The thing that many don’t realise about Sabbath is how far-reaching their influence really is. Obviously, they’ve influenced every metal band ever, at least by proxy. But their influence can be seen on countless genres, including punk rock. Most notably in ’80s hardcore legends Black Flag.

Both longtime frontman Henry Rollins and guitarist Greg Ginn have cited Sabbath as their favourite band and the band’s influence can be heard not only on Ginn’s downtuned, sky-is-falling guitar tone, but starting with 1984’s My War, the band began emulating Sabbath’s trudging sound, in stark contrast to their previous releases and the rest of the hardcore scene.

Arctic Monkeys

Simply put, would Arctic Monkeys as a band exist without Black Sabbath? Probably. The band’s first couple of albums were certainly influenced more by garage rock revivalists like The Strokes and veteran UK wordsmiths like John Cooper Clarke than Sabbath.

However, would Arctic Monkeys as we now know them exist without Black Sabbath? The Arctic Monkeys that released 2013’s critically acclaimed AM? Nope. By the band’s own admission, they started incorporating Sabbath’s influence on 2009’s Humbug and they now play the riff from ‘War Pigs’ during performances of ‘Arabella’ from AM.


Kyuss are something of an anomaly in the canon of alternative rock music. Coming out as the world was still obsessed with grunge, Kyuss weren’t from Seattle and sounded nothing like Nirvana. They played heavy, diesel-fueled rock songs about war machines and being stranded in the desert.

But where did Josh Homme, now frontman of Queens of the Stone Age, and his desert rock brothers find their groove? Where else? The band effectively took a sound defined by Sabbath and ran it through the filter of the California desert, turning it into an acrid, spaced-out aural assault.


While the entire doom scene would no doubt cease to exist if one was to go back in time a la Back to the Future and keep Sabbath from forming, since Candlemass’ 1986 album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is generally considered the genre’s defining release, we’ll use them for the purposes of our discussion.

Downtuned guitars? Check. Soaring baritone vocals? Check. Lyrics about depression and despair? Check. The formula first rendered by Sabbath was taken to its logical conclusion by bands like Sweden’s Candlemass, who used it to forge an entirely new genre, which endured far longer than the hair metal bands who were popular at the time.

Black Sabbath Tribute Night

Saturday, 14th March, 7:30pm
The Corner Hotel, 57 Swan Street, Richmond
Performed by: Wizards (members of My Left Boot, Dead City Ruins, Redcoats, Sheriff, and Matt Sonic & The High Times)
Tickets: Corner Hotel

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