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Well, it was inevitable.

When I first published my Top 50 Metal (and Quasi-Metal) Songs of the 1970s, reaction was pretty strong in a positive way. Readers appreciated the diversity of acts on the list beyond the usual and expected entries from genre heavyweights like Black Sabbath. Album cuts beyond the well-known hit singles were also well-represented, and overall it was just a lot of fun to put together and to read.

Of course, the listening and exploring never stops, and at some point while researching my four-part doom metal history series I realized there is a lot more old-school metal to be found out there still. I became especially interested in heavy music from beyond the Anglosphere, and came to appreciate a few more underground acts that did not get the kind of exposure back then that others did. The quality of those bands’ output is the biggest reason I wanted to expand my top 50 list by another 25 entries.

You’ll still find a number of well-known favorite bands in this expansion, but my hope is that you’ll discover a killer band from the same time period…just buried by time and dust. Enjoy part three!

Part 1, 51-26
Part 2, 25-1

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It was late on a freezing winter night, and I wanted to listen to some metal.

But I was in the mood for something a little different. My usual go-tos like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and anything involving Ronnie James Dio were all in heavy rotation already, and I had also been listening to a lot of death metal and black metal so I wasn’t really feeling those either.

Into that need for something a little different stepped Candlemass, my first true experience with what we call “doom metal.”

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Previously on this metal history, we saw the UK edition of early influences upon heavy metal, which hit its stride in the late 1960s and culminated in the arrival of Black Sabbath.

But across the pond in America, the birthplace of the blues, a new group of bands would craft their own spin on this dark new music that was slowly emerging. Although the free love and hippie movement remained strong in the USA, not every psychedelic band was singing along with “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

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