Rob Halford says Judas Priest were the “First True” metal band

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The enduring question remains: who truly pioneered the genre of heavy metal that has captured the hearts of countless fans? While many are quick to attribute this musical revolution to the legendary Black Sabbath, the roots of heavy metal may be more intricate than one might think. And now, a titan of the genre has stepped forward with a fresh perspective.

On a recent episode of the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast, as reported by Loudwire, Rob Halford, often hailed as the “Metal God”, offered his take on this age-old debate. Although the origins of heavy metal have always sparked discussion, Halford shed light on some often-overlooked details.

“Many point to Blue Cheer’s ‘Summertime Blues’ as one of the first heavy tunes,” Halford mentioned, giving a nod to the San Francisco-based group known for their potent mix of blues and psychedelic rock.

The tale doesn’t stop there. Halford dived into the etymology of the term “heavy metal”, suggesting, “The phrase might have been inspired by Steppenwolf’s ‘heavy metal thunder’ lyric in ‘Born To Be Wild’.” It’s interesting to reflect on the early emergence of these terms in the world of rock.

Stoking the fires of this ongoing debate, Halford continued, “The real question is about the sound. While I’ve always considered Sabbath to be quintessential heavy metal, my buddy Tony Iommi sees them more as a hard rock band. But I firmly believe they’re heavy metal.”

Not just content with offering an opinion, Halford went on to make a bold proclamation, “I assert that Judas Priest was truly the inaugural heavy metal band.” He stated this fully aware of the stir his words would cause, adding, “Sure, headlines will read ‘Halford Claims Judas Priest as First Heavy Metal Band’, but I stand by it. It’s about the distinct sound and the collective vision of the band members.”

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