Face of a Franchise: Sabbath’s Shepherd

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

If you fancy heavy metal, chances are that you probably like Black Sabbath. While crafting some of metal’s most recognizable tunes, England’s metal pioneers also established many of the genre’s time-tested motifs – an affinity for the occult, dark fantasies realized, and the systemic abuse by those in positions of power. Also, Tony Iommi proved that you don’t need fingertips to shred.

In short, Black Sabbath kicks ass.

But this begs the question – which Sabbath singer reigns supreme?

For the band’s first eleven years, Ozzy Osbourne fronted Black Sabbath. Before becoming a whack-job reality-television pawn of his evil wife, Ozzy was a metal-messiah. The dude crooned his way onto Sabbath’s seminal records, got booted from the band, and then continued setting dangerous precedents in a solo career that helped push Randy Rhoads into infamous realms. Although he’s a self-parody now, there’s no denyin’ that Ozzy is an icon inside and outside of the metal-world.

After Ozzy was ousted, Ronnie James Dio was brought into the fold and sang on the next two Sabbath albums, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules (he also rejoined the group for 1992’s Dehumanizer). While Dio isn’t as well-known as Ozzy in the world of pop-culture, true metal-maniacs know of his glory. Between stints in Rainbow, Elf, Black Sabbath, and his eponymous group, Dio carved a name for himself in metal history. And hell, his inclusion in Heaven and Hell pretty much confirmed that Iommi’d rather work with him than Ozzy.

Which sucks, cause Dio passed away in 2010.

So, who do you prefer – Ozzy or Dio? Is Ozzy the better frontman but Dio the better singer? Does Dio get points for popularizing the horns? Who has the better solo career? Let’s see where the dust settles on this one!

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