During Black Sabbath's rise in the '70s, there was no foretelling the immeasurable impact those four from Birmingham, England, could have had. Universally credited with inventing heavy metal, Black Sabbath's riff-intensive sound also wielded a major influence in the development of doom metal.

The genre is expansive, encompassing a myriad of different sounds with traditional styled doom essentially bowing at the altar of Tony Iommi as acts have tried their best to capture his heaving heaviness and inimitable fretting feel. Themes of isolation, depression, questioning life and purpose, love lost and other dark emotions permeate this branch of metal's evolutionary tree, also largely thanks to Sabbath.

Over the decades, we've seen the implementation of death / doom, which takes death metal's more forceful might and marries it with slower tempos and typically heart-wrenching melodies. Funeral doom slowed things down even further and is predicated on atmosphere above all else. Elsewhere, metal feels empowering and is a cathartic mean of expressing rage and more volatile emotions, while doom sticks to the more tender side, certainly a niche within the broad spectrum of heavy metal.

With nearly 50 years of material to pull from, we've scoured every corner of the doom world to bring you the Top 25 Doom Metal Albums of All Time in the gallery below!

Head here to listen to and follow Loudwire's 'Ultimate Doom Metal' playlist, featuring over 150 songs!

10 Greatest Doom Metal Bands

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