Few people realize this but 1971 was one of the most prolific and exciting years in heavy metal’s first half-century of existence.

In 1970, the secret combination of sounds leading to metal’s creation had been unlocked by Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and a smattering of additional pioneers. 1971 blew the proverbial doors wide open, as hundreds of bands around the world eagerly experimented with the new style, blending it with their own.

So as you’ll see in our second list of underrated and/or forgotten heavy metal songs, the only common, mandatory requirements were that the music be loud, powerful and heavy; nothing else was out of bounds among 1971's Best Heavy Metal Songs You Possibly Haven’t Heard.

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Playlist: '70s Metal: Songs You Didn't Know About

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