By 1972, it had been a few years since Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and other pioneering titans had made heavy metal a household term, and the new genre showed no signs of losing steam.

Instead, it simply continued to welcome a greater variety of acolytes, who were ready and willing to take up the torch, and put their own spin on the music’s core ingredients: volume and power.

And so, heavy metal’s third, semi-official year of existence yielded another exciting collection of head-banging contenders, which we’ll revisit via the best songs you may not be aware of. Scroll through the gallery below and follow this list on Spotify (the playlist also includes some great metal songs you may not know from 1970 and 1971).

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