Greetings, Lee, and welcome back to Sentinel Daily! Thanks for taking part! Your task is simple. We’re going to give you a series of musicians grouped according to their role, and we need you to pick your ideal British heavy metal band from within their ranks… GO TO IT!

First up we have the role of vocalist up for grabs. We’re nominating the following, but of course you can put your own man at the mic should you feel so moved.

Bruce Dickinson
Rob Halford
Ian Gillan
Ozzy Osbourne
Biff Byford

“Rob Halford. Rob, next to Ronnie James Dio is my favourite all time metal vocalist. His range, power and creativity is second to none. He took Gillans scream and sent it to a new level.  He’s an amazing front man too and made leather the metal fashion statement”.

You’ll find no argument from a magazine named after The Sentinel… Onto the guitarists: We’ve selected ten here as guide – again, feel free to nominate somebody else if you want.

Glenn Tipton, KK Downing
Adrian Smith, Dave Murray
Paul Chapman, Phil Campbell
Paul Quinn, Vivian Campbell
Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi

“Ritchie Blackmore and Tony Iommi, no contest! Ritchie has a talent sent from god, the greatest rock improvisation artist without doubt. Began the neoclassical approach to metal guitar with arpeggios to die for. Tony Iommi is the riff meister supreme. He invented doom riffs and low tunings for metal guitar. Those two wrote the blueprint for all to follow… total guitar gods!”

Hard to disagree with anything you say there, although I must admit to being a died in the wool Tipton man myself. From six strings to four – who would be your bassist? These are the names we’ve been toying with:

Steve Harris
Pete Way
Geezer Butler
John Gallagher

Your Nomination? “ME! Lee Payne… hell, with a line up like this I wanna be in this band myself! – no disrespect to the other guys of course (Laughs).

Well, we didn’t actually say you couldn’t pick yourself, so good luck to you! Who would you be forming a rhythm section with then? He’s our list:

Nicko McBrain
Ian Paice
Bill Ward
NIgel Glockler

“Ian Paice. A tough one, this. I love Bill Ward is a very solid percussive player, I am a massive Sabbath fan so I have a big soft spot for him. Nicko is very good with Maiden and was great in THE Pat Travers Band too, but I have to go with Ian Paice. Brilliant technique, he plays with taste and feel. He is equally at home with rock or jazz. Ian can play any style brilliantly, a master!”

He certainly is! Now an optional choice to possibly finish with – would your perfect beast have a keyboard player? Our shortlist is:

Jon Lord
Don Airey
Paul Raymond
Ken Hensley
Mark Stanway

“John Lord. Lord was awesome and a sad loss to the rock world. His dual soloing with Blackmore was breathtaking in Deep Purple. For me his solo spot was a high point in any Purple live set. He would blend classical, jazz, boogie woogie and rock styles effortlessly. He was a keyboard wizard supreme along with Rick Wakeman, who should be on the list too”.

Yes, we’ve encountered a fair bit of love for Mr Wakeman it has to be said. Any closing comments? “It was hard to single the best of the best from that list as they are all brilliant musicians. Everyone of them are heroes to the metal world and I can’t sing their praises enough. But a band with Rob Halford, Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, Ian Paice and Jon Lord… wow! No wonder as a bass player I would sell my soul to be part of that band. There – I rest my case your honour!”

Lee Payne’s Perfect Beast:

Rob Halford (Judas Priest/Halford/Fight) – Vocals
Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) – Guitars
Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple/Rainbow) – Guitars
Lee Payne (Cloven Hoof) – Bass
Ian Paice (Deep Purple/Whitesnake/Paice, Ashton & Lord) – Drums
Jon Lord (Deep Purple/Whitesnake) – Keyboards