Greetings, guys, and thank you to all of Forged in Black for taking part in our Building the Perfect Beast series! 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… or not, as the case may be! Fell free to substitute your own selections wherever you feel the need. Go to it!

We’ve selected five great Brit metal singers to kick off – Bruce DickinsonRob HalfordIan GillanOzzy Osbourne and Biff Byford. FiB singer Chris Storozynski – please make your selection. “Bruce Dickinson – It has to be really. We all know how amazing Bruce’s range, power and lungs are but it’s the smaller things as well which make him the legend he is. From subtle drama to snarling, biting conviction whilst spitting the lyrics, all blended with an edge of humour and fun, he is one of the masters of metal performance. That along with his high energy live performances make him my choice for the Perfect Beast, (for which I believe he has the number for, should you wish to contact said Beast)”.

I’m sure he has! Now, guitarists… The list we’ve put together comprises Glenn Tipton, KK Downing, Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, Paul Chapman, Phil Campbell, Paul Quinn, Vivian Campbell, Ritchie Blackmore and finally Tony Iommi. Obviously we’ll be asking the Forged in Black axeponents for their opinions here – Andy Songhurst, you first. “Adrian Smith – A guitarist who is innovative and takes risks, I mean, have you seen that mullet? His epic harmonies and raunchy solos helped define the genre and set the perfect atmosphere for both ten minute epics or three minute singles”.

Very nicely put. Chris Bone -who would you have in the Perfect Beast? “Benjamin Ellis – He may have not defined a genre but Benjamin Ellis, as a modern UK guitarist is doing some amazing work currently. Very clean, technical, melodic and most importantly unique lead playing. Usually technical playing can be sacrificial of melody but he finds the perfect balance. Plus his technique is second to none. Would be interesting to hear him in a band with some ‘classic’  band members to see what they come up with!”

It certainly would. Now, to the bass players. Kieron Rochester – the list we have for you contains Steve Harris, Lemmy, Pete Way, Glenn Hughes, Geezer Butler and Raven‘s John Gallagher. Who are you going to go for? “Glenn Hughes – Glenn is very unique with his bass playing. He has a distinctive tone; has a great amount of attack within his technique and is very creative with fills. Coupled with this, he is one of the all time great singers, more than capable of supplying some incredible backing vocals. He also has an impressive array of scarves”.

Scarves, yes. We’ve perhaps not paid enough attention to scarves thus far in this series. We’ll not be making that mistake again. Now, Kev Rochester – who will you have behind the kit? We’d like to put forward these names: Bill Ward, Nicko McBrain, Nigel Glockler, Ian Paice and Abaddon.  “Bill Ward – A very early influence on me, in the band that created metal. The sheer power he put in his playing, coupled with his jazz/blues influences, were important in shaping the Black Sabbath sound and metal in general. His playing is superb on all his Sabbath recordings, but the one track that stands out for me is Symptom of the Universe – the drumming power, energy and flair on that track had a profound influence that is still with me today”.

Let’s have a listen:

Thanks to all of you again for taking part!

Forged in Black’s Perfect Beast:

Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden/Samson) – Vocals
Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) – Guitars
Benjamin Ellis (Scar Symmetry) – Guitars
Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Trapeze/Black Country Communion) – Bass, Backing Vocals
Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) – Drums

Forged in Black’s Sinner Sanctorum is out now.