New research from online casino operator has revealed that music fans voted heavy metal as their favorite genre.

20 percent of music lovers chose heavy metal as their favourite genre, with homegrown acts like BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST headlining as long-standing favorites.

BLACK SABBATH is often credited as the inventors of heavy metal with their self-titled debut album in early 1970. The distinctive style soon inspired others and created a musical genre that’s maintained its popularity as a counter-culture for 48 years.

Rupert Till, professor of music at Huddersfield University, elaborates: “New generations are often looking for something new. When they are bored of what is around in the charts, they will often stumble across old scenes that they have never heard of before, something old can seem like something really exciting.”

Jon Hawkins, 26, guitarist from the metal band THE HERO DIES FIRST, cites BLACK SABBATH as a major influence. “BLACK SABBATH continues to define the genre for me,” he says. “Without their music, I’d never have wanted to pick up a guitar and play. My first guitar was a copy of Tony Iommi‘s.”

31 percent of those polled in the north and 30 percent of those in the Midlands liked rock and heavy metal. Making heavy metal and rock the most popular form of music by far in the midlands and the north of the U.K.

Till goes on to say: “Heavy metal has a particular history in the Midlands. BLACK SABBATH are generally agreed on as the originators of heavy metal, and they came from Birmingham, so that genre has a particular resonance.”

Dance music was the second most popular genre across the U.K., with 15 percent of those polled choosing this modern form of music as one they couldn’t live without. In particular, 25 percent of those polled living in the south of the U.K. preferred this style of music.

The genre, which is often created with digital equipment by DJs, as individuals or in small groups, has been growing in popularity for a number of years, but doesn’t have the same long history as heavy metal.