Over the years the relationship between rock music and video slots has been a pretty successful one. Unlike the vast majority of slots that have you reaching for the mute button the second the reels start spinning a slot that has been endorsed by your favourite band could be one that has you listening just as long as it has you trying to land that elusive bonus feature.
The difference between a slot based around a band or a music artist, compared to a slot based on a film is that additional layer of immersion. If you take someone like Hendrix, you already have a narrative, you have the icons and then on top of it all you also get the music.
This is particularly true of the artist responsible for helping to inspire this list. Yesterday saw what is arguably the biggest Rock related slot release of the year, with Ozzy Osborne taking to the reels for (as far as I am aware) the first time.
Net Entertainment are the biggest name is slots and because of this they get to take some of the biggest names outside of the gambling world and place them in the centre of their games. They have already released a “Conan” slot and a “Narcos” slot this year, both proving to be contenders for slot of the year. The final big branded slot from Net Ent will be the “Ozzy Osbourne Video Slots” game, which they will no doubt be hoping tops off an already successful 2019.
This will be the slot release that creates the most buzz this week and as such we felt it was about time we put together a list of the best slots inspired by Rock Music, and boy do we have plenty to choose from. There are a few developers in particular who have quite the stable of slots that come with wailing guitars, soaring vocals and pounding drums.
Play ‘n’ Go have gone down a slightly less commercial route by working with a number of bands this year that a lot of people won’t have heard of before. 3 slots in one year all named after rock bands and all excellent slots means that you are likely to be hearing quite a bit from the guys at Play ‘n’ Go.
Net Entertainment have a huge raft of slots all named after some of the biggest acts in rock history. For a number of those older slots questions will need to be asked about the quality that they offer when there are newer and shiner alternatives out there today.
Then you have the likes of Big Time Gaming, who instead of focusing on a band have narrowed things down even further and gone for games that are named after famous songs. With 3 such games, all offering serious quality you can most certainly expect to hear something from Big Time Gaming in this list.
The rest may or may not have something to offer. WMS certainly have a number of slots named after bands, but finding a casino that still stocks them could prove trickier than we would ideally like.
Rock Music and Slots
Guns ‘n’ Roses
The Guns ‘n’ Roses slot was released in 2016, a full 8 years after the band’s most recent studio album, Chinese Democracy. In 1987 Axel Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff “Rose” McKagan and Steven Adler rose to fame off the back of their debut studio album, Appetite for Destruction. Hair metal was at its peak, with a good 4 years of spandex and hairspray left in the tank before grunge came along and reset everything for a year or two. “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, “Paradise City”, “Mr. Brownstone”, and “Rocket Queen” dripped with the hedonism that the scene required. Fast living, loose morals; sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, made Appetite for Destruction a classic amongst rock fans, selling more than 30 million copies worldwide. The album was initially panned by critics but has since gone on to be considered one of the finest rock albums of all time. Since their debut there have been plenty of ups and downs for the band and for their fans who had to wait a staggering 17 years for any new material following 1991’s Use Your Illusion II.
As for the slot, it has everything you could have hoped for. 5 tracks play in the background (sorry to say that one of them is Chinese Democracy) allowing you to flick between them as you spin the reels. You get lots of features and they are in keeping with the theme, from record flipping to crowd pleasing bonuses, solos and Free Spins. We loved it when it was released in 2016 and, quite frankly, we still do.
The Black Mamba slot is one the most contemporary you’ll find here. Released towards the end of 2019 by Play ‘n’ Go, the music on this slot is brought to you by a little-known Italian rock outfit called Black Mamba. I don’t know a huge amount about the band other than they are 3 quarters female and switched this year from 3 members to 4, giving the bass player more time to play bass and less time singing. They play rock music that is pretty traditional: big riffs, big vocals etc. They can mix things up a little by adding some jaggy guitars that speak of band who might try something less straight forward one day in the not too distant future.
Whilst I might not know much about the band or their music, I would like to think I know a thing or two about the slot that they have given their name to. This is a quality slot, one of the best releases in 2019 and one that is likely to see Play ‘n’ Go challenge for best slot of the year. It comprises everything that makes a good Play ‘n’ Go slot. It looks exceptional and is utterly engaging. You get meters that need to be filled, cascades and various different random features. It is one of those slots that always feels as if something is happening and it comes, at long last, with a competitive house edge.
The Final Countdown
The Final Countdown slot is based on the song that I just expect everyone to have heard before. In 1986 a band called Europe released a track called The Final Countdown: The end! The band hail from Sweden, haven’t have much success outside of The Final Countdown, continue to tour to this day and have recently been in the news for challenging the use of their iconic song at Conservative Party Conferences in the UK.
The slot comes with the song and like most Big Time Gaming slots it doesn’t look spectacular but it does play well. You get cloned reels and cloned Wilds. You get Free Spins and you get two different versions to choose from. Add to this, good value for money and you have a recipe for success.
If you are getting sick of all this glam rock then why not dirty things up a bit with the Motorhead slot? Whilst there have been other, important members of the band, the only constant since they formed in 1975 was singer, bassist and icon Lemmy. One of the founding fathers of the new wave of British Heavy Metal and subsequently a founding father of all modern heavy metal, Lemmy was and will always be considered a legend of the genre. The hat, the shades, the whiskey, the sideburns and the thick gravelly voice, coupled with an attitude that most rebels could only dream of, Lemmy was the archetypal metal head. Motorhead’s music combined the punk rock of the mid to late 70s and fused it together with rock ‘n’ roll. It was faster and angrier than anything that had come before it and would go on to inspire bands like Metallica and Slayer to push the boundaries of heavy metal in the 80s.
The slot comes with plenty of that great music; along with Free Spins, Wilds, Mystery Reels and a random feature. The reels are shaped differently to most and you get a house edge that is offering excellent value for money.
The Demon slot sees us stick with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but instead of the grime and dirt of Motorhead, the Demon slot sees us embrace a type of metal that has more in common with the brand that Ozzy and Co first brought to life in the late 1960s. The themes are similar, dealing fire and brimstone, hell and damnation. Formed at the very end of the 1970s Demon has had quite a few line-up changes over the years, to the extent that no member, including singer Dave Hill, can claim to have been in the band from beginning to end. After, what amounts to nearly a decade out of the band, Dave Hill re-joined the group in 2001 where he has remained a main-stay ever since.
Play ‘n’ Go released the Demon Slot just in time for Halloween 2019 and in doing so brought us a slot with all the qualities we have grown to expect from the developers. You get Free Spins, with the potential for Bonus spins built into them. You get two different Wild symbols, each with their own unique properties. But let’s be honest and say that like so many on this list, the Demon slot is all about the music. The house edge isn’t quite as low as it on Black Mamba but it was certainly a sign of what was to come later on in 2019.
Spinal Tap was a spoof fly-on-the-wall documentary released back in 1984 that poked fun at the excesses of modern rock ‘n’ roll that all too often hit closer to the bone than most of those being lampooned would have been willing to admit. Not content with sending up a genre of music that had become bloated and too big for its boots, Spinal Tap also had to make a film that was hilarious and an actual album to go along with it. The film was light years ahead of its time, defining a style of film and television that would become a staple in the early 2000s with shows like The Office and anything Peter Kay related.
The Spinal Tap slot is just as much of a triumph as the film was when it hit our screens back in 1984. With this blueprint gaming slot you get all sorts of features. 4 different types of Free Spins, bonus features and more all wait for you here. The house edge is good too, but you might want to lay off the VIP Ticket, which costs an awful lot to trigger and should only be considered by those who can afford to lose huge sums of cash in a few clicks of a button.
Holy Diver is a 1983 album and song by diminutive Scot, Ronnie James Dio who stepped out of Rainbow to take centre stage and showcase his blistering vocal range. A bit like the aforementioned Demon, Dio was obsessed with the darker side of fantasy, creating songs that described dragons, demons and those best equipped for slaying them. The album was critically acclaimed and is considered by many to be Dio’s finest work.
If you are playing the Holy Diver slot and you want to unleash the might of power chords and Dio’s ferocious vibrato then you need to trigger the Free Spins. This is your only chance to hear the song that the game is named after. The game is jam packed with features. The addition of the knight at the bottom of the reels adds something to every spin and alleviates any boredom that could otherwise set in. The game also looks good, although it can’t quite match the level of some of the industry’s big boys. The house edge is reasonable, meaning that, all things considered, this is a game we would recommend you play.
What else is there for me to say about this guy? Everyone has heard of him and everyone knows why. A signed up member of the 29 Club, outside of playing the guitar, Hendrix is best known for dying far too young and leaving us wanting much more from his exceptional body of work.
The Jimi Hendrix slot is everything you could wish for. It looks good and it has some excellent features. So many that I won’t sit here and go through each and every one of them. Add to all of this an exceptional house edge and you have a great game. What makes the full package exceptional is the inclusion of his music. Unlike a few of the other slots on this list, you will have heard them before.
Speaking of bands that are new to us I have to confess that yet another of Play ‘n’ Go’s music related releases of 2019 is based on a band I have never heard of. Sabaton play a form of heavy metal that draws it inspiration from some of history’s most brutal wars and battles. Their last album “The Great War” was all about World War 1, which might indicate the level of severity that this particular power rock act hammer their audiences with at their live shows, something has clearly gone down well as they have won the Best Live act with both Metal Hammer and Kerrang over the years.
The Sabaton slot is another triumph. The music might be very narrow in its range but the slot has something to offer for just about anyone who has ever spun the reels before. There are lots of random features, the game looks incredible and there are free spins that can re-trigger making this a great game to play even if you don’t like the band. It can’t quite reach the lofty heights that Black Mamba managed, simply because the house edge is not offering nearly as good value for money.
The Ozzy Osbourne slot is the one that inspired this list. At first it was going to be a music inspired list but before long I noted that it could be a rock music inspired one and, at a push, it could even have been a heavy metal inspired one. And how perfect would that be? Ozzy is considered by many to be the godfather of heavy metal. Black Sabbath arguably got there before anyone else, which means that this slot is the inspiration for the list of slots in a similar way that Ozzy was the inspiration for all the music (not Hendrix) that the artists involved made.
The slot comes with a number of interesting features and it also offers decent value for money. Like so many slots on this list, what we like the most is the inclusion of the music that accompanies the spin of the reels.
There are a few slots that only narrowly missed out, a few of them because I find playable versions of them anymore. Megadeth, Kiss and The House of Doom are all slots based around rock and heavy music that couldn’t quite find a place on this list, proving that music, especially heavy music, make a perfect accompaniment.
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