Over the Summer, a pretty strong, apparently trustworthy rumor gained steam, saying that the original lineup of Black Sabbath would reunite for a new album and tour. It was another in a long line of rumors fed by the legions of metalheads pining for a comeback, but something about the latest story was different. Guitarist Tony Iommi went on to disown the journalist behind the claims, yet never properly denying them, while original singer Ozzy Osbourne kept making public remarks on the strong possibility of the reunion. Today, a special press event was held in LA, finally confirming that the reunion is, as expected, coming to fruition.
Hosted by Henry Rollins and held at the Whisky A Go Go (where Sabbath played their first US gig, 41 years ago), the event announced that the original lineup of Ozzy, Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward will reunite in 2012. A new album will be released (produced by Rick Rubin, of course), and they will headline UK’s Download Festival with a world tour to follow afterwards. The following video was provided to advertise the announcement:
As the video states, this will be Black Sabbath’s “first new album [WITH OZZY, YOU FUCKING BLASPHEMERS -Ed] in 33 years.” Rubin said the writing proccess is about halfway done, with recording set to begin in 2012. Henry Rollins closed the Q&A session at the press conference with a fitting statement: “Anywhere there’s electricity, there are Black Sabbath fans.”‘
So why now? That answer should be self-explanatory, but to put it subtly, “It was now or never, really,” said Iommi. “We have some great music to play.”
While it’s true that their last album with Ozzy on vocals, Never Say Die!, came out in 1978, we still haven’t forgotten the ten albums that the band later released with different singers. So here’s the opening track from the actual last LP under the Black Sabbath name, 1995’s Forbidden, featuring… Ice-T!
Looking on the bright side, there’s probably no way a new Sabbath record can be worse than that.