Last year the original members of Black Sabbath announced they were reuniting again for their first new album since 1978’s Never Say Die, which was to be accompanied by a world tour.
But as we’ve reported on TG, the plans hit several big snags, including drummer Bill Ward leaving the band over business issues, and guitarist Tony Iommi fighting lymphoma.
Now there’s reports that the band, along with Ozzy’s drummer Tommy Clufetos filling in, are still recording the next album, and have plans for gigs next year. Sabbath only played one concert this year, Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer, and will be headed to Australia next year, their first time down under since 1974. (They’re also scheduled for two Ozzfest gigs in Japan next May).
Now as Guitar World tells us, Iommi posted a message on his official website that reads: "What a year! Certainly not the one I was expecting. Thanks to you all for your massive help and support, it was very encouraging. I’m still working on the album and managed to play three shows, not bad given the news a year ago. I’m looking forward to near year, seeing what you think of the record and touring as much as we’re able."
Iommi closed with, "My Best Wishes to you all, I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year, most of all, stay positive…"
At last report, Sabbath had six songs recorded for the next album, and the album could be out in the world by April 2013. Rick Rubin is producing, and the album may have fifteen new songs. (Perhaps this was someone mis-interpreting the band saying they were working on fifteen songs that may not all make the final cut, but if there are indeed fifteen new songs, I say the more Sabbath the better).
However the new Sabbath album turns out, I’m just as curious as anyone else to hear what the band could come up with today. Having seen Sabbath back in 1999 with the original four playing strictly old songs was great. They could still play the hell out of the classics, and did the reunion tour right by playing the great stuff everyone wanted to hear instead of trying to push a new album.
Now that Sabbath have a new album, I’ll be more than happy to give it a chance. If it doesn’t turn out that great, doesn’t matter. Without Sabbath, there is no metal, and fans of heavy and extreme music like myself owe them an enormous debt for making the world so much heavier.