We’ve been following the Black Sabbath reunion since it was announced back on November 11, 2011 (11-11-11).
Rick Rubin helped pull it together, and he’s producing their new album, but as we’ve previously reported, there’ve been problems along the way, specifically Bill Ward leaving the band over contractual disputes, and guitarist Tony Iommi battling lymphoma.
Still, the three original members, and session drummer Brad Wilk from Rage Against the Machine, have been recording with Rubin producing in L.A., and as Blabbermouth confirms, the new album is called 13, and it will be out in June.
Sabbath recorded fifteen songs for 13, and twelve of them made the final cut to be on the album. (One early song title is “God is Dead.”) Before the album’s release, the band will play New Zealand, Australia and Japan, and further tour information will come from there.
Rubin likes the bands he works with to go back to their classic sound, which would be wonderful if every group could actually do that. Some can recover the flame, while for many it burned out long ago. Rubin also asked the same of Sabbath when they reunited to play again. As bassist Geezer Butler recalled, Rubin "sat us down, put the first album on and said ‘Listen to this, imagine it’s 1969, you’ve just done that, what would you do next?’"
Iommi also said, "It’s taken on the flavor of the old stuff in the way we put things together, but with a different look it." It would indeed be great if Sabbath could recapture their old days, although the newer stuff they did with the late, great Ronnie Dio was usually pretty good. (Sabbath reunited several years back with Dio under the name Heaven and Hell).
The riffs should definitely be there for the new album, the real test is whether Ozzy can still deliver vocally. The truth will be out there soon enough, and if Sabbath can crush us into oblivion once again, it will be great to have them back.