On November 11, 2011, or 11-11-11, the original line-up of Black Sabbath announced they would be recording a new album and would be touring the world for the first time in over thirty years. There were some serious snags along the way, original drummer Bill Ward bowed out, and guitarist Tony Iommi became ill with lymphoma, but they did finish a new album entitled 13 with Rick Rubin producing.
Thankfully the album turned out alright, it easily could have been a train wreck, but the Sabbath boys still have some pretty heavy riffs left in them, and now comes the news they will continue to tour into the new year. At first, touring was a dicey proposition for the band due to Iommi’s health, but they will be continuing with shows well into April of 2014.
This tour leg will primarily concentrate on North America, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the band stay on the road longer, even though these are reportedly the band’s final shows for the 13 tour. Metal bands live for the road, and artists everywhere have to tour harder than ever because nobody’s buying music anymore.
Iommi’s health is of course a concern, and as he told the Birmingham Mail, “The tour dates are arranged so that I can always get back for treatment. It’s the only way I can manage my illness and keep on the road. I’d love to play more shows…but my health has to be sorted out…I have to come back home no matter where I might be in the world.”
Blabbermouth.net tells us that 13 came in at No. 1 on the charts in 13 countries, and it was the band’s first number one album in the United States. They will also be putting out a live DVD, Black Sabbath: Live…Gathered in Their Masses, which captured the first two shows of the 13 tour in Australia.
So thank God Rick Rubin finally got the band back together, and got them recording and touring again. Having seen the original four playing live back in 1999, I had the time of my life, and it’s great to see the O.G. heavy metal band making one more go round while they still can.