A new album by Black Sabbath, the titans of doomy hard rock/heavy metal, which is cryptically titled 13, is set to be released this June. For this new album, the original band members – Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass), and the madman himself Ozzy Osbourne (vocals) – be sporting a new drummer in Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine.
Produced by Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Public Enemy, Tom Petty), the album was originally supposed to be recorded by all four members of the first wave of the band, which has gone through numerous line ups in its storied, influential, and checkered history. Drummer Bill Ward, who played with the band on some of their classic releases like Paranoid, Volume 4, Master of Reality, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath to name a few, couldnâ€™t come to terms with the rest of the band, and in May of last year, backed out of the forthcoming project and any live dates which might follow the release of the album.
In a press statement released shortly after that news had broken, Ward expressed regret and chagrin that an amicable settlement was not reached between the four men.
Now, however, with the addition of Brad Wilk, the band is plundering on, and this will the closest to an original reunion of Black Sabbath one will be able to get since the original band (with Ward) recorded and toured their Never Say Die album, which was released 35 years ago this year. Confirmation of an Australian tour as well the very first Ozzfest ever held in Japan have also been publicly announced.
The release of 13 (on long-time Sabbath distributor Vertigo Records) should be an interesting musical amalgam of sorts with Rick Rubin at the production helm and Wilk behind the drum kit, respectively.