Heavy Metal founding fathers Black Sabbath announced today they’ll release their first Ozzy Osbourne-fronted album in 35 years in June. Titled “13,” the album will be the band’s ninth with their original singer and 19th overall.
With drummer Bill Ward out of the equation since contract negotiations fell apart last year, the “13” lineup consists of Osbourne, guitarist Tommy Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler with Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine behind the kit.
Seven-time Grammy winner Rick Rubin produced the album, which will be released on Vertigo, the band’s original label.
Sabbath’s last studio album with Osbourne as lead singer was 1978’s “Never Say Die!” — an effort that the frontman openly disliked. “It was the worst piece of work that I’d ever had anything to do with in my life,” he told an interviewer in 1981. “I’m ashamed of that album — I thought it was disgusting.” He was fired by the band in 1979 and was replaced by Ronnie James Dio, thus beginning Sabbath’s second phase.
Long in the works, “13” has endured its share of adversity. On Jan. 9, 2012 the band announced that Iommi had been diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma; in May, Ward officially dropped out of the project after the band reportedly asked him to only be “minimally” involved at certain reunion shows. “For me, it’s all or nothing,” he said.
To warm up for the album’s release the band will play select dates this spring in New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
April 20 and 22: Auckland, New Zealand (Vector Arena)
April 25: Brisbane, Australia (Entertainment Centre)
April 27: Sydney, Australia (All Phones Arena)
April 29 and May 1: Melbourne, Australia (Rod Laver Arena)
May 4: Perth, Australia (Perth Arena)
May 12: Tokyo Ozzfest (Makuhari Messe)