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Black Sabbath Live 2012

Black Sabbath waited until it officially became Jan. 13 in their native England before revealing that their highly anticipated new studio album will be titled ’13.’ The heavy metal legends spent the past year working on the effort, which is being produced by Rick Rubin.

The band also has announced that the album, which they initially targeted for April, is now expected to arrive at a still-to-be-determined date in June. And moreover, they’ve revealed that Rage Against the Machine‘s Brad Wilk served as drummer during the recording sessions. Black Sabbath will issue the disc via their original label Vertigo worldwide, with Vertigo/Republic offering the record in the United States.

’13′ will be the band’s first original album with Ozzy Osbourne as vocalist since 1978′s ‘Never Say Die!’ Though meant to be a reunion of the original four members, a contract squabble has kept drummer Bill Wardout of the picture. Osbourne’s stickman from his solo band, Tommy Clufetos, filled in on tour during Ward’s absence last year, but the aforementioned Wilk handled the drumming for the group for the upcoming album.

Black Sabbath have already announced a number of dates for 2013, beginning with a trek through Australia and also including a headlining spot on this year’s Ozzfest in Japan. More dates are expected and will be announced shortly.

Black Sabbath’s 2013 Tour:

4/20 — Auckland, New Zealand — Vector Arena
4/22 — Auckland, New Zealand — Vector Arena
4/25 — Brisbane, Australia — Entertainment Centre
4/27 — Sydney, Australia — All Phones Arena
4/29 — Melbourne, Australia — Rod Laver Arena
5/1 — Melbourne, Australia — Rod Laver Arena
5/4 — Perth, Australia — Rod Laver Arena
5/12 — Tokyo, Japan — Ozzfest Makuhari Messe
IommiOsbourne and Butler discussed their new album in a video interview posted at Asked how Rubin influenced the band’s approach to writing together again, Butler explained, “He 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 added, “It’s taken on the flavor of the old stuff in the way we put things together, but with a different look on it.”

Ward in May 2012 announced again that he was declining to join his former bandmates for its scheduled 2012 dates, as well as the recording of a new album, due to a contractual dispute.

He also allegedly had his lawyers direct SABBATH to remove him from photos of the band posted at the official BLACK SABBATH web site “so as to not give the public the wrong impression about his involvement in the current BLACK SABBATH lineup,” according to a statement issued by the band’s publicist.

Butler issued a lengthy retort at his own web site, writing that Ward“hadn’t told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us, let alone in public.”

Until now, Iommi told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the members of SABBATH stayed friendly even when there were legal or other issues going on. “We’ve always been talking. We’ve always been in touch with each other,” he said. “There might be a lawsuit in the thing between us, but we still talk to each other like nothing’s happened, you know.”

Asked if there is any chance of Ward rejoining the band, Iommi said last October, “We’ll always have a heart for Bill, but I think it’s gone past that now, because it’s gone on so long that I don’t see that happening at the moment. Maybe at some point we might [play together again].”

IommiOsbourne and Butler performed live together for the first time in seven years on May 19, 2012, playing an intimate show at the 3,800-person O2 Academy in SABBATH‘s hometown of Birmingham, England. The show, which served as a warm-up for the group’s appearance at the following month’s Download festival, was laced with emotion and drama: it was the first live appearance for Iommi since being diagnosed with cancer, and it was the first with stand-in drummer Tommy Clufetos, making the split official between Ward and the rest of SABBATH.

BLACK SABBATH took part in a photo shoot on November 30, 2012 with famed British photographer/artist Sam Taylor-Wood.

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