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Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath Photo

Band Photo: Black Sabbath (?)

Formed: 1968
From: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Black Sabbath News

Below is our complete Black Sabbath news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Black Sabbath Issues Statement On Site Photos

In the ongoing saga of the reunion that was not to be, Black Sabbath has issued the following statement regarding the the removal of Bill Ward from the photos on the band's official web site:

At the request of Bill Ward, through his attorney, so as to not give the public the wrong impression about his involvement in the current Black Sabbath lineup, we have temporarily removed Bill Ward's images from the main pages of the blacksabbath.com official website. In accordance with Bill Ward's attorney's request, we are doing so for the duration of the forthcoming shows.

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Geezer Butler Weighs In On Black Sabbath Reunion

While Black Sabbath officially had no comment on Bill Ward's latest update, bassist Geezer Butler has broken the silence and posted an update on his own blog (paragraph breaks added for readability):

I feel sad to see the Sabbath reunion becoming a bit of a soap opera on the internet. It has been a very tough year for us as a band, having announced our reunion plans, only for Tony to be diagnosed with lymphoma, leaving us no choice but to postpone the proposed Sabbath tour, and then for Bill to go public on his site about an un-signable contract. None of us knew how Tony was going to respond to his intensive chemo therapy, and radiotherapy. Ozzy and myself flew to England to be with Tony, and on his “good” days, we’d meet at his home studio and put ideas together for the upcoming album, all sitting down together, no drummer involved, just 3 of us quietly putting together ideas. We thought that when we had enough songs together for a full band rehearsal, we’d move back to L.A and put the whole thing together with Bill.

Unfortunately, to our surprise, Bill issued a statement on his site saying he’d been offered an un-signable contract. He 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. We had the idea of keeping just one show in this year, hoping that Tony would be well enough for that show, and that things with Bill would be sorted. As you may expect, a one off show at Donnington Festival (Download) costs an absolute fortune to stage, involving over 50 people, transport, air fares, hotels, meals, agents, promotors, accountants, lawyers etc, so none of us, expected to make much money from it- it was a one off Sabbath show for the fans, before we go into recording the new album. Apparently, this wasn’t acceptable to Bill’s representatives, they wanted an amount that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke. So we resigned ourselves to doing Download without Bill, hoping he’d change his mind and at least make a guest appearance.

We started rehearsals a few weeks ago with Tommy Cluefetos, the drummer who will be on the Ozzy and Friends Tour. Brilliant drummer and good bloke. It was decided we’d better do a warm up show, to break the ice since we haven’t played together live. The O2 Academy was available in Birmingham, where we were rehearsing, so we decided on that, and to make a donation to Help For Heroes Charity, since we’d be ironing out any glitches we may have. Then Bill put out a further statement saying he’d been ready to play the Birmingham show , but he was expected to have to do it “for free”- well, I think that’s basically how you raise money from gigs for charity – you play them “for free”.

All I am saying is that there are two sides to everything. I do hope to play with Bill again some day. For whatever reason; it wasn’t meant to be this time. Bill’s made his decision, and I have to respect that. Hopefully this painful year will be worth the wait for the new Sabbath album and end in joy and happiness for all.
Stay frosty,
Geezer

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Black Sabbath "No Comment" On Ward's Statement

Black Sabbath has issued a short "no comment" regarding Bill Ward's latest update about not being part of the reunion shows:

We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill's latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony's treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See you at Download.

But actions speak louder than words, and upon visiting the band's official web site, you can see carefully cropped and arranged vintage photos of just three members of the band - Tony, Ozzy, and Geezer; no Bill - on the site's background as well as the photo gallery. (thanks Brooklyn Vegan for pointing that out.)

Update: The removal of Ward from the web site photos was apparently at the request of Ward's attorney. You can read more about that here.

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Black Sabbath To Play Shows Without Bill Ward

Bill Ward has posted another lengthy update on his blog, confirming that he will not be participating in any of the upcoming Black Sabbath shows including the UK's Download Festival, the Birmingham gig, or Lollapalooza. Here are some excerpts from Bill's update:

I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality.

Story-telling aside, he continues:

Throughout this process, which began over a year ago, I have had to stand up for myself time and time again. I have had to stand up for myself and in doing so realize my actions indirectly, although unintentionally, are upsetting and hurting a lot of you. I know in my heart I couldn’t have done these concerts by agreeing the terms suggested. I made a solemn vow after the last European and Ozzfest concerts that I would never again enter into what was, in my opinion, a totally unsatisfactory contract. I have to stand for something, and as painful as it is, I’m doing it.

Earlier in April 2012, I’d been asked to participate “minimally” in the Download festival. I believe I’d been offered no more than three songs to play while another drummer presumably played the rest of the show with Black Sabbath. I was not willing to participate in that offer. I was not prepared to watch another drummer play a Sabbath set, while I was to play only three songs.

Read the full article at BillWard.com.

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Tony Iommi Gives Health Update

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has completed chemotherapy treatment for his lymphoma and issued the following update on his health and treatment progress:

"Well, I've had the last dose of chemotherapy so hopefully my body will start to get back to normal soon, the steroids were the worse. I've now got three weeks of radiotherapy coming up which I'm told can be very tiring so we'll see.

"A big thanks to Ozzy and Geezer for coming over to England, it was a big incentive for me, we managed to work most days and have some great new tracks.

"And, importantly thanks again for your kind messages, hope to be seeing you soon."

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HP Lovecraft Podcast Streaming

The Soggy Bog has posted its most recent #66 podcast on the theme of HP Lovecraft, which you may stream over at this location. A list of the 26 artists streaming in the podcast follows below, with background music from the album "Dead but Dreaming" by Subterrestrial providing the audio backdrop.

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” H.P. Lovecraft More...

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Ozzy & Friends To Perform Black Sabbath Shows

Black Sabbath, which late last year confirmed the recording of the band's first new album in more than 33 years and a worldwide headlining tour, has had to put some plans on hold due to Tony Iommi’s battle with lymphoma. Current plans are for Black Sabbath to perform only one show of this summer’s previously scheduled European tour, which will be the U.K.’s Download Festival on Sunday, June 10, 2012.

So as not to let the promoters and fans down, Ozzy Osbourne will perform the majority of the previously scheduled Black Sabbath dates (both festival performances and the headlining shows) billed as Ozzy & Friends. These “first ever” Ozzy & Friends shows will feature appearances by “special guest” musicians including Geezer Bulter (who will join Ozzy for a special Black Sabbath set as a show of respect and support to their friend, Tony Iommi) and longtime former Ozzy band member Zakk Wylde. In addition, Ozzy will be accompanied by longtime collaborator and friend Slash at select shows, with other “special guests” set to join the tour at various stops along the way (full list of dates, appearances below).

Tony Iommi continues to make excellent progress and is looking forward to getting back out on the road. Meanwhile, Black Sabbath continues to write and record music in the U.K. for their upcoming album. More information about these dates and Black Sabbath's recording and touring plans is forthcoming.

The drama between Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward and the band is still unfolding, with the latest update from Ward sounding hopeful that the band will find a common ground and record the new album together.

The 2012 tour dates are as follows:

BLACK SABBATH
Sun 6/10 Donnington UK Download Festival

OZZY AND FRIENDS
Wed 5/23 - Helsinki, Finland @ Hartwall Arena
Fri 5/25 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Stadium
Sun 5/27 - Jelling, Denmark @ Jelling Festival
Tue 5/29 - Bergen, Norway @ Bergen Calling Festival
Thu 5/31 - Oslo, Norway @ Spektrum
Sat 6/2 - Malmo, Sweden @ Malmo Stadium
Mon 6/4 - Dortmund, Germany @ Westfalenhalle
Wed 6/6 - Prague, Czech Rep @ O2 Arena
Fri 6/15 - Vitoria, Spain @ Azkena Rock Festival
Sun 6/17 - Clisson, France @ Hellfest
Fri 6/22 - Dessel, Belgium @ Graspop Metal Meeting
Sun 6/24 - Milan, Italy @ Gods of Metal Festival
Tue 6/26 - Vienna, Austria @ Stadthalle
Thu 6/28 - Belgrade, Serbia @ USCE Park
Sun 7/1 - Athens, Greece @ Rockwave Festival – Terra

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Bill Ward Issues Response To Black Sabbath

Exiled Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has launched the latest internet salvo back at Black Sabbath. In a post on Facebook, Ward stated:

Dear Sabbath Fans,

I wanted to let you know where things are at, from my point of view, as of today, February 17, 2012.

As my statement of February 2, 2012 indicated, I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour. At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the U.K. and record, and later tour with the band.

Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a “signable” contract and a positive outcome.

I want to thank everyone who has voiced and posted their opinions, thoughts, support and love through all media, including the newly constructed sites. I applaud your worldwide reaction in support of the original band. And speaking for myself, your intent and truth will always be respected.

While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends, and I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives.

Many thanks to all of you. You are truly phenomenal.

Stay safe, stay strong.

–Bill Ward

Rumors swirled about the involvement of Sharon Osbourne in "firing" Ward, an allegation that was "dismissed" by Ms. Osbourne, as you can see in the video below.

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Five More Bands Confirmed For Download 2012

The organisers of Britain's Download Festival has announced a further five bands for this years edition of the event. Metalcore outfit Killswitch Engage has confirmed, as have NOFX, Nightwish, Shinedown and Black Veil Brides. The festival will take place June 8th - 10th at Donington Park in the United Kingdom.

The lineup is now as follows:

The Prodigy (Headliners)
Metallica (Headliners)
Black Sabbath (Headliners)
Anthrax
As I Lay Dying
August Burns Red
Biffy Clyro
Billy Talent
Black Label Society
Black Veil Brides
Chase and Status
Devildriver
Devin Townsend Project
Fear Factory
Five Finger Death Punch
Ginger Wildheart
Killswitch Engage
Kyuss Lives!
Lamb Of God
Little Angels
Machine Head
Nightwish
NOFX
Periphery
Reckless Love
Shinedown
Slash
Soundgarden
Steel Panther
Tenacious D
Trivium
Ugly Kid Joe
You Me At Six

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Black Sabbath Responds To Bill Ward Statement

It appears the Facebook snubbing between Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward continues. Black Sabbath has decided to proceed with the album and tour without the drummer with the following response to Bill Ward's recent post:

"We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans...we have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open... We are still in the UK with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll... See you at Download!!!

- Tony, Ozzy and Geezer"

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Hellfest 2012 Lineup Finalized

The finalized lineup for Hellfest 2012 has been announced. The festival will run from June 15-17, 2012 in Clisson France. Mainstage headliners are as follows:

June 15:

Megadeth
Lynyrd Skynrd
Gotthard

June 16:

Guns N Roses
Within Temptation

June 17:

Black Sabbath
Motley Crue
Blue Oyster Cult

Other headline acts for the various stages include:

June 15: King Diamond, Cannibal Corpse, Amon Amarth
June 16: Machine Head, Entombed, Behemoth, Saint Vitus
June 17: Lamb of God, Trivium, Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, Biohazard More...

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Guns N Roses Confirmed For Graspop 2012

The organisers of Belgium's largest heavy metal festival, Graspop Metal Meeting, have announced that American rock legends Guns N Roses will be wrapping the festival up this year, as they will be headlining the event on Sunday 24th. The organisers have also announced that As I Lay Dying has had to pull out of the festival after cancelling their European tour, but also confirmed that Cannibal Corpse, Machine Head, Gotthard, Adrenaline Mob, Sebastian Bach, Black Veil Brides and The Treatment will perform at the festival. Graspop Metal Meeting will take place in Dessel, Belgium from June 22nd - 24th and will feature the following lineup, with more to be announced shortly:

Black Sabbath (Headliner)
Guns N Roses (Headliner)
Adrenaline Mob
Alestorm
Amon Amarth
August Burns Red
Black Veil Brides
Cannibal Corpse
Children Of Bodom
Comeback Kid
Death Angel
Devildriver
Dimmu Borgir
Emmure
Ensiferum
Europe
Exodus
H20
Hatebreed
Ihsahn
Jon Oliva's Pain
Killswitch Engage
Kyuss Lives!
Lamb Of God
Leprous
Machine Head
Megadeth
Motorhead
Nasum
Obituary
Paradise Lost
Pennywise
Possessed
Sabaton
Sacred Reich
Sebastian Bach
Sick Of It All
Skeletonwitch
Slayer
Texas In July
The Spudmonsters
The Treatment
Trivium
Unearth
Whitechapel
Winds Of Plague
Winterfylleth
Young Guns

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Black Sabbath Drummer Puts Reunion In Doubt

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has posted a statement online via his official website in which he has declared that he would be "unable" to continue with the proposed reunion, unless a "signable contract" is drawn up. This has placed the future of the reunion in question, which was also recently hurt by the announcement that guitarist Tony Iommi is battling lymphoma. An excerpt from Ward's statement reads as follows:

"Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,

"At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a 'signable' contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another 'unsignable' contract was handed to me.

"Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.

"Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting 'the cold shoulder' (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’s happening unless I sign 'the unsignable contract.'

"The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate."

Read the full article at BillWard.com.

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Fourteen More Names Confirmed For Download 2012

The organisers of Britain's, Download Festival has confirmed a further twelve acts for this year's edition of the event. Among the new acts are American thrash metal legends Megadeth, former Guns N Roses guitarist, Slash and industrial metal veterans Fear Factory, as well as Steel Panther, Billy Talent, Kyuss Lives!, Rise Against, Black Label Society, As I Lay Dying, Five Finger Death Punch, Terrorvision, Ginger Wildheart, Periphery and Reckless Love. The festival will take place June 8th - 10th at Donington Park in the U.K.

The lineup is now as follows:

The Prodigy (Headliners)
Metallica (Headliners)
Black Sabbath (Headliners)
Anthrax
As I Lay Dying
August Burns Red
Biffy Clyro
Billy Talent
Black Label Society
Chase and Status
Devildriver
Devin Townsend Project
Fear Factory
Five Finger Death Punch
Ginger Wildheart
Kyuss Lives!
Lamb Of God
Little Angels
Machine Head
Periphery
Reckless Love
Slash
Soundgarden
Steel Panther
Tenacious D
Trivium
Ugly Kid Joe
You Me At Six

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Black Sabbath Moves Writing Sessions To U.K.

Metal legends Black Sabbath announced that the writing sessions for the forthcoming album with the band's original lineup has been moved from Los Angeles to Birmingham, England.

In a post on the band's Facebook page, the band added "Sabbath has gone back to where it all started and it’s been just amazing. This is where the writing of the album will be completed. Funny how it all goes full circle sometimes."

Earlier this month, the metal world was rocked by the revelation that founder/guitarist Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with lymphoma and is currently awaiting and/or receiving treatment. Iommi responded to the outpouring of well wishes that the band will proceed with the creation of the album despite his illness and later Geezer Butler revealed that Iommi had two songs written already.

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Geezer Butler Issues Update On New Sabbath Album

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler issued a studio update on the progress of the much anticipated new Black Sabbath album, the first album with the original lineup in 33 years. Earlier this month, Tony Iommi was diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma.

Butler posted an update on his official web site, which reads:

"Today [January 19th] we got the engines back up and running at Tony’s home studio. Far from being down and depressed about his lymphoma diagnosis, Tony had already written the music for two new songs, and I must say it has given us all a kick up the rump — it’s great to hear him churning out those riffs again, assuaging the Demon C. Takes more than that to stop Tony. Can’t wait for you all to hear our workings; it has been great working on this stuff.

"I want to thank the lovely encouraging emails sent to this site giving Tony love and encouragement and great vibes. It really does help, not only Tony, but us as a band — it raises up our spirits and restores our faith in this tarnished world.

"SABB fans are good people. Time and again, you have proven your faith in us and boosted our endeavour.

“Thanks, love, peace.”

The new Black Sabbath album is expected in this fall of 2012.

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Five More Names Confirmed For Graspop 2012

The organisers of Belgium's largest heavy metal festival, Graspop Metal Meeting, has announced a further five bands for this year's edition of the event. American thrash metal legends Megadeth will be performing, as will stoner rock kings Kyuss Lives!, death metal pioneers Possessed, English alternative rock outfit Young Guns and, making their fourth appearance at the festival, Jon Olivia's Pain. Graspop will take place in the town of Dessel from June 22nd-24th and now features the following lineup:

Black Sabbath (Headliner)
Alestorm
Amon Amarth
August Burns Red
Children Of Bodom
Comeback Kid
Death Angel
Devildriver
Dimmu Borgir
Emmure
Ensiferum
Europe
Exodus
H20
Hatebreed
Jon Olivia's Pain
Killswitch Engage
Kyuss Lives!
Lamb Of God
Megadeth
Motorhead
Nasum
Obituary
Paradise Lost
Possessed
Sacred Reich
Sick Of It All
Skeletonwitch
The Spudmonsters
Trivium
Whitechapel
Winds Of Plague
Winterfylleth
Young Guns

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Fourteen More Bands Confirmed For Download 2012

A flyer posted online by reunited grunge outfit Soundgarden has revealed a further fourteen more bands for this years edition of Britain's Download Festival. Amongst the new confirmations are Tenacious D, drum and bass favourites Chase and Status, American thrash metal legends Anthrax and Californian metal veterans, Machine Head. The festival will be held at Donington Park from 8th-10th June.

The current lineup is as follows:

The Prodigy (Headliners)
Metallica (Headliners)
Black Sabbath (Headliners)
Anthrax
August Burns Red
Biffy Clyro
Chase and Status
Devildriver
Devin Townsend Project
Lamb Of God
Little Angels
Machine Head
Soundgarden
Tenacious D
Trivium
Ugly Kid Joe
You Me At Six

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Tony Iommi Posts Message; New LP Still In Works

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi posted his first message in response to his recent diagnosis of lymphoma earlier this week. In a post on Facebook, Iommi stated:

"My fans, friends & colleagues -

"I just want to say how overwhelmed I am with all your messages of support, thank you so much.

"Well it's not what I wanted for Christmas, that's for sure, but now I can't wait for the test results to come in and get going with the treatment.

"It's really good that the guys are coming over so that we can continue working on the album as things are going great in the studio.

"Well, not much else to say at this time, so thanks again.

"Bless you all,

Tony"

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Breaking News

Tony Iommi Diagnosed With Lymphoma

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the blood that develops in the lymphatic system. Black Sabbath made the following post on its official Facebook Page:

"With the news that Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan--the “IRON MAN” of Rock & Roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.

"This comes as Black Sabbath--Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums)--are writing and recording their first album in 33 years in Los Angeles (still set for release this fall) with producer Rick Rubin. They will now go to the UK to continue to work with Tony. Further information will be released as it becomes available."

More news on Iommi's condition is expected shortly.

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