BLACK SABBATH‘s new album, “13” — the first in 35 years to feature bassist Geeezer Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi and singer Ozzy Osbourne — will be released on June 11 via Vertigo/Universal Republic in the U.S. and Vertigo in all other territories. The drum tracks on the group’s first LP with Osbourne since 1978 were laid down by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE sticksman Brad Wilk following original drummer Bill Ward‘s decision to bow out of the reunion.
The cover artwork for “13”, along with a snippet of a new song from the CD, can be seen in the YouTube clip below.
Osbourne, Iommi and Butler recorded the album primarily in Los Angeles with producer Rick Rubin. Songtitles set to appear on the CD include three seven-plus-minute behemoths “End Of The Beginning”, “God Is Dead” and “Epic”, as well as a track about killing pedophile priests (“Dear Father”) and another about the scourge of methamphetamine addiction (“Methademic”). Iommi said about the album, “You can’t always repeat what you’ve done, you’ve just got to go on. It’ll be today’s version of how it was 40 years ago, I suppose.” Ozzy stated, “This BLACK SABBATH album is quite possibly the most important album of my career,” while Butler added, “We’ll probably all be dead soon, so while we still can play and sing, then we’ve got to do it.”
Ozzy has consistently said over the years that any new SABBATH project had to live up to the standards of the band’s early, classic records. “If I had an album which blew ‘Master Of Reality’ off the map, I’d be crazy not to do it,” he said. “I don’t want to put an album out, just for the sake of us four being on an album.”
The members of BLACK SABBATH revealed in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that Rubin originally suggested legendary CREAM drummer Ginger Baker to play drums on their new album, since Ward was not participating. Iommi said, “I thought, ‘Bloody hell? I just couldn’t see that.”
“13” is available for pre-order on a variety of formats via BlackSabbath.com.
* Standard CD album
* Deluxe double CD album in a deluxe soft-pack (includes a second disc of exclusive bonus audio material)
* Vinyl: a 12-inch heavyweight (180g) vinyl album in a gatefold sleeve
* Super Deluxe Box Set: a limited-edition 12-inch clamshell box set which contains: deluxe double CD album, 12-inch heavyweight (180g) vinyl album in a gatefold sleeve, exclusive DVD containing “Black Sabbath – The Reunion” documentary, plus five behind-the-scenes videos, download card containing exclusive track-by-track interview with BLACK SABBATH, “13” exclusive photographic prints and handwritten album lyrics.
In addition, anyone who pre-orders any of these formats via BlackSabbath.com will be entered into a drawing to win a pair of VIP tickets to an official “13” album launch event in London, including a meet-and-greet with the band, flights and accommodation. Additional details and full terms and conditions on the contest can be found at BlackSabbath.com.
SABBATH will launch a world tour in support of the album later this month in New Zealand, Australia and Japan, with North American dates to follow in July and August.
SABBATH, with Ward initially on board, announced its current reunion in November 2011, six years after they had last played together.
However, plans for extensive touring were curtailed by the January 2012 revelation that Iommi had been diagnosed with an early stage of cancer.
He received treatment throughout the year, with the band initially beginning its recording sessions in London so that the guitarist could be near his doctors.
SABBATH did play three shows last year, a warm-up gig in Birmingham, England, a headlining spot at the U.K.’s Download festival in June, and a second headlining set at Chicago’s Lollapalooza in August. All three featured Ozzy‘s touring drummer Tommy Clufetos on drums.