BLACK SABBATH @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, California (08/28/13)

Three quarters of the original SABBATH line-up returned to their old stomping grounds of Orange County, California last night.  I underestimated how many of the devoted would turn out for a show on a Wednesday night as it was nearly a sell out with people making the pilgrimage from near and far.

Black Sabbath
As the house lights went down, the sound of the sirens signaled that “War Pigs” would be the night’s opening song.  Even from right outside the amphitheater, the absolute heaviness could be felt.

To nobody’s surprise, the band’s set focused on the first three records, Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality.  While you can’t question the love the masses have for SABBATH, it is a safe assumption that the majority do not spend much time with Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, or Sabotage, and would quickly complain if the band started playing “obscure” tracks such as “The Writ” or “Tomorrow’s Dreams.”  One gem from Vol. 4 did make the set in the form of “Under the Sun.”  They also performed three songs from the solid reunion album, 13.
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BLACK SABBATH: Second Studio Clip Posted; Pre-order 13

As the countdown for the June 11 arrival of BLACK SABBATH’s 13 gets closer, the second Jack Osbourne-directed clip of the legends at work on the album can now be seen below:

13 is now available for pre-order on a variety of formats via www.blacksabbath.com. Options include:

• Standard CD album

• Deluxe double CD album in a deluxe soft-pack (includes a second disc of exclusive bonus audio material)

• Vinyl: a 12” heavyweight (180g) vinyl album in a gatefold sleeve

BLACK SABBATH Post Video of Recording Sessions

The reunited BLACK SABBATH have posted a video, which highlights a look into the recording sessions with producer Rick RubinAs previously posted, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE/AUDIOSLAVE drummer Brad Wilk will play drums on the record in place of Bill Ward, who is no longer part of the reunion.

Can’t wait for the new record, 13!

BLACK SABBATH’s Comeback Album Set for June 2013 Release

Black SabbathBLACK SABBATH have announced the title of their new album, 13, which will be released this June (exact date TBA).  The original BLACK SABBATH (sans Bill Ward) have recorded the album primarily in Los Angeles and were joined at the sessions by drummer Brad Wilk (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE).  Produced by Rick Rubin (seven-time Grammy winner), the album will be released on Vertigo (worldwide) and Vertigo/Republic in the U.S.  13 marks the band’s first studio album together since 1978’s Never Say Die!  The original line up have sold over 70 million albums.

In advance of the album’s release, BLACK SABBATH will head to New Zealand, Australia and Japan for live performances (see below for tour dates).  Additional tour plans will be revealed in the coming months.

BLACK SABBATH’s initial tour dates are as follows:

Sat 4/20 Auckland, New Zealand Vector Arena
Mon 4/22 Auckland, New Zealand Vector Arena
Thu 4/25 Brisbane, Australia Entertainment Centre
Sat 4/27 Sydney, Australia  All Phones Arena
Mon 4/29 Melbourne, Australia  Rod Laver Arena
Wed 5/1  Melbourne, Australia Rod Laver Arena
Sat 5/4   Perth, Australia Perth Arena
Sun 5/12 Tokyo, Japan Ozzfest – Makuhari Messe

Video of the Day: SABBATH’s “Killing Yourself to Live” at California Jam 1974

Let’s try to get through this work week with SABBATH‘s classic song, “Killing Yourself to Live” off of the band’s 1973 masterpiece, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.  This performance of the song comes from the band’s famous appearance at the legendary California Jam in 1974.  It’s not often that we get to see a moustache-less Tony Iommi.  Enjoy!

BLACK SABBATH Remove Bill Ward from Band Photos at His Request

Some buzz has spread around the web about Bill Ward being cropped out of BLACK SABBATH photos on the band’s website.  Here is the band’s statement regarding the situation:

“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.”

BLACK SABBATH Issues Statement Regarding Plans to Play Upcoming Shows Without Bill Ward

BLACK SABBATH, currently comprised of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler, have released a statement in response to drummer Bill Ward‘s online statement regarding his absence from the upcoming SABBATH shows and reunion as a whole:

“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.

“–BLACK SABBATH, 5/17/12″

On May 15th, 2012, Bill Ward posted the news on his website that he would not be apart of the upcoming SABBATH reunion shows scheduled in Birmingham  on May 19th, 2012, Download Festival on June 10th, 2012, and Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

Here is his statement:

“Dear SABBATH Fans and Fellow Musicians,

“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.

“To express my thoughts about you, the SABBATH fans, I’m going to speak to you all through an experience my brother James had recently. My brother Jimmy lives in the U.K. When speaking with him a couple of days ago, he told me that an acquaintance had stopped him on the street and confronted him, “is your brother playing Birmingham? What’s going on? I waited in line with my son and paid x amount for the concert tickets…”

Read the whole statement here.

BLACK SABBATH’s Tony Iommi Issues Update on Cancer Treatment

BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has issued an update regarding the progress of his cancer treatment:

“Hiya,

“A little update on how it’s all going:

“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.

“- Tony

History Lesson: BLACK SABBATH’s 1975 Masterpiece, Sabotage

The final great BLACK SABBATH record with the band’s original line-up rarely gets the love it deserves outside diehard SABBATH fans. Most every tribute album or SABBATH cover song skips over this massive album.

While I love the five albums that preceded 1975′s Sabotage, this is the SABBATH album that spoke to me most as a teenager who was totally immersed in discovering all the heavy music I could get my hands on. To this day, I only own this album in cassette format. It’s the most depressing and emotionally powerful album in that disillusioned and maddening sense. The band were undoubtedly living life to full excess but were very much in touch with their souls.

After the first three songs, “Hole in the Sky,” “Symptom of the Universe” (the first thrash song ever written) and “Don’t Start (Too Late),” Sabotage really takes off on its epic journey through alienation, disillusionment, and liberation. The band wore their heart on their sleeves and that is something that really resonated in and connected with me as a disillusioned kid at the time.

While it is a crime to be a casual SABBATH fan, it’s never too late to learn about and subsequently worship at the altar of the gods. Let us enjoy some selections from this great work of art.

Rhino Records to Release BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years and Live at Hammersmith Odeon

Together for a short but memorable time—a trio of studio albums, a classic live album, and a couple of tours—the second coming of BLACK SABBATH began in 1979 when founding members Tony Iommi and Terry “Geezer” Butler were joined by Ronnie James Dio. The former singer of ELF (and later RAINBOW and DIO) added his fiery, demonic howl to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group’s crushing mix of iconic riffs, gloomy grooves and doom-soaked imagery.

In late 2006 Dio, Iommi and Butler, joined by drummer Vinny Appice, reunited to record three new songs for Rhino Records’ era-spanning collection, BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years. These recording sessions went so well that the quartet—billed as HEAVEN AND HELL—will launch a highly anticipated world tour this spring. The group will play a dozen dates in Canada in March before taking the stage of the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 30 to play their only U.S. date until the band launches a full tour of the States later this year.

The first comprehensive introduction to the band’s legacy, BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years features a dozen classic studio recordings, plus one live track—“Children of the Sea” from 1982’s Live Evil. The collection also contains the three brand-new tracks—“The Devil Cried,” “Shadow of the Wind,” and “Ear in the Wall.” The disc will be available April 3rd.

Arranged chronologically, the compilation spotlights Dio’s time with BLACK SABBATH and draws heavily from the lineup’s 1980 debut and 1981 follow-up, Heaven and Hell< /strong> and Mob Rules respectively. The Dio Years also features “After All (The Dead),” “TV Crimes” and “I” from the singer’s brief reunion with SABBATH for the Dehumanizer album and tour.

On May 1, Rhino Handmade will release BLACK SABBATH: Live at Hammersmith Odeon, which features Dio, Iommi, Butler and Appice getting hot one December night in London during their 1981 tour for Mob Rules. Previously unreleased, the concert spotlights SABBATH as they storms through 14 of the Dio-era’s best. The band also performs several pre-Dio classics including “Paranoid,” “Children of the Grave” and a white-hot version of “War Pigs.” The album will be available from Rhino Handmade as an individually numbered limited edition of 5,000 copies.

BLACK SABBATH: The Dio Years tracklisting:
1. “Neon Knights”
2. “Lady Evil”
3. “Heaven And Hell”
4. “Die Young”
5. “Lonely is the Word”
6. “The Mob Rules”
7. “Turn Up the Night”
8. “Voodoo”
9. “Falling Off the Edge of the World”
10. “After All (The Dead)”
11. “TV Crimes”
12. “I”
13. “Children of the Sea” – Live
14. “The Devil Cried”*
15. “Shadow of the Wind”*
16. “Ear in the Wall”*

*Newly recorded track

BLACK SABBATH: Live At Hammersmith Odeon tracklisting:
1. “E5150”
2. “Neon Knights”
3. “N.I.B.”
4. “Children of the Sea”
5. “Country Girl”
6. “Black Sabbath”
7. “War Pigs”
8. “Slipping Away”
9. “Iron Man”
10. “The Mob Rules”
11. “Heaven and Hell”
12. “Paranoid”
13. “Voodoo”
14. “Children of the Grave”