Ahead of BLACK SABBATH's history-making Download festival appearance, the massive, 172-page new issue of Metal Hammer is a tribute to the legendary heavy metal act, paying homage to one of the greatest, heaviest and most influential bands to ever walk this earth. Metal Hammer talks to SABBATH members themselves as they look back on an unmatched legacy as the most influential and innovative band in metal's history, and looks to some of the biggest names in rock music to help them commemorate the masters' return. Members of METALLICA, SLAYER, MACHINE HEAD, PANTERA, MANOWAR, MASTODON, DIMMU BORGIR, DEVILDRIVER, KISS, RUSH, BEHEMOTH, SLASH, ALICE COOPER, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, RAMMSTEIN, GHOST, STEEL PANTHER and more all join Metal Hammer in gauging BLACK SABBATH's seminal impact on rock 'n' roll, and well as picking their favorite SABBATH hits and memories.
"I didn't know we were the forefathers of metal," says singer Ozzy Osbourne when asked about his thoughts on SABBATH's influence. "When I used to do Ozzfest, I hadn't realized we had such an impact on the young bands. I'm proud of that alone. I wasn't aware for a long time, I thought everyone was just taking the piss, you know?"
And, to top off the SABBATH worship, Metal Hammer is giving away a free "Sons Of Sabbath" CD with the issue, featuring choice, riff-filled, heavy-as-a-philosophizing-T-fucking-Rex cuts from the discographies of some of the finest bands to have been inspired by the hand of Iommi et al, including ELECTRIC WIZARD, CHURCH OF MISERY, BLOOD CEREMONY, WITCHCRAFT, GRAVEYARD, REVEREND BIZARRE and many more.
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Original BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler performed live together for the first time in seven years on May 19, 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 headlining appearance next month at the 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 founding drummer Bill Ward and the rest of SABBATH.
In addition to Download, the members of SABBATH will play at Lollapalooza this August in Chicago, their only scheduled U.S. gig. The rest of the scheduled SABBATH tour dates will be played by Ozzy and billed as "Ozzy & Friends".
Ozzy, Iommi and Butler are working on their first new album together in 33 years. Clufetos is a member of Ozzy's solo touring band.