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.
Speaking to Australia's Triple M radio station, Ozzy stated about SABBATH's new CD: "The album is mindblowing, [that's] how good it is. I'm so over the moon about the way the album turned out. We wrote 16 songs … and I put it on my CD player, expecting me to be unhappy with the end result, but this big grin came on my face and my hair on the back on my neck [stood up] … It's better than my wildest dreams; it's so good."
He continued: "People have been quoting me that this album was quite possibly the most important album of my career. What I meant by that is I didn't want it to sound like a follow-up to 'Never Say Die!', 'cause that was when we were dying out within the band."
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").
"Rick Rubin, I'd run into him from time to time over the years, and he goes, 'Any chance of SABBATH reforming, if you do, I would love to produce the album,'" Ozzy said. "And he did such a great job on the album. I know if you're a SABBATH fan, you will not be disappointed. It's so SABBATH-y, it's scary. It's the album we should have made after [1973's] 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath'."
He added: "Believe me, I'm the guy that goes, 'Ah, there's a mistake there.' I look for the mistake. If there's one mistake, I'll find it. But this album is great, perfect. It's very, very heavy, there's no getting away from the fact that it is BLACK SABBATH, and you can hear every instrument and everything clearly. It's so heavy. I'm so excited about it."
"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.
"13" album teaser:
"13" studio footage: