Black Sabbath will begin a world tour this Saturday (April 20) in New Zealand, with North American dates penciled in for late summer and European shows scheduled in the fall.
In a new message on his official web site, Tony Iommi writes: "We're finally out on the road and remembering what jet lag really is this far away from home. First gig is on Saturday. In the meantime, we've been doing some press and had an album-listening party. Seems to be well received, which is great news!"
The members of Black Sabbath took part in a press conference yesterday (Thursday, April 18) at The Langham Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand as they prepared for their two shows this weekend (Saturday, April 20 and Monday, April 22) at The Vector Arena. Sabbath's record company, Universal, invited a select group of music fans to get a first listen to the band's upcoming album, "13", and singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler were also on hand for a brief question-and-answer session after the playback had ended.
The first single from "13", began streaming online Thursday and is expected to arrive at rock radio stations on Friday (April 19). The song, called "God Is Dead?", is nearly nine minutes long and begins with a soft guitar, builds into a slow, doom-laden stomp, then switches halfway through into a more uptempo riff that comes the closest to the sound of the classic early Sabbath albums.
Read more and listen to Auckland press conference audio on Blabbermouth.net
The deluxe version of the new album, "13" will include three bonus tracks: "Methademic" (said to be about the scourge of methamphetamine addiction), "Peace Of Mind" and "Pariah".
"13" is now available for pre-order on iTunes. If you order either the standard or deluxe editions, you will be able to download the first single, "God Is Dead?" immediately.
"13" track listing:
01. End Of The Beginning (8:05)
02. God Is Dead? (8:52)
03. Loner (4:59)
04. Zeitgeist (4:37)
05. Age Of Reason (7:01)
06. Live Forever (4:46)
07. Damaged Soul (7:51)
08. Dear Father (7:20)
Deluxe-edition bonus tracks:
09. Methademic (5:57)
10. Peace Of Mind (3:40)
11. Pariah (5:34)
Total running time (with bonus tracks): 68 minutes, 42 seconds
"13" is due out June 11 on Vertigo/Republic. This marks the band’s return to Vertigo, their original label, and the group's first studio album together since 1978's "Never Say Die!"
Blabbermouth.net, 19 April 2013
Black Sabbath have finally unveiled “God is Dead?”, the first song from their long-awaited reunion.
The rest of the album will arrive on June 11, although the group will debut another track entitled “End of the Beginning” during an appearance on the May 15 season finale of the CBS show ‘CSI.’
If you’re looking for full-gallop Sabbath riffs, the first six minutes of “God is Dead?” will make you wait a bit longer; the focus instead is on drama building. After a brief bit of “sturm und drang,” guitarist Tony Iommi largely provides an atmospheric, chiming background as Osbourne sings of damned sinners and wonders who can be trusted in an era of “corruption and lust.”
Things threaten to boil over each time the chorus hits, and finally at about the six-minute marks everything goes to hell — in the best way possible — as Iommi, Wilk and bassist Geezer Butler whip up an instrumental fury that faithfully recalls the group’s heydey.
Read more on Ultimate Classic Rock
Matthew Wilkening for Ultimate Classic Rock, 18 April 2013
In support of their highly anticipated forthcoming album, ‘13,’ metal legends Black Sabbath are gearing up to hit the road, and have now announced four North American tour dates for 2013.
The album is due out June 11 but the first single ‘God Is Dead?’ will hit radio airwaves this Thursday, April 18. The band will also debut the song ‘End of the Beginning’ in a performance scene on the season finale of ‘CSI’ on May 15.
The first of the newly announced North American dates will be held in New Jersey at PNC Bank Arts Center on August, 4 with stops in Toronto, Washington and Los Angeles also announced. The band also recently announced a late 2013 European tour.
Black Sabbath 2013 North American Tour Dates:
4 — Holmdel, New Jersey — PNC Bank Arts Center
14 — Toronto, Ontario — Air Canada Centre
24 — Seattle, Washington — Gorge Amphitheatre
3 — Los Angeles, California — Los Angeles Sports Arena
Loudwire, 16 April 2013
Photo Phil Wallis
Black Sabbath has revealed the release date for the first single off their new album, “13”. The metal giants will make “God is Dead” available as a digital single on April 19.
The news that “God is Dead” is the first single means that “End of the Beginning” will, contrary to previous speculation, not be the first we hear of the new album. Last week it was announced that “End of the Beginning” will be premiered on the season finale of CSI on May 15. The episode’s plot revolves around a Sabbath concert and features a performance by the band.
Bravewords.com reported the news, and unveiled the artwork for the single. A snippet of the song can be heard in the video that accompanied the artwork for “13”, which will come out on June 11. “God is Dead” was one of eight songs premiered at a special press event last week.
Read more on Ultimate Classic Rock
Dave Lifton for Ultimate Classic Rock, 15 April 2013
Photo by Vertigo Records
According to Birmingham Mail, Rock legends to play NIA after LG Arena Christmas concert sells out.
A ticket- buying frenzy has led to rock legends Black Sabbath adding a second city date to their reunion world tour. The legendary rockers announced a second show after almost all of the 15,000-odd tickets for the December 20 concert were snapped up in a matter of hours. It means their eagerly-awaited tour will still end with a historic homecoming show, but it will now be at the NIA on Sunday, December 22.
Guitarist Tony Iommi, 65, has bravely committed himself to the tour and the recording of a new album despite battling cancer, said: “To be finishing off our European tour dates in Birmingham just before Christmas is great.”
“There’s no place quite like your hometown.”
“No place quite like Birmingham.”
“It’ll be all our Christmasses come together.”
The tour, which starts in New Zealand on Saturday, comes as the group prepare to release “13”, their 19th studio album, in June.
A spokesman for the NEC Group, which manages the LG Arena and the NIA, said: “Tickets have been selling very well with only a limited number left for the LG Arena show. It just goes to show how popular the band still are.”
For tickets to the Birmingham shows, visit theticketfactory.com
Paul Suart for Birmingham Mail, 15 April 2013
Photo Lorraine Parker
Paul Cole of Birmingham Mail writes: “It's 8am, an ungodly hour for any self-respecting rock star. Let alone the godfather of heavy metal, the man who put the black in Sabbath. Tony Iommi should surely be tucked up in bed. He’s 65, for goodness’ sake, and battling cancer. But such is his excitement about a new album and a big Brummie homecoming that the adrenaline is flowing. His features are animated as he talks about his newfound enthusiasm, and his lust for life – lots of it.
After breakfast, he’ll be making his way to the Shangri-La studios in Malibu, where the new Black Sabbath album is taking shape. Then he’ll be packing for the band’s return to the road on a trek that will take him to Australasia, North America and Europe.
“The recording and rehearsals have been going very well indeed,” he says. “There’s a really good feeling about it all. We’re very pleased with the new album. But after all the work in the studio it will be good to get out and do some shows.”
Titled simply 13, and due for release in June, the album is a return to the Sabbath the fans love best. It’s full of bruising guitar rock riffs, including three songs which each clock in at more than seven minutes long. A glance at the titles confirms that we’re back in familiar surroundings – End Of The Beginning, God Is Dead and Epic. End Of The Beginning, the first single, gets an apt premiere in the season finalé of US cop show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Screened in America on May 15, it sees the band performing at a gig as detectives investigate a trail of murders linked to the sins in Dante’s Inferno.
“I have to admit that it’s not what I expected,” says Iommi. “I could never have imagined that the album would turn out so well, but it has. I think it sits comfortably with our first three albums – Black Sabbath, Paranoid and Master Of Reality – and I think it’s one you’ll like. We wanted it to sound like the way we played in our early days, back to basics, and we recorded pretty much all of it almost live as a band. We didn’t want to go through the usual trip of recording the drums, the guitars and the vocals separately. So we played together. We’d also written more songs than we ever have for previous recording sessions. There are 16 tracks in total, and all of them will appear in some form or other on the album when it is released. There will be different versions, including a deluxe edition.”
But how is Sabbath founder Tony Iommi getting on with Ozzy now? Especially as the strong-willed rockers are spending so much time cooped up in the studio?
They’ve had their differences over the years, the wild man of rock and the inventor of heavy metal. For a long time it seemed they only talked through lawyers. There were wrangles surrounding Iommi’s continued use of the Black Sabbath name, eventually leading to the band being renamed Heaven And Hell, after the title of one of Sabbath’s iconic albums. But Tony Iommi says that he never doubted he would one day be recording with Ozzy again.
“The truth is that Ozzy and I have never really fallen out personally,” he says. “When there have been issues, it has been purely business. Even when there has been a problem we’ve carried on talking. There’s never been a bad vibe. Ozzy was the one who kept on at me to go to the doctors because he was concerned about me, and he has been very supportive since I was diagnosed. In fact, all the guys in the band have been great. Even now, when we arrive at the studio they ask how I’m feeling, if I’m up to it, making sure that I’m OK.”
It was early last year that Tony Iommi’s world was turned upside down.
He was diagnosed with lymphoma after bandmate Ozzy pestered him to get a pain in his groin checked out. The guitarist thought it might be a recurrence of a prostate problem, and was stunned when he learned he had cancer.
In an interview with the Sunday Mercury last November he admitted that he lay awake at night, wondering how long he had left to live. “I was gutted,” he says. “I went home thinking - Christ, that’s it, I’ve had it! Cancer meant death to me. I started writing myself off. I would lie awake at night, thinking about selling this, getting rid of that, and preparing everything: who should speak at my funeral and where I’d want to be buried. But I also kept thinking - I’m not ready to go yet. I’ve got too much to do, and I like being here.”
And here the Lapworth rocker most certainly still is, thanks to treatment at the Parkway Hospital in Solihull.
“Please give all the people at Parkway a good plug,” he says. “They’ve been so good to me. I couldn’t be doing this without them. I have to have an antibody administered by drip every six weeks or so to keep the lymphoma in check. It sort of coats the cancer cells, stops it from going anywhere else. I have to come back home no matter where I might be in the world.”
“The tour dates are arranged so that I can always get back for treatment. It’s the only way I can manage my illness and keep on the road. I’d love to play more shows than we’re doing but my health has to be sorted out first. The infusions I have are part of the chemotherapy regime. It’s relatively new treatment and they don’t know what all the side-effects might be yet, but I wanted to try it. After each session I feel sick and tired, and that lasts for a week or so. I’m finding that it takes around 10 days to fully recover from each round of treatment, but if that’s what it takes, I have to accept it.”
“In myself I’m feeling OK now. When I first found that I had the illness, it was a dark time and I was a bit spaced out. Since we’ve been in rehearsals and recording sessions, I’ve felt pretty good – great even. I think that the album and tour have given me something immediate to get my teeth into, something to accomplish.”
“It’s not a case of taking your mind off the lymphoma – you want to be strong about it, but there’s this little doubt in your mind that keeps nagging: what if this pops back – but it is something to get excited about.”
He has, he says, been told there will be around a one-in-three chance of the cancer returning, but also that it is unlikely to be the death of him.
“Medics say that the condition is manageable with treatment. I enjoy where I’m at now, I really do,” he says. “It’s a good place. I’ve got a good home life and a good family, great friends and support. And I’m fortunate because I’m still able to go out and play music.”
That’s what will bring him home again in time for Christmas. The latest set of Sabbath tour dates, announced just a few days ago, includes a huge homecoming at Birmingham’s LG Arena on December 20.
“To be finishing off our European tour dates in Birmingham just before Christmas is great,” he says. “There’s no place quite like your hometown. No place quite like Birmingham. It was at the Academy that we played our first reunion gig and the welcome we got was incredible. Just what the doctor ordered. Now we’re playing at the NEC. It’ll be all our Christmasses come together.”
Tony Iommi, says Ozzy Osbourne, “is the strongest man I’ve ever known.” He shakes his head in admiration, and exclaims: “He really is the Iron Man. Tony’s fine,” says Ozzy, “but he can only go out on the road for six weeks at a time because he has to have infusions or some s**t for his immune system. I was amazed that during his chemotherapy he was still writing songs.
“My heart goes out to him, because when Sharon had cancer a few years back, she was so sick from chemotherapy she could barely get out of bed. It’s like having a football kick to the nuts. The chemotherapy is worse than the cancer. Sharon was like the possessed kid in The Exorcist, having seizures all the time. Tony is doing really well, though.”
While bandmate Ozzy has been telling the world he wants to duet with Adele, Iommi has a legend in mind - “My regret is that I never had chance to work with Frank Sinatra,” he admits, “But I’ll tell you what – I’d love to record something with Tom Jones! He has a fantastic voice and stage presence, even now,” explains Iommi.
“I’ve met him several times over the years, and I went to meet him backstage last time he performed in Birmingham. We got to chatting, and I checked my watch because it was getting closer and closer to his stage time.
“I’d better be going now, - I reluctantly told him – we’d had a great conversation about music, - No way, stick around! - he said, and we carried on talking. He’s a really nice guy and it’s good to see him on The Voice as a judge. I’m not surprised his team won last year.”
Read the whole interview on Birmingham Mail.
Pre order your version of Black Sabbath’s 13 album from Blacksabbath.com
Paul Cole for Birmingham Mail, 14 April 2013
Photo Shane Hirschman
According to Peru's Andina, metal godfathers Black Sabbath will bring their reunion our to South America's Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica in October. Sabbath will play in Lima on October 16 with Megadeth opening.
Black Sabbath’s 2013 world tour already announced shows:
20 - Vector Arena - Auckland, New Zealand
22 - Vector Arena - Auckland, New Zealand
25 - Brisbane Entertainment Centre - Brisbane, Australia
27 - Allphones Arena - Sydney, Australia
29 - Rod Laver Arena - Melbourne, Australia
1 - Rod Laver Arena - Melbourne, Australia
4 - Perth Arena - Perth, Australia
7 - Entertainment Centre - Adelaide, Australia
12 - Ozzfest at Makuhari Messe - Chiba-shi, Chiba, Japan
14 - Air Canada Center - Toronto, ON
16 - tba - Lima, Peru
20 - Hartwall Arena - Helsinki, Finland
22 - Friends Arena - Stockholm, Sweden
24 - Telenor Arena - Oslo, Norway
26 - Forum - Denmark, Copenhagen
28 - Ziggo Dome - Holland, Amsterdam
30 - Westfalenhalle - Dortmund, Germany
2 - Bercy - Paris, France
5 - Fiera Arena - Milan, Italy
7 - 02 Arena - Prague, Czech Republic
10 - 02 Arena - London, UK
12 - Odyssey Arena - Belfast, Ireland
14 - Arena - Sheffield, UK
16 - Hydro - Glasgow, UK
18 - Arena - Manchester, UK
20 - LG Arena - Birmingham, UK
General sitting and standing tickets;
VIP packs: Early Access, Hot Tickets (sitting), Meet And Greet with vocalist Ozzy Osbourne only.
See details and purchase tickets to the shows from Blacksabbath.com
Read more on Bravewords.com
Bravewords & Bloody Knuckles, 14 April 2013
Schweet Entertainment, the production company of Jack Osbourne, son of Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne, has produced a three-and-a-half-minute video, "In Studio With Black Sabbath: Ozzy, Geezer & Tony… Together Again", about the making of the band's new album, "13" — the first in 35 years to feature Ozzy, bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi.
An invite-only listening party for "13" was held on Wednesday (April 10) at The Montalban in Los Angeles, California. Ozzy, Tony and Geezer surprised a crowd of fans and journalists by showing up unannounced at the end of the event. According to The Pulse Of Radio, the three bandmembers were greeted with cheers and thanked the audience for listening to the eight tracks aired at the party, which was introduced earlier in the evening by Jack.
The band will make a rare television appearance when the band performs a new song on the season finale of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". The episode is set to air on Wednesday, May 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS-TV [in USA]. The band will world premiere a song called "End Of The Beginning" from "13". The episode's plot follows the "CSI" team as they investigate a series of murder that resemble the sins in "Dante's Inferno", with the trail leading the detectives played by Ted Danson and Marc Vann to attend a Sabbath concert.
Read more on Blabbermouth.net
Blabbermouth.net, 13 April 2013
Photo Scott Gries / Getty Images
Jack Osbourne, the son of the singer Ozzy Osbourne, has filed a video report for Fuse on the invite-only listening party for the band's new album, "13" — the first in 35 years to feature Ozzy, bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi — which was held on Wednesday (April 10) at The Montalban in Los Angeles, California.
Iommi stated about the writing process for the LP: "I had a bunch of riffs on CDs and played it to everybody, and then everybody decided, 'We like this one' or 'We don't like that,' and the ones we liked, we started work on them, built them up."
Jack also asked Sabbath if they had any apprehensions about working with legendary producer Rick Rubin, who is notorious for being very "in and out" of the studio while records are being made. "It was funny at first, because coming to rehearsals, when we were actually writing the songs, he'd come down for like, five or ten minutes and then go," Iommi said. "Then he'd go, 'Call me when you've got another one.' So it was really strange. We'd never worked with anybody like that before."
Loudwire noted the "bluesy," groove-oriented and heavy feel of the songs, saying, "Upon first listen, it's clear that Black Sabbath's '13' will be a standout metal album of 2013. Fans will hear a lot of what has made the band legends in the first place while experiencing the freshness of some new music."
"13" is due out June 11 on Vertigo/Republic. This marks the band's return to Vertigo, their original label, and the group's first studio album together since 1978's "Never Say Die!" They have sold more than 70 million albums together.
Read more and watch the video on Blabbermouth.com
Blabbermouth.com, 12 April 2013
According to the Birmingham Mail, Black Sabbath mastermind Tony Iommi plans to make an album with Queen guitar hero Brian May.
The Brummie rocker and the London legend met up shortly after Iommi was diagnosed with cancer. And they came up with a revolutionary rock and roll project which may enable fans to record with their idols. Speaking from Los Angeles, where Black Sabbath have been recording their new album “13” and rehearsing for tour dates, Iommi outlined the plans.
“When I was first ill, Brian May came to visit me at my house in Lapworth,” he said. “I played him some of my stuff, rock riffs that I’d never quite got round to developing, or decided not to use. He said I ought to do something with them.
“It’s early days yet, and all my attention in on Sabbath for the foreseeable future, but we may well find some way of working together on them, and making them available in some shape or form. One of the ideas we had is that we could make the riffs available, get fans to use them in songs of their own, and see what they come up with. That way they’d effectively be recording with Brian and myself.”
May elaborates on the idea: “I heard some of the hours of unreleased guitar jams Tony has on tapes and hard drives,” he said. “I thought it would be great to make a compilation out of them. The idea was to put all these riffs out in some form so that people could build their own songs from them. You could make your own music with Tony Iommi on guitar! How great is that!”
Iommi is currently battling lymophoma, and has to return to Solihull’s Parkway Hospital for regular treatment which initially leaves him tired and nauseous, so gigs have been scheduled to allow him recuperation breaks.
“The tour dates are arranged so that I can always get back for treatment,” he said. “It’s the only way I can manage my illness and keep on the road. I’d love to play more shows than we’re doing but my health has to be sorted out first.”
Read more at the Birmingham Mail.
The dates of Black Sabbath’s European tour were announced, and the tickets and new album “13” presale are available from today 12 April 2013 on Blacksabbath.com.
Paul Cole for Birmingham Mail, 12 April 2013
Photo by Oli Scarff / Garth Cattermole, Getty Images