Nov. 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM ET
All you kids who only know Ozzy Osbourne as a doddering potty-mouthed dad on reality TV, your world is about to get rocked.
The original line-up of veteran British rock band Black Sabbath -- guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Terence "Geezer" Butler, drummer Bill Ward and iconic vocalist Ozzy Osbourne -– has just announced a resumption of duties. The metal blogosphere has been excitedly stoking the rumor mill about this for some time, but the band put its official stamp on it this morning.
For the devout hard rock and heavy metal communities, this is somewhat akin to the announcement of the second coming.
Rivaled only by their fellow countrymen Led Zeppelin as the primary architects of heavy metal, Black Sabbath's doomy aesthetic, working class roots and relentlessly weighty sonic arsenal made all other contenders sound like dilettantes. Sabbath set the heavy metal template and forged a formula that has thrilled teens and panicked parents ever since.
The past wasn't problem-free, of course. After years of diminishing sales and increasingly reckless behavior by Ozzy, Sabbath ditched their frontman in 1979, replacing him with Ronnie James Dio. With Dio, Sabbath found their second wind and enjoyed a further wave of success. Ozzy, meanwhile, with the aid of his ferociously tenacious wife Sharon, pursued an unlikely solo career that vaulted him to superstardom.
This isn't the first time the boys have reconvened. They reunited for a frenetic appearance at Live Aid in 1985 and again in the late 90's for a reunion tour that yielded a live album (aptly titled "Reunion") that even included two new studio tracks. Further touring ensued into the next decade, but plans to record a new album ended up falling through, prompting Ozzy to resume his solo career and find his fortune on reality TV.
Iommi and Butler, meanwhile, hooked back up with Ronnie James Dio to tour and record under the name Heaven and Hell (after Sharon unleashed her lawyers over the rights to the name Black Sabbath). Shortly after Dio passed away from stomach cancer in May of 2010 at the age of 67, rumors began of a possible reunion of the original line-up.
What makes this reunion of the original four members more significant is the promise of a full new album of material from the band produced by Rick Rubin. The band will headline the Download Festival in Donington Park in Castle Donington, England and a worldwide tour will follow.
But these many years after their heady, hedonistic and heresy-happy heyday, will the reunited Black Sabbath be capable of recapturing the original hellfire? Hang on to your horns.
Are you excited about the Black Sabbath reunion? Tell us in the comments.