Black Sabbath announce farewell concert

The legendary heavy metal band’s final live performance will be at Ozzfest in Tokyo, and an invite to drummer Bill Ward is pending

Black Sabbath File Photos
Black Sabbath in the 1970s … Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne. Photograph: Chris Walter/WireImage

Black Sabbath have announced one final show before the band bid farewell for good. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler will headline Ozzfest Japanon 22 November – while an invite to Bill Ward, the band’s original drummer, is still pending.

The legendary metal group began their reunion in 2012 with the aim to tour the world following the release of their album, 13. Some of the tour dates were scrapped after Iommi was diagnosed with cancer, although they were later able to appear at festivals such as Lollapalooza and Download before headlining a series of dates.

During these recent dates, Ward has not been present, owing to what appears to be a number of contractual and personal “failures”.

“I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this,” Ward said on his website in 2012. “I [can’t] help feeling some resentment towards the failure to reach an agreement, the failure to remember where we came from, the failure to be as brothers, as we once were. To be clear, I’m not blaming the other guys or finding any faults with them. I would think it can’t be easy for them either, but this situation is just really sad.”

Osbourne has since made clear his desire for Ward to rejoin the group, and said that this final leg of performances would be a “great way for the four of us to end such a wonderful experience of being Black Sabbath, and what we achieved”.

Nonetheless, the rest of the group will hold their final performance at Makuhari Messe, a venue near Tokyo, and will be joined by metal group Korn. Ozzfest Japan is part of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne’s global festival franchise, which takes place annually.

In addition to their live show, Black Sabbath are said to be working on one last album with producer Rick Rubin. Speaking to Metal Hammer in 2014, Osbourne said there was a certain element of pressure regarding the band’s age: “I said, ‘Sharon [his wife and manager], I ain’t fucking 21 anymore. If we’re going to do [it], I want to do it before I’m 70. Time isn’t on our side.’ So she made the call and came back and said, ‘Yeah, the record company wants another album.’ I believe Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again.”

See the rest of the article on the Guardian Website here

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