Black Sabbath is back.
Forty-three years after the rock band released its self-titled debut comes "13," a collection of new songs by three of the four original members -- singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler. It marks the first new album with that lineup since 1978's "Never Say Die!" Drummer Brad Wilk, formerly of Rage Against the Machine, joins the 2013 lineup, replacing drummer Bill Ward, who's had a fallout with the rest of the band members.
Osbourne told Reuters, "I never thought we'd still be going strong in 2013. But it's great to be back together again."
The set, which was produced by seven-time Grammy award-winning producer Rick Rubin, has been getting solid reviews. Rolling Stone gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars describing it as "a reunion set with three-quarters of the original band -- that revisits, and to an extent recaptures, the crushing, awesomely doomy spectacle of their first few records."
The New York Daily News gave "13" 4 out 5 stars, noting, "It's not every song about death and destruction that can produce a warm sigh in listeners. But the moment fans hear the opening track on Black Sabbath's first album with their original crypt keeper Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years, they won't be able to squelch a nostalgic smile."
Black Sabbath will soon launch a 20-city North American concert tour in support of "13." The outing gets under way July 25 in Houston and continues through the beginning of September, with dates planned for a world tour.
On touring, Osbourne said, "It's all right until I have voice troubles and it takes me a couple of gigs to get over the fact that I've been the leader of my own band for 35 years or so and that I have to step back and be a band member. It's just getting used to it and it has worked out great in the end."