By Mikael Wood
8:34 AM PST, January 13, 2013
The Iron Men are back.
Following a tumultuous year in which guitarist Tony Iommi was treated for lymphoma and drummer Bill Ward quit due to a contract dispute, Black Sabbath announced Saturday that it's set to release a new studio album in June. Titled "13," it will be the legendary English heavy-metal band's first disc with frontman Ozzy Osbourne since "Never Say Die!" in 1978.
Osbourne, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler -- who along with Ward formed Black Sabbath in Birmingham in 1969 -- recorded the set primarily in Los Angeles with producer Rick Rubin, best known for his collaborations with Johnny Cash, Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine played drums in the studio, according to a statement.
Black Sabbath's founding members first revealed they were at work on a new album in late 2011 during an event at L.A.'s Whisky A Go Go.
"It's now or never for us," Iommi said then. "We're getting along great."
Yet last May, Ward pulled out of the reunion after accusing his bandmates in a statement of failing to present him with "a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band."
Black Sabbath played three concerts in 2012 -- including a headlining slot at Lollapalooza -- with Osbourne's drummer Tommy Clufetos. The band is scheduled to perform in Australia, New Zealand and Japan prior to the new album's release.
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