LOS ANGELES Veteran British rock band Black Sabbath announced on Friday they are reuniting in their original four man line-up for their first new album in 33 years and a 2012 world tour.
Singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bass player Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward told a news conference at legendary Sunset Strip club Whisky a Go Go they would perform at the Download Festival in England in June 2012, and then embark on a world tour.
The band, which first got together under the Black Sabbath name in 1969, said they were working on new material for the album for release in the fall of 2012. There is no title as yet but it will be produced by Rick Rubin.
"It's now or never. We are getting along great. Everything's really good," Iommi told reporters at the club where Black Sabbath played their first show in Los Angeles exactly 41 years ago.
"It's like putting on an old glove. It's fantastic," Iommi added.
The four musicians, now all in their 60s, released their last studio album of all original material in 1978 with "Never Say Never."
Rumors of a possible reunion of the English metal band, regarded as one of the pioneers of heavy metal with hits like "Iron Man" and "War Pigs," had been swirling for months.
"It's just time," Osbourne said, noting that the four had tried in the past to work together again. "This time, for some magical reason, we have written about seven or eight songs."
Nothing has been recorded yet and no dates were announced on Friday for the world tour.
The band also announced the launch of its first official website www.blacksabbath.com, and said it would be making its first foray into social media via Facebook and Twitter.
Frontman Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979, leading to a revolving line-up for a number of years. The original foursome reunited for the 1998 release "Reunion" and played again together sporadically for shows in the early 2000s.
Black Sabbath was inducted to the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)