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Vinny Appice departs Kill Devil Hill prior to Australian tour

March 11th, 2014 4:10am EDT
Black Sabbath
Legendary rock drummer Vinny Appice has parted ways with his bandmates in Kill Devil Hill.

The former Black Sabbath and Dio star has been replaced with Type O Negative and Danzig drummer Johnny Kelly.

The newcomer says, "I'm really excited about coming on board with Kill Devil Hill. I've been a fan since their debut and have known the guys for a long time. It's also clear that I have some really big shoes to fill. I'm ready for that challenge."

Kelly will make his debut for the band at upcoming U.S. shows next month (Apr14), before the group heads to Australia for a tour with Killswitch ...

Paul McCartney a big winner at Ultimate Classic Rock Awards

February 12th, 2014 3:00am EST
Black Sabbath
Sir Paul McCartney was the toast of the 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards on Tuesday (11Feb14) after picking up Artist of the Year and Album of the Year honours.

The former Beatles star picked up 64 per cent of the online vote to triumph in the Artist of the Year category, ahead of David Bowie and the reunited Black Sabbath.

He also beat Black Sabbath into second place in the Album of the Year vote - his 2013 album New edged out the heavy rockers' comeback release 13.

McCartney also finished in second place behind Canadian rockers Rush in both the Best Tour and Best Song category - his Q...

2014 Grammy Awards Reactions: The Triumphs And Fails

January 28th, 2014 10:30am EST
2014 Grammy Awards Reactions: The Triumphs And Fails
Another year and another Grammys ceremony has come and passed. As always, there were moments that thrilled while others made me curse under my breath. Luckily, as a music journalist, this guy has learned how to think like the Recording Academy, hence the accuracy of many of my picks this year. Still, even being correct, you have to wonder what the Academy is thinking sometimes. Yes, I’m specifically referencing the fact that Kendrick Lamar was shut out – ridiculous! But here goes nothing examining the awards given.

The Big Four: Record, Album and Song of the Year & Best New Artist

Record ...

Black Sabbath release first eight albums as digital downloads

January 14th, 2014 8:30pm EST
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath are cashing in on their reunion success by releasing their first eight albums as digital downloads.

The heavy rockers reformed in 2012 and hit number one around the world with their comeback album 13 last year (13), and now Ozzy Osbourne and his band are hoping to find digital success on with their 1970s releases.

Albums like Paranoid, Master Of Reality and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath have been mastered specifically for iTunes.

Osbourne says, "It's about f**king time the first eight Black Sabbath albums were made available on iTunes."

Bandmate Tony Iommi adds, "It's ...

Black Sabbath to launch new Converse footwear collection

January 7th, 2014 3:10am EST
Black Sabbath
Fans of the reunited Black Sabbath can now wear their heroes on their feet thanks to a new deal with Converse.

The heavy rockers have partnered with the footwear giants to create a new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Black Sabbath sneaker collection.

The five new styles, inspired by the band's album titles including Paranoid and Never Say Die!, will launch this spring (14).

The designs in the collection will feature special detailing such as stitched Black Sabbath logos and graphic lining.

Black Sabbath stars doubtful about follow-up to 13

January 2nd, 2014 3:10am EST
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath rockers Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi have warned fans not to expect another new album from the heavy metal stars, because the success of their recent comeback release makes for a perfect "final chapter".

Ozzy Osbourne's reunited group scored its first U.S. number one in June (13), when 13 raced to the top of the charts. The album also hit the top of global countdowns, and it recently topped rock bible Revolver's Best Albums of 2013 poll.

But, although frontman Osbourne has revealed he is "open" to recording more new material with his bandmates, bassist Butler and guitarist I...

The 51 Best Albums Of 2013 - What Made Your List?

December 30th, 2013 6:00pm EST
Daft Punk
Ranking the very best albums of any year is incredibly difficult; there are always misses. 2013 was filled with some triumphant musical moments, though not all of their parent albums were necessarily ‘worthy’ of being considered the best of the year. Because of various factors, this list has its surprises and like any album reviewed, its triumphs and flaws. One thing’s for sure – the top ten to fifteen albums are pretty close to the cream of the crop from my perspective. Here are the 50 (+1) best albums of 2013!

1) Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

The Ivy Leaguers outdo th...

Ozzy Osbourne: 'Musicians and politicians should not mix'

December 20th, 2013 3:20am EST
Ozzy Osbourne
Rocker Ozzy Osbourne has taken aim at his fellow musicians in the wake of Nelson Mandela's death for using the civil rights leader's death to boost their image.

When the former South African president passed away earlier this month (Dec13), celebrities and global leaders alike took to to mourn the icon.

And while the Black Sabbath frontman has nothing but respect for Mandela, he is adamant that there should be a line drawn between the worlds of entertainment and politics.

He tells NME, "I don't touch politics. I leave that to (U2's) Bono. He won't be happy, now that his best ...

Ozzy Osbourne's bandmates were unaware of his relapse

December 16th, 2013 3:10am EST
Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne's Black Sabbath bandmates were left in shock after learning he had relapsed last year (12), because they were completely unaware of any problems with his sobriety.

The rocker has famously battled alcohol and substance abuse issues throughout his life, but he appeared to beat his demons for good following a stint in rehab in 2003.

However, in April (13), the Grammy winner took to his blog and revealed he had suffered a setback in 2012, and now his bandmates, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, have admitted the candid confession caught them off-guard,...

Five Music Takeaways from 2013

December 15th, 2013 1:00pm EST
The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2
Ah, there is always plenty to write about the music industry and the number of trends that come and go, as well as those remaining constant.  2013 was another interesting year, whether merely for its pleasant surprises or its disappointments.  Many observations will and can be made of the year musically and pop-culturally in regards to its artists.  While my inner musical nerdy side wishes that I could nitpick and analyze every facet microscopically, I’ll rely on a Childish Gambino rhyme to express why that’s not possible: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” What I do have time for is to shar...

Thoughts On The 56th Annual Grammy Nominations

December 9th, 2013 8:50pm EST
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The Grammys are like a musician’s Super Bowl, even if the nominations and victorious artists are flawed.  I won’t lie to you, I complain every year that someone won a Grammy that didn’t deserve it while someone else was snubbed. Just last year, during the 55th Annual Grammys, I lobbied hard for Frank Ocean (looking back, I have reservations now) while Mumford & Sons walked out with the Album of the Year trophy.  The year that Taylor Swift won for Fearless, my girl Beyoncé was on a roll until the coveted Album of the Year award was read.  You get my position though! This year,  I find myself...

Ozzy Osbourne demands curry in Italian restaurant

November 25th, 2013 9:20pm EST
Ozzy Osbourne demanded to be served a curry despite dining in an Italian restaurant.

The Black Sabbath rocker was with his wife, Sharon, and other friends at London's upmarket C branch of the Cipriani restaurant chain, but wasn't keen on their fancy European menu, so repeatedly asked for his favorite Indian preparation until the restaurant obliged and dispatched a waiter to pick up a takeaway.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Ozzy was completely unfazed by the situation, and insisted he was in the mood for a curry.

"Sharon and [friend] Louis Walsh kept telling him he should jus...

Geezer Butler wrote Iommi death tune after cancer diagnosis

November 21st, 2013 8:30pm EST
Geezer Butler
Black Sabbath star Geezer Butler has revealed he wrote a macabre tribute song to bandmate Tony Iommi after the guitarist was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of 2012.

Iommi has been battling lymphoma throughout the heavy rock group's reunion and when bassist Butler, who writes the bulk of the band's songs, learned of his health crisis he felt inspired to get his thoughts and feelings out in lyrics for a track he tentatively titled Hanging by a Thread.

He tells Revolver magazine, "It (song) was very much about dying, about giving your last breath and passing your spirit on."

But the...

Ozzy Osbourne Says He Can't Believe Black Sabbath's 'Remarkable' Success

November 15th, 2013 4:20pm EST
Ozzy Osbourne
Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne says he struggles to believe Black Sabbath's lengthy success story.

The 64-year-old singer has been blown away by the response to the group's reunion in 2012 and their new album this year 13, the first studio LP to feature Ozzy on vocals since 1978's Never Say Die!, which topped the album charts in eight countries.

Ozzy, who is joined in the band by guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, admits he thought the group probably had just a few years ahead of them when they formed in 1968 and is astounded that 45 years on people are still so passionate ...

Black Sabbath triple winners at Classic Rock Roll Of Honour awards

November 14th, 2013 8:40pm EST
Black Sabbath
Reunited rockers Black Sabbath were triple winners at the Classic Rock Roll Of Honour awards in London on Thursday night (14Nov13), but terminally ill Wilko Johnson was the event's hero.

The 66-year-old former Dr. Feelgood guitarist, who was told by doctors that he would not live past October (13) after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year (13), took to the stage to collect the night's Innovator Award and joked, "I'm supposed to be dead now."

The rocker, who hopes to have time to record one more album with The Who star Roger Daltrey, told the audience at the ceremony ...

The Prevalence Of Atheism/Religious Skepticism In Rock Music In 2013

November 7th, 2013 10:47pm EST
Black Sabbath: 13
Let me first state that I have no agenda with this feature, none in the least. My goal is to present some examples of atheism within popular music in 2013. Why? Because it is interesting how artists include their various beliefs and philosophies within their music. It is even more interesting in some cases where references to atheism and religious skepticism aren’t necessarily overt in the forefront. Again, there is no Christian, agnostic, or atheistic agenda. None. NADA! Now with that off my chest and “all minds and hearts clear…”

Atheism (and agnosticism as well) in popular music, partic...

Black Sabbath star Bill Ward undergoes surgery

October 14th, 2013 8:30pm EDT
Black Sabbath
Former Black Sabbath rocker Bill Ward is recovering after undergoing surgery to repair a perforation in the wall of his intestine.

The drummer, who refused to be part of the current band reunion, is expected to make a full recovery following the procedure in California, but he has cancelled an upcoming art show in Maryland on 26 October (13).

A statement from the rock star reads: "I am truly sorry that I have to postpone the Absence Of Corners gallery reception.

"The feedback I have received from everyone about this project has been astounding, and I was so looking forward to this event....

Ozzy Osbourne Angers Fans With Brazilian Flag

October 13th, 2013 2:21pm EDT
Ozzy Osbourne
Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne enraged fans while performing in Argentina by waving a Brazilian flag on stage.

The band was close to finishing its set in La Plata on Sunday when a cheeky fan threw the flag of the neighbouring nation on stage.

Sections of the audience reportedly booed in disapproval when Osbourne picked it up and waved it to the crowd before wrapping it around him.

2013 Album Playlist: Favorites, Least Favorites, and Honorable Mentions - Part 1

October 11th, 2013 9:15pm EDT
The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2
As I look over my 2013 playlist from my iPod, I realize I have listened to numerous albums this year.  In fact, the amount of music that my ears have consumed and my pen has analyzed is pretty scary…and I still missed lots of albums! SMH! Some were special, some made me cringe, and some fell somewhere in between the two extremes.  As difficult as it was, as of October 7, 2013, I have compiled a list housing my favorites, least favorites, and honorable mentions.  I’m almost certain I’ve slighted someone and I’m sure there will be continual revisions, but for now, here’s what you should’ve sp...

Ozzy Osbourne in awe of Taylor Swift after random meeting

October 1st, 2013 8:40pm EDT
Taylor Swift
Heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne has joined the celebrity Taylor Swift fan club after becoming captivated by her beauty and talent during a run-in in Los Angeles over the weekend (28-29Sep13).

The Black Sabbath frontman was shopping with his wife Sharon on Sunday (29Sep13) when they bumped into the 23-year-old country superstar and struck up a conversation.

Sharon reveals it was Ozzy's first time meeting Swift and he was instantly enamoured with her, even comparing the singer to legendary Hollywood stars Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.

Explaining the meeting on her U.S. daytime show The Ta...

Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi: 'We Turned Down Ginger Baker Idea'

August 29th, 2013 10:29pm EDT
Tony Iommi
Heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath ruled out recording a new album with legendary drummer Ginger Baker because they didn't want to have to deal with "problems" the unconventional former Cream member would bring with him.

Producer Rick Rubin suggested Baker as a replacement for Bill Ward after contractual issues prompted the band's original drummer to walk away from reunion plans, but guitarist Tony Iommi admits he and his band mates were not convinced the veteran rocker would be a good fit.

Iommi tells WWeek, "We put a stop on... We didn't want to go into the studio and have problems." ...

Black Sabbath Lead Classic Rock Roll Of Honour Awards

August 9th, 2013 2:52pm EDT
Black Sabbath
Legendary rockers Black Sabbath look set to dominate the Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards after landing a slew of top nominations and a career achievement prize.

Ozzy Osbourne's band will be feted with the Living Legend award, which the singer previously won as a solo artist in 2008, while their chart-topping record 13 will compete in the Album of the Year category.

They have also been nominated for the Band of the Year honour and Event of the Year for scoring such a huge hit with 13.

The record will go up against tough competition from 11 others in the Album of the Year category, incl...

Ozzy Osbourne: Black Sabbath drummer was 'too overweight' to reunite

August 6th, 2013 9:16pm EDT
Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne says Black Sabbath's original drummer is "too overweight" to play their reunion tour.
The 'God Is Dead?' singer claims Bill Ward's health was a concern when they thought about him returning for their grueling comeback tour in support of comeback album '13'.
Ozzy told the New York Daily News: "I don't think he could have done the gig, to be honest. He's incredibly overweight, a drummer has to be in shape. He's already had two heart attacks. I don't want to be responsible for his life."
The 64-year-old's comments come after he had previously questioned the drummer ability to pla...

Ozzy Osbourne: 'I don't want to be responsible for former drummer's life'

August 5th, 2013 8:40pm EDT
Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne has reignited his feud with former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward by suggesting the old rocker is out of shape.

Ward pulled out of Black Sabbath reunion plans last year (12) following a contract dispute and the band's frontman has taken aim at him in occasional rants ever since.

Earlier this year (13), Ozzy suggested Ward lacked the skill required to keep up with the heavy rock and now he's picking on him again.

Prior to a recent New Jersey show, where the three existing members of the group performed with semi-permanent drummer Tommy Clufetos, Osbourne told the New York D...

Black Sabbath star Bill Ward to release art collection online

July 24th, 2013 3:10am EDT
Black Sabbath
Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has created a new art collection by using drumsticks as paint brushes.

His Absence Of Corners creations, which will be released on his website on 1 August (13), used a sophisticated formula to create the visuals, combining rhythmic accessories as brush strokes.

His drumming patterns have been developed into abstract artwork that showcases a dimension not normally seen by the human eye by boffins at Los Angeles-based SceneFour.

Ward explains, "When I'm working on new ideas, musically much of what's played is guided by a visual app...

Ozzy Osbourne was disgusted by magazine cover featuring John Lennon's killer

July 22nd, 2013 8:40pm EDT
John Lennon
Ozzy Osbourne once fired off a letter of complaint to editors at America's People magazine after they turned John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, into a cover star.

The Black Sabbath star's wife, Sharon, reveals her husband was just as disgusted by the controversial decision in the 1980s as others have been by Rolling Stone bosses' latest issue, which features an image of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Comparing the two cases on her U.S. daytime show The Talk on Monday (22Jul13), Sharon Osbourne said, "They (Rolling Stone editors) could have done so many other thi...

Kelly Osbourne engaged

July 15th, 2013 12:00am EDT
Kelly Osbourne
Kelly Osbourne has confirmed she and long-term boyfriend Matthew Mosshart are engaged.

The pop star-turned-TV personality has revealed the vegan pastry chef got down on one knee during a recent vacation in the Caribbean and asked Osbourne to be his bride.

Showing off her glittering engagement ring in a recent Hello! magazine photoshoot, Osbourne gushed, "I've never felt this close to another human being, ever. People say we're co-dependent but we just want to be together all the time."

The 28-year-old daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne also revealed that her engagement ring holds particul...

Ozzy Osbourne Wants Bill Ward Back For Next Black Sabbath Album

June 22nd, 2013 2:46pm EDT
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath are planning to record and release another album following the success of 13, which has topped the charts around the world - and they are hoping former drummer Bill Ward will join them in the studio.

Last year, Ward pulled out of the get together citing contractual issues, and he was replaced by Rage Against the Machine star Brad Wilk.

Now, his former bandmates are enthusiastic for him to reconsider his decision not to be a part of the reunion, and despite confessing fears Ward might struggle as Sabbath's drummer, frontman Ozzy Osbourne admits he would welcome his old pal ...

Black Sabbath's comeback honoured at Golden Gods prizegiving

June 17th, 2013 8:40pm EDT
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath were the toast of the heavy rock crowd on Monday (17Jun13) when they won two top trophies at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods prizegiving.

The heavy rockers' long-awaited comeback project, 13, was named Best Album, just a day after it shot to number one in the band's native U.K. on Sunday (16Jun13).

The reunited supergroup also picked up the Best U.K. Band title.

Other big winners at the prizegiving in London included Motorhead, who took home The Golden God trophy, while Alice In Chains were the recipients of the Icon Award.

The winners are decided by the editors of Britain's ...

Black Sabbath Lands First No.1 Album Since 1970 Classic "Paranoid"

June 17th, 2013 2:28pm EDT
Black Sabbath
Hard rockers Black Sabbath have returned the top of the UK Album Chart for the first time in over four decades with their highly anticipated comeback album, "13."

The Ozzy Osbourne-fronted band hit No. 1 with the new album this week, setting a record for the longest gap between number-one albums. Sabbath last reached the top spot back in 1970 with their classic "Paranoid."

"I'm in shock! The success of this album has blown me off my feet," Ozzy said after hearing the news.

The previous record was held by Bob Dylan, whose 1970 album "New Morning" and 2009 disc "Together Through Life" had ...

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