Black Sabbath Plans Farewell Shows, Again

Heavy metal godfathers Black Sabbath have set the stage for their swan song... no, this time they mean it.

After planning two farewell shows for London in mid-August, Sabbath scrapped the dates in favor of a brief U.S. trek with Godsmack and Drain STH following Sabbath's headlining stint on this summer's Ozzfest tour (see "Black Sabbath Postpones Farewell, Adds Dates With Godsmack, Drain STH"). With the end of that U.S. run looming next week, Sabbath has now put together a European tour that will conclude with two shows in the band's hometown of Birmingham, England.

The two shows, set for the NEC on December 21 and 22, will mark the end of frontman Ozzy Osbourne's first tour with his original Sab-mates in 20 years. Fittingly, the farewell shows will be staged in the same venue where Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward played the reunion gig that started it all in December 1997 (a show

that's documented on the band's 1998 "Reunion" live album).

Between the U.S. leg and the European trek (which kicks off on December 8), Ozzy is expected to continue work on a new solo album that should surface next spring. The reigning lord of hard rock is once again recording with guitarist Joe Holmes, bassist Robert Trujillo, and drummer Michael Bordin on the album.