Surprise! Black Sabbath On Board For Ozzfest After All

However, original member Bill Ward will not take part — Ozzy drummer Mike Bordin to fill in.

Days after confounding fans with a so-called "special announcement" that fell short of expectations, organizers have confirmed that Black Sabbath will headline Ozzfest 2004.

The timing of the announcement comes as more of a surprise than the news it contained, since, for weeks, assumptions were high that the legendary metal quartet was on board for the trek. Last week, Ozzfest.com promised a big announcement on Friday, though visitors to the site were met with a message about an unsigned-band contest instead of the news that Ozzy Osbourne himself first hinted at in a radio interview in early April (see "It's Still Lack Sabbath For Ozzfest").

The 26-show outing, which begins July 10 in Hartford, Connecticut, marks the fourth time — the first since 2001 — Sabbath will top the Ozzfest bill. Original members Osbourne, Tony Iommi (guitar) and Geezer Butler (bass) will be joined by drummer Mike Bordin, who fills in for founding member Bill Ward. Bordin has previously played with Faith No More and Osbourne's solo band.

Rounding out Ozzfest's 2004 mainstage lineup are a reunited Judas Priest, Slayer, Dimmu Borgir, Superjoint Ritual and Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society. Slipknot will headline the second stage.