made a career of staring death in the face, both figuratively and literally, not only singing about coming oblivion but also flirting with it as the band broke-up, broke-down, reconnected and disintegrated a hundred some-odd times. Nobody fooled themselves into thinking that the band's 2011 reunion would last forever, if for no other reason than the fact that guitarist Tony Iommi was battling lymphoma (and the fact that the average age of the band's members was 65). It's just, well, after a really great tour and a middling-but-promising album everyone probably wanted to believe otherwise. Something about the band seemed immortal; maybe, most people rationalized, they really had sold their souls for rock'n'roll (and attendant immortality).
Well, that rumor's been quashed, as Ozzy Osbourne has just gone on record as saying that the new album, which they'll begin working on in early 2015 with producer Jay Rubin, will be the their absolute last; they'll promote it with a tour, but after that, never again. Now, again, Sabbath's made similar "final" announcements in the past, but with lommi battling cancer and the rest of the crew pushing into their golden years, the chances that this is it, that this is the real end, seems more than possible, it seems probable. No use getting upset yet: we've still got a tour and a record before we say goodbye!