The original lineup of Black Sabbath has reunited and will release a new studio album, the first to feature vocalist Ozzy Osbourne since 1978's 'Never Say Die', next year. The foursome are also currently in rehearsals for a new tour.

Guitarist Tony Iommi confirmed the news to the Birmingham Mail, revealing that he and Osbourne met this past June to write material for a new album, which he says is scheduled for a 2012 release. "I think the stuff we've been writing is really good," he states. "It's more back to the old original stuff."

Fans have been clamoring for a full-fledged Sabbath reunion ever since Osbourne was fired in 1979. The band -- Osbourne, Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward -- did get together in 2007 to headline Ozzfest, and mounted several other tours after that, even recording a pair of new songs for 1998's 'Reunion' live album.

But Ozzy soon returned to his ultra-successful solo career, then Iommi and Butler formed Heaven & Hell with Ronnie James Dio, the first singer to replace Ozzy in Sabbath.  The band released an excellent studio album, 'The Devil You Know,' and had much success on tour, but Dio's death in 2010 once again left Iommi and Butler without a frontman.

Well, they seem to have found the best possible man for the job now, and Iommi reports the hardest part was keeping Ozzy quiet as the secret plans formed: "It's all been very hush-hush. Ozzy's been the worst at trying to hold it back... he told me 'I don't know what to say.'"