Following the disappointing news that the recently reunited Black Sabbath have vowed to continue on without Bill Ward, the drummer has released a statement thanking his fans for support during these trying times. Earlier this week, Ward announced that he would not take part in the classic lineup comeback tour and recording sesions unless he was offered a contract that better reflected his contributions to the band; Sabbath responded Friday by saying they would soldier on without Ward.

Ward's latest open letter to fans, posted yesterday (Deb. 4), read as follows:

Dear Sabbath Fans,

This is Bill. I just wanted to humbly thank you all. Your support from across the world has given me further strength and hope for a positive resolve. I have been moved and overwhelmed by the thousands of messages. I love you all.

Rock forever,

While we can't help but appreciate Ward's sincere showing of thanks, we also can't help but be disappointed by the lack of progress towards a resolution that will get him behind the Sabbath drum kit. It's hard to take sides on this one -- we have no details on the terms of the contract that Ward says doesn't offer him fair monetary compensation -- but when Ward insists his "position is not greed driven,” we tend to believe him. We can't imagine that Ward is holding out for more than an equal share of the money.

Come on Sabbath, get this resolved! If you want us to spend our hard-earned money on a reunion of the classic lineup, it better be the classic lineup that we get to see.