Black Sabbath, the original metal band, has returned and with super-producer Rick Rubin at the helm, they are about halfway through writing the new album which Ozzy Osbourne convincingly urged is "really good."

With all the members now in their early 60's, Black Sabbath have decided to re-form to record a new album with producer Rick Rubin. The announcement came at 11:11AM during a special press conference the band held yesterday in observance of both National Metal Day (11/11/11) and the 41st anniversary of Sabbath's Los Angeles debut at the Whiskey A Go-Go -- where the conference took place.

The band addressed their previous attempt to record during the short-lived 1997 reunion, saying that the material they produced was "not up to their standards" -- only two of those recordings were released ('Psycho Man' and 'Selling My Soul'). Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward all seemed excited about the reunion and the fact that they can all be in a room making music again.

Rick Rubin, who also attended the press conference, said that they were about halfway through the writing process and hoped to begin recording by the beginning of 2012. Ozzy seemed impressed with the quality of the new songs, calling them "really good" and emphasizing that he was "not just saying that" -- he meant it.

In addition to new recordings, Sabbath also unveiled their intentions for a 2012 tour as well. The only announced show is their headlining gig at the Download Festival in England June 8-10. If the band releases a new album it will be there first since 1978's 'Never Say Die.'