Black Sabbath has returned to the studio to record six tracks with Ozzy Osbourne.
The band reunited last November, announcing plans for both a new album and a world tour. They have since performed at the Download Festival in England in June as well as several other shows.
Guitarist Tony Iommi told Blaring Out that the band has "written the 15 songs and we've played them all, but now at the moment we're recording them. We're about six tracks in at the moment."
It's not all good news for Black Sabbath fans: Bill Ward, the bands original drummer, will not be returning to the group. Ward backed out of Sabbath's three reunion shows due to disputes with band members and the lack of "a signable contract."
Ward posted a message on his website explaining his decision to pull out of the gigs.
"I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I'm very, very sorry that it's fallen to this," he wrote. "This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality."
Iommi has been working on the album while taking chemotherapy for lymphoma reports Contactmusic.com. He was saddened by Ward's absence but says the band has moved on.
"We'll always have a heart for Bill, but I think it's gone past that now, because it's gone on so long I don't see that happening at the moment."
The album will be released in April in 2013.