It seems rumors of Black Sabbath's imminent reunion have been greatly exaggerated. In a statement issued today, guitarist Tony Iommi lambasted the Birmingham Mail for reporting that the seminal Ozzy Osbourne-fronted heavy metal group had announced official plans to reform and record a new album.

"I'm saddened that a Birmingham journalist whom I trusted has chosen this point in time to take a conversation we had back in June and make it sound like we spoke yesterday about a Black Sabbath reunion," Iommi writes, adding that he and the reporter were merely "shooting the breeze."

"Thanks to the Internet it's now gone round the world as some sort of 'official' statement on my part; absolute nonsense," he adds. "I hope he's enjoyed his moment of glory, he won't have another at my expense."

The original Sabbath lineup hasn't toured since 2005, and should the band -- rounded out by bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward -- release a new album, it would be the foursome's first since 1978.

But fans of the legendarily dark, gloomy band shouldn't feel too dark and gloomy. Earlier this year, in an interview with the QMI Agency, Osbourne left open the possibility of new Sabbath material.

"I would love to do a great album with Black Sabbath," the Prince of Darkness said. "I would love to get the credit we so roundly deserve. At the same time, the pressure would be really intense. I could go tomorrow and make an album with them, but it wouldn't necessarily be something I would be proud of."

Watch a video montage from Black Sabbath

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