Black Sabbath have been given a “kick up the rump” by Tony Iommi’s cancer diagnosis.

The guitarist with the reformed ‘Iron Man’ group announced he has been diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this month, and the band have relocated from Los Angeles to England so he can be involved in the recording process, and while they are shocked, bassist Geezer Butler said they are continuing to write material.

He wrote on his website yesterday (19.01.12): “Today we got the engines back up and running at Tony’s home studio. Far from being down and depressed about his lymphoma diagnosis, Tony had already written the music for two new songs, and I must say it has given us all a kick up the rump- it’s great to hear him churning out those riffs again, assuaging the Demon C.

“Takes more than that to stop Tony. Can’t wait for you all to hear our workings, it has been great working on this stuff.”

The heavy metal legends have reunited their original line up – completed by singer Ozzy Osbourne, and drummer Bill Ward – and are working on their first album together in 33 years, and still plan to honour their European dates booked for this summer, including a headline slot at Download Festival in June.

Geezer added: “I want to thank the lovely encouraging emails sent to this site giving Tony love and encouragement and great vibes. It really does help, not only Tony, but us as a band- it raises up our spirits and restores our faith in this tarnished world.”