Ward praises 'phenomenal' Benante

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Bill Ward has hailed Anthrax’s Charlie Benante as one of the most important drummers in the history of metal.

The estranged Black Sabbath sticksman turned the spotlight on Benante on his Rock 50 radio show, praising him for his bass pedal technique and how he paces himself on stage.

Ward says: “Those of you who have watched Charlie play, his bass drum work is phenomenal. He hits hard. He gets in the ring, he fights.

“I can appreciate when he talks about, ‘Don’t use up all your gas in the first song.’ You’ve gotta take your time, you’ve gotta breath. He likes to pace himself.

“Anthrax – a great metal band with a great metal drummer. Versatile, original, passionate. Very important to metal. You can hear the passion, you can hear the strength. It’s a quality, an attribute of a human being.”

Benante is currently in the studio with Anthrax, working on their upcoming 11th album.

Ward walked away from Sabbath’s 2012 reunion in a dispute over contracts. Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk played drums on the album 13. Last year, Ozzy Osbourne said he hoped Ward would return in 2015 for a final album and tour, but added that the decision was ultimately down to his wife, Sharon.