Black Sabbath sounds determined to keep recording its next album without drummer Bill Ward — in fact, they may have already lined up his replacement. But disappointed fans who had been looking forward to a full reunion of the band’s original lineup aren’t taking the news lying down.

As of this writing, more than 8,000 people have joined the Facebook group ‘1,000,000 Black Sabbath Fans Say Yes To Bill Ward,’ lending public support to the drummer following his ouster over complaints regarding his reunion contract. As one Facebook post put it, “Bill Ward is not able to be substituted for… It is like a Zep record without (John) Bonham.”

Of course, Ward has left the band on multiple occasions in the past — and Sabbath has a long tradition of replacing almost all of its members at various points, including Ozzy Osbourne. But now that they’ve effectively been denied the reunion they were promised, a number of fans are understandably frustrated.

That hasn’t stopped the remaining Sabbath members from moving on without Ward; in fact, they’ve reportedly found his replacement in Osbourne’s drummer, Tommy Clufetos. This is just a rumor for now — and as the band put it in their announcement following Ward’s ouster, “our door is always open” — but it doesn’t look like either side is willing to back down in this argument.

What do you think? Will Ward’s removal keep you from seeing Sabbath on their 2012 tour, or buying the new album once it’s released?