K.K. Downing may have punched his Judas Priest timecard for the last time, but that doesn't mean he's lost his love for metal. Quite the contrary, in fact -- and he's using his official site to not only get the word out about his own current projects, but raise the flag about albums and artists he feels are doing exciting work.

Tops on Downing's list right now? The reunited Black Sabbath, whose upcoming album and tour earned a devil-horned salute in the guitarist's year-end note to fans.

"Wow! Where did that year go? Anyway, I think that you will agree that it was another great festival year and metal has been in full flight once again," wrote Downing. "Please feel free to write in and tell us about your particular highlights and the band that you thought were great and why!"

As for Downing, it's Sabbath that's got him in the Christmas spirit. "It's great to hear that Sabbath are gearing up for something special next year, in addition, I suspect that there will be many other great things that will come to fruition in 2012. But for now, I just want to wish you the best festive season that you have ever had.

"As always, I am indebted to the loyal millworkers for all of their hard work and dedication to me and to metal," he continued, referring to his website, Steel Mill. "And it goes without saying that without you the loyal fans to metal, there would not be a metal world at all! Until we meet again, keep feeding the flames that keep the metal furnaces alive and burning. My love and respect will forever be there for you all! Where ever you may be."

We're eager to hear what Downing is up to in the new year. In the meantime, you can head over to his site to hear samples of his production work from the new album by Hostile -- including 'Addiction,' a Downing song recorded by the band.