Kirk Hammett has confirmed that Metallica are indeed working on their next album.
HeavyMetalAbout.com asked the guitarist if it's "freeing" for Metallica to be at the point in their career where they don't have to record studio albums.
"Absolutely," he said. "One always wants to work at the pace that they're most comfortable at. It's been about, what, seven or eight years since our last album? It doesn't feel like that to me, but I know it is.
"Our first three albums came out our first three years, and for some reason that boggles my mind nowadays. Back then, it was just what everyone did. New year, new album and tour. Even a generation before that it was every six months a new album and tour. So, having said all that, taking seven or eight years between albums is a lot of time, but we've filled it up with other things, like making a movie, making an album with Lou Reed, going on tour pretty regularly.
"Let me just say that I'm grateful we're at a point where we can put out an album at our own pace, because there's just so much other stuff that takes up Metallica time that's maybe not as equally as important, but just as relevant.
"So, the answer to your question is yeah, it's great being able to work at your own pace, and still be able to be a father and be a husband, and everything else that comes in the wake of that. We have songs, and we are recording them, so that's a good sign."
This comes on the heels of James Hetfield's mid-October admission that "we're recording right now."
Bassist Robert Trujillo told The Pulse Of Radio that Metallica ware enjoying the writing process. "We're having a really amazing time," he said. "It's fun, it's a lot of hard work, it's like you're looking at that mountain of ideas and you're like, 'OK, it's time to climb this beast and do what we've got to do.' I'd say we've pretty much exhausted our touring cycles, so we're really, really excited about nurturing the songs and bringing them to life, and that's where we're at right now."
The new album will be the follow to 2008's Death Magnetic.