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Metallica in the process of recording 10th studio album right now

James Hetfield, the frontman for Metallica, has some good news for fans: the follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic is actually on its way. We’re not sure when it’s coming, but the legendary hard rockers from Los Angeles are definitely in the recording process. While speaking with a guitar publication, Hetfield let the news slip while talking about the ESP guitars he uses.

“I tell ya, we’re recording right now, and there’s the number one guitar, there’s the number two guitar, there’s the number three,” he said to EMGpickupsTV (via Entertainment Weekly).  And the third-track guitars that just sound different. They all sound different.”

The news from Hetfield confirms remarks from lead guitarist Kirk Hammett earlier this year that the band would be in the studio over the summer. “We have well over a dozen songs and we still have well over two or three hundred riffs, too, so it’s hard to say at what point we actually are in in the project,” said the guitarist to Billboard. “I don’t think we hit the middle point yet. I would say we’re at the 25 percent point, maybe 30 percent point.”

Since their debut in 1981, Metallica has recorded ten albums — including five that hit number 1 on the charts — and sold more than 110 million records globally. While they have recorded hit singles (1989’s One and 1991’s Enter Sandman), they’re best known for bringing heavy metal to the masses through explosive records like Master of Puppets and St. Anger. They’ve been hinting at their 10th album for years, but it’s now been seven years without a new release.

We’re not sure what to expect for the new, as-of-yet untitled record, but in 2013 Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich mentioned to Classic Rock magazine that the new material sounded like the thrash metal of Death Magnetic. What we’re doing now certainly sounds like a continuation,” said Ulrich. And, at that point, they were unsure they would work with  Rick Rubin — who produced Death Magnetic — on the upcoming record.