As has been well documented over the years, Metallica take a little longer than a majority of bands in completing records partly due to the wealth of material they have backlogged and their pursuit of making the best album possible. Add in a variety of outside projects, and Metallica fans have waited quite a while for new music, which has only increased the anxiousness for new music.

In a new interview with Billboard, guitarist Kirk Hammett offers an update that will at least help fans quantify where the group is at in the process. He explained, "I don't think we hit the middle point yet. I would say we're at the 25 percent point, maybe 30 percent point. It's hard to say, but I mean we are working on it and there are songs and we're making plans to write more songs and record."

The guitarist reiterated a recent comment on the album creation process, revealing that the group has "a lot of good songs," but they are "ever-changing at this point. Nothing is etched in stone. We still have a lot of material to sift through, still. 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."

Continuing on about the process, he added, "Whenever we go into the studio it becomes such a huge sort of thing in our lives that it does take on monstrous proportions. It takes up a lot of space in our lives. Yes, you can look at it as something monstrous, for sure, and we've made movies about it, so there you go."

Though Metallica are working on the new album, they have set aside some time for touring this year. Check out their upcoming dates here.

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