Metallica has drafted Rick Rubin to produce its next studio album, work on which is underway at the band's California headquarters. In a post on its official Web site, the band confirms Rubin "has bee

Metallica has drafted Rick Rubin to produce its next studio album, work on which is underway at the band's California headquarters. In a post on its official Web site, the band confirms Rubin "has been coming by the studio every now and again to listen to some of our new stuff and throw his two/three cents in."

"We have been jamming, writing, just plain messing around and having fun in the studio for the last few weeks," the post continues. Photos show band members with instruments in hand, as well as drummer Lars Ulrich with a lyric sheet held just far enough back from the camera so as to not reveal key details.

There's no timetable yet for the release of the as-yet-untitled album, which will be the follow-up to 2003's "St. Anger." As previously reported, Metallica has also committed to a run of shows in South Africa next month as well as a handful of summer festival appearances in Europe.

As for Rubin, the news comes on the heels of confirmation that he will produce the next Warner Bros. album from multi-platinum rock act Linkin Park, which is expected before the end of the year.

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By OutBrain