Metallica just celebrated their first thirty years as a band, and now, they're off and running into their next thirty. The band has begun to work on songs for the follow up to 'Death Magnetic,' a record which many saw as a real return to form. Drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone, "We're about seven, eight songs into it. We do it in rounds. We come up with something, we leave it, go to the next thing, come up with something basic, leave it and circle back around."

The band will once again be working with legendary producer Rick Rubin, who was behind the board on 'Death Magnetic.' "The stuff we're coming up with is more groove-oriented," added guitarist Kirk Hammet, "a heavier version of what we were doing in the early '90s. If 'Death Magnetic' was a logical successor to '...And Justice For All', the next album will be a heavier Black Album," adding, "We're not going to the depths of complexity that we did for 'Death Magnetic'."

The metal legends have also been keeping busy with other projects. There was, of course, the controversial 'Lulu' recordings with Lou Reed, which most Metallica fans, it seems safe to say, hated. But they rebounded with a run of 30th anniversary concerts late last year, and now comes word that a Metallica movie in in early production stages.  Lars gives a hint of what fans can expect. "Imagine if you took (Led Zeppelin's)'The Song Remains The Same', which is 75 percent concert, 25 percent other stuff, and flipped it around. And all the non-concert footage, instead of being about the band members, is a story that unfolds, set against the backdrop of the concert." The movie is being financed by the band and will be in 3-D!

If  that's not enough, the band has plans to perform the 'Black Album' in its entirety at some festivals this summer in Europe, plus, there's a new CD version of the "Beyond Magnetic" EP, previously only available as a digital download, that contains out-takes from the 'Death Magnetic' sessions. That Metallica train keeps rolling along full steam ahead. Now when do we get the "logical successor" to 'Ride The Lightning?'