Metallica are inching closer to completing their first studio release since 2008's Death Magnetic, with a possible release date later this year.

“We’re mixing it now, so hopefully by fall it’ll be out and hitting people’s ears,” James Hetfield said prior to performing the National Anthem at a recent San Jose Sharks hockey game. “We’re super stoked about it. It’s been a long time coming – and, you know, this is what we do. We love playing, and the next album is exactly what it’s supposed to be, so we’re excited about it.” You can watch the entire interview below.

Dan Nykolayko recently reported that this new project is in the mixing phase, before holding a special anniversary discussion on Load with Hetfield and Lars Ulrich for Met-Club. He also said Greg Fidelman, who worked on Death Magnetic as well as Metallica's 2011 Lou Reed collaboration Lulu, is back at the helm.

Metallica confirmed these sessions way back in January 2015. Ulrich more recently assured fans that their as-yet-unnamed LP is finally set to arrive. “If the record doesn’t come out this year, then it won’t be because it’s not done," he said. "It will be because there’s some sort of cosmic reason that it would be smarter to hold onto it until next year. But the record will be done this summer.”

Watch James Hetfield Discuss Metallica's New Album

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