Drummer Lars Ulrich spills the beans on the long-awaited LP...

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METALLICAdrummer LARS ULRICH has revealed that the band are currently in "round two" of whittling down the 30 tracks they are working on for their new album to between ten and 20 for the finished tracklisting.

And reports from the US hint that it could be finished by January, with a possible release next spring.

In an unannounced appearance in the chat-room of their online fan-club,, Ulrich said the as-yet untitled album is coming along "good as ever", and added: "Actually, we had a good week last week where we, shock horror, discarded some songs for the first time ever. We are now on what we call round two of the keepers."

He said the number of tracks which will appear on the album number "north of ten, south of 20" and he also revealed that he may provide vocals for an entire song on the new album.

With no permanent bassist yet recruited to replace Jason Newsted, who left the band last year, producer Bob Rock has been playing bass lines on the album, but he is not likely to join them for live dates to promote the record.

Ulrich also said he was becoming completely immersed in the recording process. "The hardest thing is forcing myself to go home and eat dinner with my family. Time, baby, is a hard thing for me to juggle."

The band have been working on the new songs since February, and according to, work is likely to be completed in January.

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