Ok, so we got it half right. As widely speculated and rumoured across the Internet over the last day or so, Metallica are indeed returning to Castle Donington to headline the 2012 installment of The Download Festival, their third time headlining the festival in its ten years in its current format. Lars, Rob, Kirk and James will be headed back to Europe on their often customary European break from the studio while they write and record the follow up to 2008’s Death Magnetic. Lars confirmed the appearance at Download by appearing on the Zane Lowe Radio show on BBC Radio 1 earlier this evening (Thursday).
The predicted “twist” that was talked about (and much speculated to be Lou Reed joining his Metallica friends for at least a partial if not complete “Loutallica” set) was thankfully well wide of the mark. The actual twist was much better. Five years after they played Master of Puppets in its entirety on the hallowed Donington turf, Metallica’s main stream breakthrough album The Black Album will get a never before performed airing in its entirety. According to Lars whilst on Zane Lowe’s show at least three of the songs on the album (Don’t Tread On Me, My Friend Of Misery and The Struggle Within) have never been played live (though that fact is not 100% confirmed).
The performance will mark the 21st anniversary of The Black Album, which is the 2nd highest selling album in American history since the current means of recording album sales was introduced over 20 years ago. A second Download 2012 headliner is due to be announced tomorrow (Friday 11th November) with speculation rife that legends Black Sabbath will be joining Metallica. The Black Sabbath website currently has a countdown on it that is scheduled to end at 7pm Friday 11th November, around the same time Download Festival booker Andy Copping said a second headliner would be announced. As soon as the second headliner is revealed Rocksins will bring the news to you so stay tuned to Rocksins for further festival news and updates.