Metallica will begin recording its new album with producer Rick Rubin on March 12, according to a recent post on its Web site. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2003's "St. Anger" has been in pre-produ

Metallica will begin recording its new album with producer Rick Rubin on March 12, according to a recent post on its Web site. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2003's "St. Anger" has been in pre-production for several months.

"We really have to feel secure about the music and know it's good," Rubin told Billboard in December about the process. "Then in the studio, we're free to only worry about performance and not worry about writing a song. Hopefully, we've done our homework."

Meanwhile, Metallica has lined up seven summer shows in Europe as part of its semi-annual Sick of the Studio tour, beginning July 1 at the Rock Werchter festival in Belgium. "We kinda sorta figured that by the time June rolled around, we would be ready for a break from recording (escape??)," the site says. "And since we had so much fun in Europe last summer, we thought, why not go back for some more fun and games?"

Here are Metallica's tour dates:

July 1: Werchter, Belgium (Rock Werchter Festival)
July 3: Athens (Rockwave Festival)
July 5: Vienna (Rotundenplatz)
July 10: Oslo (Valle Hovin Stadion)
July 12: Stockholm (Stadion)
July 15: Helsinki (Olympic Stadium)
July 18: Moscow (Lushniki Stadium)