Kirk Hammett finds making an album ''like scaling a mountain''.

The Metallica guitarist is ready for the group - whose last LP, 'Death Magnetic', was released in 2008 - to return to the recording studio but admits the more time they leave between records, the bigger the task it seems to make another one.

He said: ''The band needs to make an album. That's the big adventure that's looming up on the horizon. Making an album is always a bit like scaling a mountain, but this time it seems like the more we wait, the bigger the mountain gets. And now that we've been playing so long, it seems like that mountain is as big as the Himalayas right now.''

Earlier this year, the 'Enter Sandman' hitmakers debuted a new song, 'Lords of Summer', during their 'Metallica by Request' tour and Kirk thinks the track is a good starting point for their next album, though he is unsure as yet how the rest of the record will sound.

He added to Rolling Stone's website: ''Whether the songs will actually sound like 'Lords of Summer' or not remains to be seen, because we still have to write them, but that's the general direction we're headed in.

''I want to make a quick album, but I just know that's not realistic.''