Metallica's studio album output in the 2000s currently stands at three albums in 14 years, which by the standards of your "normal artist" is a little slow. Though it does seem a little funny that even though Metallica just put out Hardwired To Self Destruct seven months ago, people are already asking if they'll have to wait another eight years for a new album.
Kirk Hammett tells 105.7 The Point that he's on board with releasing a new album in under eight years, though says he'd also be open to doing something the live symphonic album S&M or the covers album Garage Days Re-Revisited.
"That would be nice. I don't believe we've done something like that since, I guess, around the Load, Reload, Garage Days Re-Revisited, S&M kind of period where there was just like a real concentrated period of output. It'd be nice to get to that, because we were still kind of actively touring behind an album, but we had these other things coming in too that kind of changed the tone of the tour that we were on and introduced other cool different songs and different factors. Like when the S&M thing came out, we were, all of a sudden, playing with a symphony, which was quite a different thing. So if we could do something like that, it would be great, but this is a really big machine and sometimes it takes time to steer it this way or steer it that way in terms of pure inertia. Its an effort."
Another S&M thing would be pretty cool, like if Metallica reimagined some of its classic material. That, and if they'd write more exclusive songs for this hypothetical live album like "Minus Human" and "No Leaf Clover," that would be awesome – those songs are heavy as balls.