The heavy metal icons of Metallica have announced plans for an extensive North American tour in support of their first studio album in five...

The heavy metal icons of Metallica have announced plans for an extensive North American tour in support of their first studio album in five years. The ten-track “Death Magnetic” is slated to hit the streets on September 12, and the band will follow shortly thereafter on October 21. The first leg of the tour will kick off in Glendale, AZ, and has dates scheduled through January 31 in Newark, NJ.

While Texas-based heavy metal band The Sword is scheduled to open for the entire 32-date tour, three other bands are set to accompany Metallica for limited engagements. Another Southern metal group, Down, will appear on the tour’s October and November dates. Lamb of God will then pick up with the tour in December, followed by Grammy nominated Machine Head’s January performances.

“We’re ready to start a proper indoor arena tour of the States and Canada,” the band members said in a statement posted on their Web site, noting their four year absence from the touring scene. “We can’t wait to visit all of our ‘Talli-fans here…it really has been too long.”

Metallica has been a staple of the hard rock and heavy metal scenes since the release of their first album, “Kill ‘Em All” in 1983, two years after the group’s formation. “Death Magnetic” will be the band’s ninth original studio album, and their first since the release of “St. Anger” in 2003. Metallica has released two cover albums (“Garage Days Re-Revisited” and “Garage, Inc.”), as well as the live album “S&M.”

Metallica itinerary:
(Dates subject to change.)

October 21Glendale, AZJobing Arena
October 23Albuquerque, NMTingley Coliseum
October 25Kansas City, MOSprint Center
October 26Des Moines, IAWells Fargo Arena
November 1Portland, ORRose Quarter
November 3Salt Lake City, UTEnergy Solutions Arena
November 4Denver, COPepsi Center
November 6Omaha, NEQwest Center
November 8Moline, ILiWireless Center
November 9Columbus, OHSchottenstein Center
November 17St. Louis, MOScottrade Center
November 18Tulsa, OKBOK Center
November 20Houston, TXToyota Center
November 22Little Rock, ARAlltel Arena
November 23New Orleans, LANew Orleans Arena
December 1Seattle, WAKey Arena
December 2Vancouver, BCGM Place
December 4Calgary, ABPengrowth Saddledome
December 7Edmonton, ABRexall Place
December 12Ontario, CACitizens Bank Arena
December 13Fresno, CASave Mart Center
December 15San Diego, CACox Arena
December 17Inglewood, CAThe Forum
December 20Oakland, CAOracle Arena
January 12Milwaukee, WIBradley Center
January 13Detroit, MIJoe Louis Arena
January 15Washington, DCVerizon Center
January 17Philadelphia, PAWachovia Center
January 18Boston, MATD Banknorth Center
January 26Rosemont, ILAllstate Arena
January 29Uniondale, NYNassau Coliseum
January 31Newark, NJPrudential Center