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 21 Glendale, AZ Jobing Arena
October 23 Albuquerque, NM Tingley Coliseum
October 25 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
October 26 Des Moines, IA Wells Fargo Arena
November 1 Portland, OR Rose Quarter
November 3 Salt Lake City, UT Energy Solutions Arena
November 4 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
November 6 Omaha, NE Qwest Center
November 8 Moline, IL iWireless Center
November 9 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center
November 17 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
November 18 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
November 20 Houston, TX Toyota Center
November 22 Little Rock, AR Alltel Arena
November 23 New Orleans, LA New Orleans Arena
December 1 Seattle, WA Key Arena
December 2 Vancouver, BC GM Place
December 4 Calgary, AB Pengrowth Saddledome
December 7 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
December 12 Ontario, CA Citizens Bank Arena
December 13 Fresno, CA Save Mart Center
December 15 San Diego, CA Cox Arena
December 17 Inglewood, CA The Forum
December 20 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
January 12 Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center
January 13 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
January 15 Washington, DC Verizon Center
January 17 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
January 18 Boston, MA TD Banknorth Center
January 26 Rosemont, IL Allstate Arena
January 29 Uniondale, NY Nassau Coliseum
January 31 Newark, NJ Prudential Center