Metallica Buys Vinyl Pressing Plant to Keep Catalog Stocked
Metallica remains one of the biggest-selling vinyl artists in the United States, and to keep their operation running smoothly, the thrashers just purchased a pressing plant.
The quartet has acquired a majority interest in Furnace Record Pressing in Alexandria, Va., which has a reputation for high-quality vinyl and has pressed more than 5 million Metallica pieces since 2014. Metallica's work with Furnace has allowed them to avoid the supply-chain issues and manufacturing delays that have plagued the industry since the coronavirus pandemic.
"We couldn't be more happy to take our partnership with Furnace" and its founders "to the next level," drummer Lars Ulrich said in a statement. "Their indie spirit, the passion they have for their craft … culturally we're kindred souls."
"Furnace has been great to Metallica and more importantly to our fans," bandmate James Hetfield added. "This deepened relationship between Metallica and Furnace ensures that fans of vinyl everywhere, particularly our Fifth Members, will have continued access to high-quality records in the future."
Metallica ranked among the Top 10 bestselling vinyl acts in the U.S. over the past two years, selling 387,000 albums in 2022 (No. 6) and 337,000 in 2021 (No. 7), Billboard reports. Their most popular release in 2022 was Master of Puppets, which sold 91,000 units (assisted by their Stranger Things popularity bump), followed by their self-titled 1991 album, which received a massive box set reissue in 2021.
The rockers should see another hefty vinyl sales bump this year with the release of their 11th album, 72 Seasons, on April 14. It will mark Metallica's first studio effort since 2016's Hardwired ... to Self-Destruct. The band has previewed 72 Seasons with three singles so far: the thrashing "Lux Æterna," the hard-rocking "Screaming Suicide" and the midtempo stomper "If Darkness Had a Son." Metallica will also launch the M72 world tour next month, with support on various dates by Pantera, Mammoth WVH and Greta Van Fleet.