Metallica’s James Hetfield announces coffee table book

New book is available this fall

James Hetfield shares his personal collection of treasured guitars and reveals the story and significance of each within his life and career as the front man, guitarist, and songwriter for Metallica in a new coffee table book. Permuted Press will release Messengers: The Guitars of James Hetfield on October 17th featuring 400 pages.

From the Electra OGV that defined his style, sound and attitude to the mythical MX guitars, the first in a series of iconic collaborations with ESP, and from his signature Snakebytes through his ambitious projects with renowned luthier Ken Lawrence, Hetfield shares the emotional and technical elements of the chosen tools that have shaped his singular musical journey, including exotic instruments, vintage Gibsons, and custom one-offs. He also reveals many studio secrets, including the key amplifiers and gear that sculpt his tone and create his sound.

Each featured guitar is accompanied by lush museum-quality portraits by acclaimed photographer Scott Williamson, exhibiting intimate details one can only see if holding it in their own hands, alongside Hetfield’s deeply personal reminiscence. Spanning more than forty guitars, ranging from the original battle-scarred road warriors to the trusted studio stalwarts and enduring tour favorites, Messengers: The Guitars of James Hetfield is a meticulously crafted coffee table book and a mesmerizing window into the mind and soul of one of rock’s greatest front men. These invaluable guitars have forged over four decades of music history.

A limited and numbered deluxe signed edition by Hetfield is available via Metallica’s website. The book is housed in a custom box featuring a handcrafted pyrography design by Dino Muradian, who has collaborated with Hetfield on multiple guitars including Elk Skull, the Unforgiven acoustic, and the Snakeskin Snakebyte. Accompanying the deluxe edition will be an assortment of case candy, including a photo print, a studio or tour-used Hetfield guitar pick and guitar string.

Metallica is set to release its 12th studio album, 72 Seasons, on April 14th via its own Blackened Recordings. Produced by Greg Fidelman with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, and clocking in at over 77 minutes, the 12-track project is Metallica’s first full length collection of new material since 2016’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.

The band has teamed with Trafalgar Releasing to premiere the album on Thursday, April 13th with Metallica: 72 Seasons – Global Premiere, offering fans an unforgettable night as they see and hear the complete album on the big screen. Tickets are on sale now for the worldwide listening party which will play exclusively for cinema audiences worldwide, with each one of the new songs featuring its own music video and exclusive commentary from the band. Fans can also experience Metallica like never before in Dolby Atmos, an audio experience that will immerse listeners inside each song to reveal details with unparalleled clarity and depth.

The band will embark on its M72 global tour later this year. Presented worldwide by Liquid Death and Blackened American Whiskey (in North America only) and promoted by Live Nation, M72 will see the band playing two nights in every city it visits with each No Repeat Weekend featuring two completely different set lists and support lineups. The M72 tour will feature a bold new in-the-round stage design that relocates the famed Metallica Snake Pit to center stage, as well as the I Disappear full-tour pass and more. Support includes Pantera, Mammoth WVH, Architects, Five Finger Death Punch, Ice Nine Kills and Greta Van Fleet at select stops.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: