Metallica announces to bought their own vinyl compressing plant. Furnace Record Pressing in Alexandria, Virginia has been purchased by the Metallica band. Also, Metallica pressed over 900,000 vinyl records in 2022, the majority of which were done at Furnace Record.
We guess Metallica will pass 1 million vinyl-selling records after the release of the 72 Seasons album in 2023. Metallica has recently opened a cutting-edge vinyl pressing plant in their hometown of San Francisco. This new facility, which represents a major investment in the future of analog music, aims to provide the highest quality vinyl records for fans and collectors worldwide.
Despite the rise of digital streaming and downloading, vinyl records have experienced a remarkable resurgence in recent years. In fact, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), vinyl sales have surpassed CD sales in the US for the first time since 1986. Vinyl offers a unique and tangible listening experience that many music lovers find more immersive, authentic, and satisfying than digital formats.
However, not all vinyl records are created equal. The quality of the pressing, mastering and manufacturing process can have a significant impact on the sound, durability, and value of the final product. Metallica, who has been a leading advocate for vinyl and analog sound for decades, recognized this need for excellence and decided to take matters into their own hands.
Furnace Record has produced approximately 5 million pieces of wax for Metallica since 2014. Also, including sets like the enormous “Black Album” 30th-anniversary box set. Also, according to Luminate, Metallica ranked sixth in vinyl sales in 2022 (387,000 units) and seventh in 2021 (337,000). Such figures are primarily made up of back-catalog reissues of iconic Metallica albums.
Metallica’s drummer Lars Ulrich shared a statement:
“We couldn’t be more happy to take our partnership with Furnace … to the next level. Their indie spirit, the passion they have for their craft… culturally we’re kindred souls.”
James Hetfield also added:
“Great to Metallica and more importantly to our fans … will have continued access to high-quality records in the future.”
According to Billboard, daily operations at Furnace will largely remain unchanged, while other projects, such as the 72 Seasons album, will continue alongside the steady flow of Metallica pressings.
Marc Reiter told: “Metallica over-indexes dramatically with a physical product. The fans enjoy owning the physical product.”
Head of Marketing Brant Weil added: “The catalog is always being pressed. We never want to be out of stock on Metallica vinyl. I didn’t want our release plans to be dictated by manufacturing timelines.”
The Metallica vinyl pressing plant is not your average record factory. It is a state-of-the-art facility that incorporates the latest technology, equipment, and expertise to produce the best possible vinyl records.
Here are some of its key features:
- Custom-made pressing machines: Metallica worked with a German manufacturer, Rek-O-Kut, to design and build their own pressing machines that can handle up to 6,000 records per hour, with minimal noise, vibration, and distortion.
- High-end mastering and cutting: Metallica also partnered with Bob Ludwig, a renowned mastering engineer, to ensure that the audio quality of their vinyl records is top-notch. Ludwig used a custom-built lathe, known as the “Ultrascope”, to cut the grooves that carry the sound waves from the needle to the speaker.
- Environmentally friendly practices: Metallica is committed to sustainability and has implemented several green initiatives in its vinyl pressing plant. They use recycled vinyl pellets, biodegradable sleeves, and solar power to reduce their carbon footprint and minimize waste.
You can also watch Metallica‘s guitarist Kirk Hammett introduce the vinyl sets.