The first leg finds Metallica setting off March 2 in Phoenix and continuing throughout the Western States and Canada through the end of the month. A total of 73 shows are expected to take place in the States.

Fellow heavy-hitters Godsmack are supporting on all North American dates.

In addition to their home country shows, Metallica are working on a European schedule for the summer months. Only a few gigs for that tour have been confirmed, but a tentative itinerary on the band’s Web site has the group overseas into July.

Ahead of all the craziness, Metallica will be basking in the warm sunshine of Australia and New Zealand, where they play the Big Day Out festivals.

And currently, they’re wrapping a European outing.

The story here is that Metallica have hardly rested a day since launching their latest tour nearly two years ago.

Their St. Anger album has sold in excess of 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan. They’ve also got a seven-track EP, The Unnamed Feeling, coming out in the U.K. January 12.