Ten years ago, Guns n' Roses was riding high after the breakthrough success of "Appetite For Destruction" and Metallica was still poised on the brink of mainstream acceptance after years of building a loyal and rabid fanbase.What a difference a decade makes. Metallica, who in 1988 were "One" video away from a mass audience, have built steadily on their following and have continued to thrive throughout the 90s. Meanwhile, after releasing the sprawling and ambitious two-CD set "Use Your Illusion" in 1991, Guns n' Roses has lost all of its original members, except for frontman Axl Rose, who has been virtually invisible of late. "Has he gone missing or something?" Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett joked when discussing the current whereabouts of his fellow California-bred-rock-titan Axl recently with MTV News. "Is he on a milk carton?" drummer Lars Ulrich added. Actually, the always intriguing Rose is currently hard at work in a California studio working on what promises
to be the band's first album of original material since '91, a prospect that actually tickles Metallica."I mean, on a serious note, I just, I mean I can't wait for him to make a record, and come back, and I think Axl is great," Ulrich said. "I know I'm very much of the minority, but I think Axl is great. I think he's gonna make a great record, whatever decade it ends up being, and, hum, you know, I'm counting on it." [28.8 RealVideo] A spokesperson at Geffen Records says that though there is still no release date in sight, they hope to have the new Guns n' Roses album out sometime next year.