Metallica has big plans for their upcoming 30th birthday bash. They’ll perform sold-out shows Dec. 5, 7, 9 and 10 at the Fillmore in San Francisco for fan club members only, and at 1981 prices: $6 each or $19.81 for all four. The guest-heavy shows will be taped for possible release later. The band almost forgot about the milestone. “When you’ve been around this long, you can find an anniversary in almost anything,” drummer Lars Ulrich says. “It becomes a little ridiculous. So we decided to do something intimate rather than chest-beating.”

Metallica will headline the 10th installment of the Download festival at Donington Park on Saturday, June 9, 2012, with an exclusive U.K. performance of the band’s top-selling 1991 LP, “Metallica”, a.k.a. “the black album.” It will be the eighth time the California metal titans will have played at Donington during their three-decade-long career, having previously performed at both Monsters Of Rock and Download festivals.

“Six years is way too long to be away from the hallowed grounds of Donington Park,” says Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. “We are beyond psyched and feel privileged to come back once again to soak up the energy and vibe of the most legendary of festival sites.”

“I am absolutely bowled over that Metallica will be playing The Black Album at the 10th anniversary of Download,” says Andy Copping, VP of Promotions at Live Nation. “The album is up there as one of the greatest albums of all time, everyone knows the songs. The Download festival has come a long way since we first started in 2003 and to have Metallica back to help us celebrate this milestone is just fantastic.”

Download 2012 takes place at Donington Park on June 8-10, 2012.

Rihanna has sampled Metallica on her new album, “Talk That Talk”, which will be released on November 21. She has used some of the guitar riffs from the San Francisco metal titans’ “Wherever I May Roam” track on “Red Lipstick”, which appears on the deluxe version of her new record.

“Wherever I May Roam” is from Metallica’s 1991 self-titled fifth album, commonly known as “the black album,” which in 2009 surpassed Shania Twain’s 1997 record, “Come On Over”, as the best-selling CD of the SoundScan era. To date, the black album has sold 15,715,000 copies in the United States.

Although Metallica had scored their first radio and video airplay with their previous effort, 1988’s “…And Justice For All”, the black album was the band’s biggest commercial breakthrough, producing five singles and making them into one of the most popular rock bands in the world.