Manic Street Preachers are in the studio recording the follow-up to 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours', NME.com can reveal.
The band have been holed up in Wales' Rockfield Studios for the past few weeks demoing tracks and writing songs for their next album, which will be their sixth and is due for release next year.
Sources close to the band told NME.com that the new material is definitely more in tune with their punkier last single 'Masses Against The Classes' than the more lush orchestral sound of their last two albums.
The band said at the end of last year that they would take a year off playing live and focus their energies on the new record.
At the press conference before their triumphant Manic Millennium gig on New Year's Eve, lead singer James Dean Bradfield said: "We want to concentrate on making the best album we can possibly make" and give fans a record that "wasn't shit".
Bassist Nicky Wire added that he hoped to produce something "radically different".
At the time, the band also hinted that after the next album they would split, though this has since been denied.
The source told NME.com: "The band are making it quite clear they are just going to keep their heads down this year and come back with something that returns to their darker roots."
As previously reported, the band also plan to release a greatest hits double album, working title 'Forever Delayed', in 2001 after the new album emerges.