Adrenaline Mob -- We The People
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Adrenaline Mob — We The People

★☆☆☆ This metal supergroup launched a few years back, but forgot to bring much “super” with them. And while I may have been presumptuous to expect more from Mike Portnoy and Russell Allen than what sounds like a better performed version of Disturbed, I did at least give them the benefit of the doubt, and hoped that they’d eventually find firmer footing.

Eighteen Visions -- XVIII
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Eighteen Visions — XVIII

★★☆☆ This album feels about a decade too late. It gets decently heavy in places, but for the most part you’re dealing with metalcore that alternates between calling back to AIC and Entombed, and visiting the same territory that’s been well traveled by Norma Jean, ETID, and a slew of others.

SikTh -- The Future In Whose Eyes-
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SikTh — The Future In Whose Eyes?

★★★☆ SikTh manage to thread a very fine needle here, harnessing their djenty brand of prog (or proggier brand of djent) in service of a catchy accessibility that generally eludes the genre. Along the way, these veterans don’t return to form, so much as they call on old debts, incorporating elements from descendants such as Periphery, Protest The Hero, TesseracT, and many others.

Mutoid Man -- War Moans
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Mutoid Man — War Moans

★★★☆ A funkier, nastier, but still rollicking followup to their 2015 debut, “War Moans” does not stray far from the territory that the band has already claimed: tone-rich bass, propulsive drums, and Steven Brodsky’s memorably eclectic guitars and vocals are all in full effect here. If anything is a progression here, it’s the slightly more expansive sonic soundscape (more obvious on the title track than anywhere else).

Alestorm -- No Grave But The Sea
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Alestorm — No Grave But The Sea

★★☆☆ Man, these guys fucking love the pirate life. Especially the drinking part. You can almost hear the mugs of grog and beer sloshing on every track. If you’re already a fan of this kind of beerhall metal (somewhere between Amon Amarth and the Dropkick Murphys), you won’t be disappointed or surprised by this album.

Danzig -- Black Laden Crown
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Danzig — Black Laden Crown

☆☆☆☆ Unfulfilling, unfinished, and wildly uneven… for all the reasons that you’d come to expect from latter-era Danzig (i.e.: not produced by Rick Rubin) I don’t mind the slower bluesy vibe of this album; Danzig The Band was always about that devil blues anyway. What I mind is the irredeemable descent into narcissism that this project seems to have undergone.