Mayhem -- Daemon
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MayhemDaemon

★☆☆☆ Look, I get it: Mayhem deserve at least a modicum of respect for birthing Norwegian black metal, and their general commitment to evil and whatnot. The problem is that this feels like Mayhem imitating themselves, or going through the paces. There are interesting and fun moments, but they’re too few and far between, especially for an album that’s entirely too long (a solid hour with two "bonus" tracks).

Leprous -- Pitfalls
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LeprousPitfalls

★☆☆☆ I tried to listen to the new Leprous album (after not hearing any of their last few). My god, it’s fucking awful! I barely made it through half. Not even is it not metal, it is… I don’t know what the hell it is! Not even prog rock. Maybe vaguely in the vein of moodier stuff by bands like Marillion or Talk Talk, but not proggy either, and with vocals that are so ridiculously over the top falsetto that they sound like Justin Hawkins from the Darkness, but without any hint of irony.

Northlane -- Alien
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NorthlaneAlien

★☆☆☆ Why is everyone trying to go industrial in 2019?! I mean, I get that cultural trends come back every 15-20 years, but why not bring back early Mastodon or Slipknot? Considering the greatness of the band’s previous album, the post-djent masterpiece “Mesmer,” this feels like a step backward when considering any criterion imaginable.