Skindred -- Big Tings

SkindredBig Tings

✧✧✧✧ This makes nu metal sound like Deathspell Omega by comparison. It’s actually impressive just how densely packed this Skindred album is with all of the most hated elements of music from the last 10 years. Cowbell! Claps! Girl chants! Reggaeton! Even the rare moment when the band approaches actual decentness is inevitably marred by their insipid “ragga rock” proclivities.

A Perfect Circle -- Eat The Elephant

A Perfect CircleEat The Elephant

✧✧✧✧ This album is so bad that it’s forcing me to talk about it, even though it’s clearly not even close to metal. Guitars give way to pianos, which give way to glitch? EDM? And through it all, Maynard continues his decades-long penchant for trolling those who love him most (although it feels like he may not even realize it any longer).

Danzig -- Black Laden Crown

DanzigBlack 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.

Lindemann -- Skills In Pills

LindemannSkills In Pills

☆☆☆☆ This is a barely listenable assortment of bad choices: here’s what happens when you take Rammstein’s most awkward element — their vocalist — and prop him up with what can best be described as the Teutonic answer to Static-X. As a bonus, Lindemann doubles down on lyrics so puerile that they make Steel Panther sound like Walt Whitman by comparison.

Venom -- From the Very Depths

VenomFrom the Very Depths

☆☆☆☆ This album very much sounds like an excuse for a showcase of bassist/vocalist Cronos, with everyone else feeling like an afterthought. It goes on way too long, with a doggedly old-fashioned and outdated sensibility, a production quality that while energetic is slapdash at best (especially the irritating guitar tone), and vocals that are at times clownish.