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Friday 5: Not Best Of 2015

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Happy Friday, MetalSucks reader! Welcome to MetalSucks Friday 5, our awesome series that appears every Friday (duh) on MetalSucks (duhh) and involves the quantity of five (duhhh).

Here’s how it works: A list of best/worst/weirdest/whatever five somethings is posted by one of your beloved MetalSucks contributors or by one of our buds (like you?). Then you, our cherished reader, checks it out, has a chuckle, then chimes in with a list of the same. No sweat, just whatever springs to mind, k? (Just like that movie about those losers working at a Chicago record store!) After all, it’s Friday — the day dedicated by the gods to mindless, fun time-wasting. 

Today, let’s talk about all the 2015 metal albums that we sure expected to love … but then we heard them!

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THE FIVE

What are 2015’s five most disappointing metal records?

THE LISTER

MetalSucks staff

Dave Mustein on
Deafheaven 
| New Bermuda (Anti-)

Don’t get me wrong. Even under the enormous pressure to follow up Sunbather, Deafheaven did an admirable job with this one. Its metal parts are far more developed, and it contains some of my all-time favorite Deafheaven moments, but it also contains most of my all-time least favorite ones; some of those post-y sections bear some truly cringe-inducing kitsch. The band’s earlier releases displayed a unique synthesis of light and dark, while on New Bermuda, the music has been flattened into a more black-and-white, Agalloch-esque heavy/soft dynamic.

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Emperor Rhombus on
on Slayer | Repentless (Nuclear Blast)

It’s clearly stated in my review, but I think this bears revisiting at the end of the year: Fuck, man, what a mess. Repentless had so much potential — that sweet cover art, Hanneman’s final riffs, the move to Nuclear Blast — and instead it’s a dog fart. Where’s the Devil? How can there be a Slayer album so devoid of Satan’s laughter? I’ll always love this band with all my heart, but good Lord below, this one should’ve been aborted.

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Anso DF on
The Darkness
 | Last Of Our Kind (Kobalt)

At the outset, the fourth album by The Darkness seemed surely awesome. Its first single is a worthy sequel to their blockbuster debut’s opening track, its second sounds just like an awesome song by The Cult, its cover art is incredible, its predecessor a colossus. But the rest of LOOK doesn’t take off, from shrill title track to awkward finale. The latter’s lyrics approximate a winedrunk Lady Gaga (“We were always gonna be the conquerers”), the former is marred by a chorus that only dogs can hear comfortably. Between is your least favorite “bittersweet Darkness jaunt” (“Sarah O’Sarah”), two C+ epics (“Roaring Waters” “Mighty Wings”), another Gagaism (“Wheels Of The Machine”), then a song that bears an actual preface lest we surmise that it’s about sexy shitting (“Mudslide”) and a third bullseye (“Hammer And Tongs”) — which makes a nice EP beside its first two tracks and three great b-sides (one is above). Maybe Justin Hawkins and crew haven’t yet mastered fiction. No big whoop!

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Axl Rosenberg on
Enslaved
 | In Times (Nuclear Blast)

Before everyone loses their shit: I don’t think In Times is a bad album. It’s good! But when you’ve set the bar for yourself as high as Enslaved have, good is really not good enough. This is the first time I can really remember feeling like Enslaved released music that was less-than-transcendent, and the first album where it felt kinda like the band stopped evolving creatively and developed a formula for their songwriting. Again, it’s fine — but if you’d told me in 2014 that this wouldn’t be on my best of list in 2015, I’d have thought you were nuts. Bummer.

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David Lee Rothmund on
Abigail Williams
 | The Accuser (Candlelight)

Judging from the single (and the album’s first track), we’d expect The Accuser to slay, i.e. sate all black metal tr00 folk who haven’t seen the light of day for weeks. Remember: Abigail Williams started off as a metalcore band. And “Path Of Broken Glass” is a marvelous song, especially with those cavernous howls mid-stride. But then The Accuser quickly dies, withers, dries up — the magic strays wayward and is then lost, the songs flattened like pancakes, and the “moments” (chocolate drizzle) are no more. Were they trying too hard?

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Your turn! Have a great wknd!

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