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Album review | HARD ROCK

Godsmack, ‘1000hp’

On its sixth album, Godsmack — which kicked off its hard-rock career in Boston’s bars nearly two decades ago — sounds leaner and meaner, and a bit nostalgic, too. The title track has frontman Sully Erna growling rememberances of the days “when we were nothing/ walking through the streets of Boston, no one listening” over steady, grinding-molar guitars. The idea Godsmack is thrashing into a void has has been key to its success since nu-metal’s poor-me heyday in the late ’90s; tracks like “FML” and “I Don’t Belong” play squarely to the misfit seats. More satisfying moments come when Godsmack echoes earlier alt-bummer forebears: “Livin’ in the Gray” brings to mind Nirvana’s sludgy, battle-scarred “School.” Ghostly harmonies weave through syncopated percussion on the verses of “Turning to Stone”; that it sounds like Alice in Chains, whose song “God Smack” either inspired or had nothing to do with this band’s name, is probably not a coincidence, but it’s a solid finishing move. (Out Tuesday)



ESSENTIAL “Turning to Stone”

Maura Johnston can be reached at maura.johnston@gmail.com