This is where I decided I wasn't up to giving these records a full review.
Black TusK: Tend No Wounds (EP 2013)
A little while back, I lamented that I had just assumed Red Fang were another Mastodon clone in a field of Mastodon clones. Since I had put Black Tusk in that same category, I decided to give them another chance. It turns out my assumption was right about them. Not that I have anything against Mastodon clones (to be fair, the vocals are more the male side of Kylesa).
SadDolls: Grave Party (2014)
Grave Party is unapologetically uncool gothic metal that's decidedly pro-synth. There's a part of me that loves this--the same part of me that used to love Orgy, and still loves Paradise Lost's cover of "Missing." Despite my strong inclination to like this, the band's phoned-in performance makes these tunes just a bit dull. Which is especially sad, because it's easy to hear just how addictive they should be (see "Dancing Shadows").
Bloody Hammers: Under Satan's Sun (????)
Despite a very cool album cover, and otherwise getting their messaging in line with what you'd expect from a retro doom band, something's not right here. Bloody Hammers sound like doom metal at lukewarm temperature, fit for hard rock radio. It could be the vocals, but I'm not going to go into a dissertation to figure it out.
Motorfire: Rising Fire (2014)
This is some upbeat, old-school heavy metal, but I'm not feeling it. This kind of music lives or dies by the strength of the songs, and Motorfire's Rising Fire doesn't have one that stuck in my head. The vocals aren't doing it for me, either.
Goldust: Thirst (2013)
Goldust is a hardcore band that borrows a lot from metal. In the past I've enjoyed hardcore in small doses, but for some reason the more I hear it, the less I want to hear any more.