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Helmet pushed at the boundaries of their sound with Betty, perhaps too much for their audience's liking -- the album stiffed in comparison to Meantime. As a result, the band returned to straightforward Helmet territory with Aftertaste, restoring grinding guitars and pummeling rhythms to prominence. Theoretically, this approach should have made Aftertaste a more immediate, visceral record, but it is simply numbing. Without the invention of Betty or the gut-level force of Meantime, Helmet is simply a bland alternative metal band, lacking riffs, hooks, and purpose and relying only on volume. It's a shocking and disheartening turn of events for one of the more intriguing metal bands of the '90s.

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