The modern music industry thrives on anticipation, having learned over decades precisely how to give fans just enough to keep their attention while building a desire – nay, a need! – for a band's next big release.
We've all been there; pre-ordering the CD, the shirt, the three-disc vinyl, the limited edition screen-printed poster; counting down the days until release; and spending hours speculating about how epic this next record is going to be.
And sometimes it's worth the 13-year wait (looking at you, Maynard) when we hit play and pure, undiluted mastery of the musical forms explodes into our earholes and blows our minds. But what about the times when it doesn't?
Yep, it may hurt to say, but sometimes the wait is unjustified. Sometimes it makes us want to upend our speakers and tear the band a new one on Twitter. And few musical fanbases are as dedicated or as world-weary as the rock and metal community. We have been through a lot for our favourite groups, suffering immeasurable delays, weathering genre shifts and experiencing the highs and lows they've offered us since the birth of the electric guitar.
With that in mind, let's take a look at ten of the most hyped hard rock albums that simply weren't worth the time we spent waiting.
10. Shinedown - Attention Attention (2018)
Shinedown entered the hard rock scene back in 2003 with Leave A Whisper, and brought with them the same killer post-grunge edge as Seether. Building this into a formidable legacy throughout the noughties and into the 2010s, the band provided the ideal hard rock counterpoint for the comparatively soft-serve helpings of Nickelback and 3 Doors Down.
So a misstep was due at some point.
The group diluted their sound with 2015's Threat To Survival, sporting a profound lack of depth or musical flair. Thankfully, the fist-pumping hard rock spirit of their earlier work was still there to drive the album on, but their original fanbase were beginning to ask questions.
Thus, the fate of the four-piece rested on their hotly anticipated 2018 release, Attention Attention, which Shinedown themselves promised would not only be heavier than Threat, but have the pertinent concept of rebirth powering its furnaces.
So imagine the disappointment for the fans who had stuck it out for the last 15 years when the album was 50 minutes of pop hooks, inspirational ballads and clean, safe arena rock. With a decidedly indie new look to boot, the group produced 14 upbeat insta-hits that dragged their sound away from the creative realm of Seether, Breaking Benjamin or Halestorm, and squarely into the overproduced, radio-friendly territories of Imagine Dragons and, ironically, Nickelback.