I maintain any new "normal" Metallica album since 2003 is merely an attempt to see if the band can go without embarrassing itself, not whether they can match any of their classic albums. Every new Metallica album will be The Force Awakens.
Sparks - I didn't dislike Hippopotamus or Exotic Creatures Of The Deep, but I can't remember anything from either of them! I also had to relisten to FFS to remember any of that stuff. I don't remember any discussion of Sparks' new albums around here after 2015.
The idea of The Mars Volta still existing at all, let alone doing that, is pretty funny.
Regarding your other post, Era Vulgaris seemed to be the last time they were getting *serious* attention from the mainstream, not just critics' favorites. Sort of like Wilco, whose mainstream popularity seemed to recede at the same time ("Dad rock!!! This album is dad rock!!!") How well did QOTSA's 2013 and 2017 albums go? I saw Homme got more publicity for that Paris/Eagles Of Death Metal terrorist attack disaster than either of the two most recent albums.
I revisited Them Crooked Vultures last year and liked maybe six songs off it or so. I remembered praising the album when it came out but that all I remembered was maybe "Bandoliers," and that one part where John Paul Jones whips out the "Trampled Under Foot" clavinet. I agree that it was probably meant as a makeshift substitute for a QOTSA album, but again, I can't tell how well remembered or loved the thing was.
Josh Homme, whose name I've been mispronouncing all these years (thought it was "home," not "haw-mee") kicked some female photographer in the face at some point and I guess he's on bad terms with his wife from that one band and he throws shade at the guys from Kyuss and tries to prevent them from performing so he's sort of a bad reputation now?