Among the bands who came to national prominence in the wake of the alt-metal and grunge booms, Godsmack have proved to be among the most successful and creatively rewarding of their generation. After developing their sound on New England’s tough club circuit in the mid-’90s, they would go on to notch multiple No. 1 albums, top Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart no less than 11 times, and net themselves numerous Grammys—putting them up there with Alice in Chains and Korn in the pantheon of era-defining bands. Godsmack’s longevity can be credited to the ability of singer and songwriter Sully Erna to continually deliver what they do best (thundering jams, like “Whatever” and “I Stand Alone,” fueled by spiky riffs and bad attitude) while also rejuvenating his songwriting by incorporating ideas not only from the latest trends in heavy metal but from vintage hard rock as well. This last point is crucial: After helping to define the end-of-century angst of nu-metal early in their career, Godsmack did an about-face, teaming up with legendary producer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones) to deliver IV, an unremittingly sludgy record that reaches back to the bluesy classics of the ’70s for inspiration. In the 2010s, Erna began stepping away from the band to explore a more melodic brand of rock on a string of solo recordings. The creative switch ultimately fed back into Godsmack’s own sound, resulting in yet another new look in the form of 2018’s When Legends Rise, an album rich in precisely the kind of sleek, pop-savvy songcraft characterizing hard rock at the end of the decade.