Slipknot | Roadrunner | 8/19 | Score: 7/10
▣ By Anthony Coy
Slipknot. The band people love to love and love to hate. Established in 1995 by Shawn Crahan, Joey Jordison, and Paul Gray (deceased in 2010), quite a few line-up changes led to adding Corey Taylor, Craig Jones, Mick Thompson, Sid Wilson, Chris Fehn, and Jim Root to release their self-titled debut in 1999. Getting on that years Ozzfest really put Slipknot in front of eager new fans and helped them get their aggressive yet emotional tidings out to the masses.
My first experience with them was with their Sophomore album Iowa, released in 2001. More aggressive than its Nu-Metal predecessor, Iowa shot the band into the world’s spotlight debuting at #3 here in the states and #1 in the UK.
Tours and a hiatus led to Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) dropping in 2004. More tours and another hiatus saw All Hope Is Gone released in 2008. Before the next albums release, we lost founding member and bassist Paul Gray in 2010 to an accidental overdose followed by a muscular illness causing Joey to leave the band as well. The future seemed bleak, but they ended up releasing .5 The Gray Chapters in 2014 with two new “secret” members that the internet found the identifies to within days. Alessandro Venturella was added on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums though the band was pretty douchey about it. Certain members were upset that the identities were leaked because they didn’t want them to become full members. They went as far as to give them masks as well rather than letting them design their own.
August 2019 (today to be exact!) marks the release of We Are Not Your Kind. V-man and Jay are still with the band so apparently, they’re good to go but as of March, Chris Fehn is no longer a member and a still secret “taco face” percussionist has replaced him. Aside from all of the drama, the music speaks for itself.
The self-titled album was Nu-metal. Fast passages, rap verses. The whole nine. Iowa saw a much darker tone in lyrical content and sound. Vol. 3 had Corey changing his vocal style and even a few acoustic/clean songs. All Hope Is Gone tried, in my opinion, to go back toward Iowa but failed. It did however produce one of the bands biggest hits, Psychosocial. .5 was probably my favorite overall album, music wise. It’s a banger from start to finish. I don’t feel that way about any of the other albums. The good songs outshine the mediocre, but there are iffy songs dotted in the track lists. That leads us to We Are Not Your Kind.
I’m not going to say I don’t like it. That’s not it. I’m disappointed because I’ve listened through now 4-5 times in full and nothings jumped out at me. The first run of .5 got my blood pumping. I still haven’t had that with this album yet. As far as singles go, Unsainted may be the only radio worthy track on the album. Front to back, I think there’s a lot of wasted space with random ambient noises and minute long tracks. Writing that sentence makes me feel like I’m talking about the god-awful new Tool. Anyway, the riffs, beats, and melodies you’ve come to love throughout their career are present. The production quality is amazing as always. I’m just not sold that this was worth waiting five years for after such an amazing album. I’m going to continue to listen to it hoping something grows on me and you should definitely pick it up.
Click to listen & purchase the album now!
1. “Insert Coin”
3. “Birth of the Cruel”
4. “Death Because of Death”
5. “Nero Forte”
6. “Critical Darling”
7. “A Liar’s Funeral”
8. “Red Flag”
9. “What’s Next”
12. “My Pain”
13. “Not Long for This World”
14. “Solway Firth”