SLIPKNOT (IA)

Nu Metal / Alternative Metal • United States
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Slipknot is a nine-piece alternative/nu metal band from Des Moines, Iowa (United States). Aside from their real names, members of the band are also referred to by numbers 0 through 8.(#0 Sid Wilson, #1 Joey Jordison, #2 Paul Gray, #3 Chris Fehn, #4 James Root, #5 Craig Jones, #6 Shawn Crahan, #7 Mick Thomson & #8 Corey Taylor)

Slipknot is known for its strange and often frightening image; the members wear matching uniform jumpsuits all of which have the UPC barcode 742617000027 printed on them (The barcode from their first album Mate, Feed , Kill, Repeat) and each has a unique mask which they are never seen without (on any official Slipknot material) until the interviews on their latest DVD - Voliminal: Inside the Nine, and partially on the music video for the song, Before I Forget. Each member has made a distinct change to their masks after
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SLIPKNOT (IA) Discography

SLIPKNOT (IA) albums / top albums

SLIPKNOT (IA) Slipknot album cover 3.09 | 39 ratings
Slipknot
Nu Metal 1999
SLIPKNOT (IA) Iowa album cover 2.58 | 41 ratings
Iowa
Nu Metal 2001
SLIPKNOT (IA) Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) album cover 3.14 | 35 ratings
Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
Nu Metal 2004
SLIPKNOT (IA) All Hope Is Gone album cover 2.64 | 34 ratings
All Hope Is Gone
Alternative Metal 2008
SLIPKNOT (IA) .5: The Gray Chapter album cover 3.32 | 14 ratings
.5: The Gray Chapter
Alternative Metal 2014
SLIPKNOT (IA) We Are Not Your Kind album cover 3.92 | 15 ratings
We Are Not Your Kind
Alternative Metal 2019
SLIPKNOT (IA) The End So Far album cover 3.11 | 5 ratings
The End So Far
Nu Metal 2022

SLIPKNOT (IA) EPs & splits

SLIPKNOT (IA) live albums

SLIPKNOT (IA) Disasterpieces album cover 3.00 | 6 ratings
Disasterpieces
Nu Metal 2002
SLIPKNOT (IA) 9.0: Live album cover 1.68 | 7 ratings
9.0: Live
Nu Metal 2005
SLIPKNOT (IA) Voliminal: Inside the Nine album cover 2.80 | 5 ratings
Voliminal: Inside the Nine
Nu Metal 2006

SLIPKNOT (IA) demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SLIPKNOT (IA) Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. album cover 3.27 | 18 ratings
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
Alternative Metal 1996

SLIPKNOT (IA) re-issues & compilations

SLIPKNOT (IA) All Hope is Gone (10th Anniversary Reissue) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
All Hope is Gone (10th Anniversary Reissue)
Alternative Metal 2018

SLIPKNOT (IA) singles (10)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Wait and Bleed
Nu Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Spit It Out
Nu Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Left Behind
Nu Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
My Plague (New Abuse mix)
Nu Metal 2002
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 1 ratings
Vermilion
Alternative Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Duality
Nu Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
1.00 | 1 ratings
All Hope Is Gone
Nu Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
1.50 | 1 ratings
Psychosocial
Alternative Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
3.75 | 2 ratings
All Out Life
Nu Metal 2018
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
The Chapeltown Rag
Nu Metal 2021

SLIPKNOT (IA) movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.50 | 1 ratings
Behind the Mask Unauthorized
Nu Metal 2002
.. Album Cover
2.83 | 3 ratings
Slipknot - Disasterpieces
Nu Metal 2002
.. Album Cover
0.50 | 1 ratings
Welcome to Our Neighborhood
Nu Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.50 | 1 ratings
Up to Our Necks
Nu Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.50 | 1 ratings
Maggots
Nu Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
1.50 | 2 ratings
Voliminal: Inside the Nine
Nu Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
4.36 | 3 ratings
(sic)nesses
Nu Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Day Of The Gusano
Nu Metal 2017

SLIPKNOT (IA) Reviews

SLIPKNOT (IA) The End So Far

Album · 2022 · Nu Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
I’ve said it before, but Slipknot album releases aren’t just album releases, they are life events as memorable as major elections, weddings, funerals, graduations and the start of new jobs for me. They serve as a significant moment against which memories will be anchored and where eras start and end. They provoke large quantities of discussion with friends, and the sort of in-depth analysis on your own normally only seen with Metallica or Tool album releases.

Not counting their 1996 demo album; 2022’s The End So Far is Iowan metal band Slipknot’s seventh full-length studio album. It follows up 2019’s really excellent We Are Not Your Kind record, and compared to the band’s typical timeline of going on break for many years between records, does so fairly quickly.

In the media, the band had been talking previously about wanting to make a big departure in sound, however saving that for on the next album after this, so this album feels in part like a progression and also in parts like a nostalgic regression and farewell to their origins and legacy. That sort of oil and water contradictory set of aims (Hey, I guess getting nine people to agree to one vision involves a lot of compromise) basically summarizes the whole record for me. Its trying to do two quite opposite things at the same time. There are notable, blatant and really on-the-nose call-backs to the old days, moments deliberately written to please old fans and keep the band aligned with the (glorious) past, but there are also departures, progressions and evolutions designed to bring the band into the (different) future.

So, speaking of harkening back to the late 90’s/early 00’s; there are a lot of moments on this record that are clearly meant to evoke the sound or spirit of great moments from the band’s early days; there’s a little vocal tail here that is clearly meant to remind you of “Purity” and a drum & bass thing that is overtly trying to remind people of “Eyeless” and you may notice for a second or two, a drum part trying to remind you of “The Blister Exists” or a breakdown that is clearly meant to imitate that 3:11 groove from “Three Nil.” There’s a moment of creepy tinkling additional percussion that exists specifically to remind people of the intro to “Scissors” for a second. There’s also creepy churning guitar parts here and there that evoke “Gently” or “Iowa” for a second, although more subtly than the aforementioned things. Its usually only a couple of seconds each, but it often feels like the have written a really modern record and then went “oh no, it needs to sound more like Slipknot…” and then just thrown in some extra cheeky nostalgic icing on the cake to stop it sounding too different. Many songs that aren’t even so specifically hinting directly at specific previous songs, sometimes its just some extra DJ-scratching here, or keg smashes there. to remind people of the old days. The biggest thing however, is probably the entire song “Yen” which seems designed to give people “Vermillion” vibes (although maybe that’s not fair, perhaps its just continuing the tradition of those type of songs, which “Killpop” also did). Although Corey has said in the media that it is about his wife, the disturbing obsessive lyrics seem to be more in the vein of “The Collector” influenced “Prosthetics.”

Apart from the aforementioned very clear nods towards the early days, which feel like garnish rather than the main course, the actual song-writing feels more like a mixture between their two previous records, .5 The Gray Chapter & WANYK, than anything they made their name on way back when. Now don’t come at me with a history lesson, I know Slipknot have been putting clean vocals into heavy songs ever since their debut self-titled album (eg. “Me Inside” and even before that if you count demos) but there was a notable switchover at some point (possibly “Sulfer” from All Hope Is Gone?) where a song with a good start and heavy verse would be dominated by a big radio chorus that somehow makes the whole song feel safer and smaller and less blistering. The guitar lines here would usually also feel less metallic and more alternative-rock. (Around the time everyone on the internet incorrectly decided to say “sounds too much like Stone Sour” every time Slipknot did anything). With a few notable exceptions (“Sarcastrophe,” “Custer,” “The Negative One”), 2014’s .5 The Gray Chapter album was perhaps the worst offender of this stylistic decision where a radio chorus off-balanced the rest of the song, but it is also present in part on WANYK and present quite a bit here on TESF. You could take that thing as one of the dividing lines which could be considered the difference between classic and modern Slipknot song writing.

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s all very interesting and everything, but the quality of an album always lives and dies on the strength of the tunes.” I agree. A direction you like, or a direction you aren’t keen on will generate discussion, but what will make you decide if you like it or not will usually just be how much you like the songs.

The songs have pros and cons. Cons: The lyrics aren’t great at times. It feels like it is missing one more fast song. It is probably their least heavy album to date overall. Some of the experimentation doesn’t work so well. If you can’t get over how pandering it feels, some of the fan-service feels distracting. It isn’t as instantly gratifying as most Slipknot albums. While many songs are quite satisfying when they’re on, few leave the sort of lasting impression that older Slipknot albums did and you get a bit of a sense that in a few albums time, the songs from this will be a bit forgotten. You can’t imagine much from this record overtaking classics from Joey’s era in the setlist live or on compilations and playlists.

Pros: It is concise and succinct compared to some of their previous albums. It features arguably the best lead guitar / guitar solos of any Slipknot record to date. Jay Weinberg’s drumming is unrestrained and much more confident than back in 2014. Some of the experimentation works well, and you certainly can’t say its devoid of ideas or creative spark. If you can get over how pandering it sometimes feels, on a gut level all the keg smashing/DJ scratching/double kick and blast beating stuff is just great fun. It gets better with repeat listens. With the exception of the opening track, the album sequencing works well so there are highlights throughout, so its not frontloaded and there’s no dip on the second half.

The one song unarguably generating the most discussion on the whole record is the opener “Adderall” which stylistically is the most unique and un-Slipknot moment on the record, coming across as some sort of mixture between Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs with QOTSA’s “Autopilot” and The Beatles’ in general. It seems a very clearly political decision to make it track 1 on the record, in a deliberate attempt to make this album stand out in their discography. Quite interesting since some reviews had been saying this album isn’t so much its own entity as just “WANYK-Part-2,” and there is a prominent interview circulating at time of writing with a key band member suggesting that the album was rushed, and that Shawn had said just to get it over with and that it wasn’t a real album, just an extension of the WANYK touring cycle. Of course, I guess that interview could be a) incorrect, or b) Shawn could have changed his mind later, or c) it was just a passing comment out of context. Whatever the case, sticking the very out-of-character jangly prog-pop song first seems like an identity-creating decision. The song probably wouldn’t have generated such large volumes of discussion had it just been track 10 like “Spiders” was. The album might flow better though. Then again, maybe opening the album with “The Dying Song” would then have been too close to “Unsainted” and thus fueled more “WANYK-Part-2” critiscisms. Who knows?

As much as some diehard fans may feel otherwise; for me the album as a whole isn’t flawless, and not every song is utter timeless gold …but it isn’t a poor album either and there are some nice highlights. If you like the band at their heavier, then “Hivemind,” “Warranty” “Heirloom” and “Hell” are going to be enjoyable. I certainly enjoy them. If you like the band being moody and dark, you’ll enjoy “Medicine For The Dead,” “De Sade” and “Finale” (with its memorable choir section part). I’ve seen people online saying these are the finest moments on the album, and I don’t disagree.

Ok. I misspoke earlier. Its not always 100% all about the songs. While not as important; Little things like the artwork, the reputation/reviews and the production can play a part in your opinion and enjoyment of albums too, even if maybe they shouldn’t. The artwork is the same usual thing they’ve been doing since Vol. 3. Unremarkable really. Unlikely to affect your opinion one way or the other. The reviews have been mixed, there’s a lot of “bold new direction” comments and yet also a lot of “same old, same old” comments, and basically every song has been called out as the best or the worst one. Tough record to pin a consensus on. There’s as many different views of the record as there are listeners of it. I think the only thing people are in agreement on generally is that it isn’t as good as the first three records (but realistically “what is, right?”). The production job is ok. The previous album was produced by Greg Feldman with co-production credits for the band, whereas this album is produced by the band with coproduction credits from Joe Barresi. Part of that was due to the pandemic and the difficulty of getting a nine-person band and the production team in one room at the same time. It is better than the somewhat thin production of .5, but not as clear and well-balanced as WANYK which I feel set the standard of what modern mature Slipknot could and should sound like. The production job here really lets you know there are nine members, its quite layered and rewards repeat listens so you can figure out what Craig, Sid or Shawn are doing at any given moment, when last time you were only focusing on the drums and guitars, but it can be a bit cacophonous, messy and slightly overwhelming at points and could give a bad first impression.

The band are so incredibly important and popular that I don’t need to recommend you get this album, but my one recommendation would be not to trust any gut reaction or first impression, and give it some serious dedicated no-distractions time to get in multiple repeat listens before forming an opinion. I’ve been listening to it basically on repeat since it was released at time of writing, and my opinion of it has changed and evolved numerous times since then. This is a grower for sure, and its biggest charms aren’t necessarily readily apparent on first listen.

SLIPKNOT (IA) Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.

Demo · 1996 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
SLIPKNOT was of course one of the most successful bands to emerge from the nu metal craze that was extreme popular in the late 90s and early 2000s when artists emerged from nowhere and sold gazillions of albums virtually overnight. Despite SLIPKNOT scoring a double platinum with its first “official” self-titled release which came out in the summer of 1999, the band was formed as early as 1995 in the unlikely setting of Des Moines, Iowa by percussionist / vocalist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray. Together they released an album of a completely different styles titled MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. which came out in 1996 and after the success of the following album with new singer Corey Taylor was demoted by the band as a “demo,” however in reality, MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. at 51 minutes in length and adequately produced IMHO truly is a bonafide album that is worthy of being considered the actual debut.

This album (or demo if you will) was the only one to feature the band’s original vocalist Anders Colsefini who was less attention getting than the overly aggressive style of Corey Taylor. Likewise SLIPKNOT at this point was following in the footsteps of Mr Bungle rather than the nu metal style of Korn (for the most part) which would propel them into the big leagues. While not exactly a clone of Mr Bungle in the stylistic department per se, at this point SLIPKNOT was very much into eclecticism where they mixed everything from death metal, industrial, funk and jazz as well as some 90s nu metal elements which makes this one of the most peculiar debuts of an extremely successful metal band ever to have emerged. MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. is actually quite the mind fuck really as it delivers a series of eight tracks that when considered in their entirety will give the impression that some of the tracks were slipped in by completely different tracks.

Unlike Mr Bungle that delivered an eclectic but somewhat consistent connecting tissue via the vocal style of Mike Patton, SLIPKNOT’s debut showcases not only an eclectic roster of music genres but stellar diverse performances by Colsefini however this little artifact remains somewhat of a mystery to casual nu metal worshippers and after the band’s ascent into the international spotlight, this bizarre alter ego of a debut became a hugely sought after afterthought that was fetching some pretty steep prices due to the fact that a mere 1000 copies were created. This album is by far the most experimental of SLIPKNOT’s entire career and in many ways is very hard to believe that this is the same band that would produce the 1999 release and beyond considering there is very little to connect this phase of the band’s existence to what would propel them into the nu metal superstardom arenas. Nevertheless, MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. is an interesting eclectic shit show of styles and for that reason many who loathe the nu metal style have come to appreciate this one.

Where does one even begin with this one? Well, with the opening track called “Slipknot” of course. This track insinuates that the album’s going to be a dark industrial metal album with a tortuous Godflesh inspired introductory groove that takes on the cyclical processions of a post-rock album with bleaker visions. The track forges ahead and then drifts into 80s heavy metal territory with melodic lead guitars soaring above the otherwise down-tuned alternative metal riffs below the surface. OK! Then after the five minute mark, the track morphs into a doomy death metal style that also adopts some of Pantera’s groove metal riffing. Not bad actually. This is some excellent melding of contemporary influences for sure and while all that is going on, the drumming style imitates the sparseness of both the nu metal and sludge metal acts of the 90s. “Gently” follows with a melodic arpeggiated guitar mix that sounds right out of the 80s “Ride The Lightning” era Metallica playbook although it becomes more like what the band would become and a sneak preview for the style the band would follow on their next album.

Starting with “Do Nothing / Bitchslap” the band goes bonkers with a funk metal intro that reminds me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Mother’s Milk” album but then converts it to an industrial death metal sort of sound. The metal drops often and allows some weird funky jazz interludes to completely take over. Some of the crazy trade-offs are right out of the Mr Bungle playbook with funk metal from that band’s debut and the more crazy batshit weird efforts influenced by the “Disco Volante” album. Extremely bombastic outbursts jump out at the end and periodically throughout the album. “Only One” features rap and funk guitar mixed with extreme metal which also showcases the band’s future sound in the vein of Korn but here it’s cruder and presented in a seriously raw manner. “Tattered & Torn” is right out of the Korn playbook with those classic bass lines mixed with the DJ inspired guitar counterpoints only accompanied by those extremely aggressive vocal styles SLIPKNOT is famous for.

The rest of the album continues the bizarre mix that borrowed from all the aforementioned influences in unpredictable ways with a lot of attention paid to not only funk, rap and extreme metal but also includes some disco! I can understand why many do not like this album or this band in general. SLIPKNOT and other nu metal acts were a direct slap in the face to the established 80s metal scene but in reality that style had sort of stagnated and become a parody of itself in many ways so albums like MFKRl, while not perfect were quite interesting in how they were trying to reinvent the metal world by adding all of the styles on board. “Killers Are Quiet” is also quite bizarre as it sounds like a mix of Godflesh and Neubauten Einstürzende and consists of three parts including an (annoying) 4:45 of silence.)

SLIPKNOT may have been heavily inspired by Mr Bungle at this point but did a great job not trying to sound like them.Like most bands, SLIPKNOT was experimenting and trying to find its own voice and ultimately they would follow the Korn route on their self-titled 1999 release. Personally i like this one a lot even if it has some serious flaws. This is truly a bizarre album that will piss off genre purists but will thrill avant-gardists who thrive on uncertainty, constant change and completely unhinged shenanigans that offer few clues as to the next move. Sometimes fun trumps perfection and this is certainly the case of MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. MATE. FEED. KILL. REPEAT. mate. feed. kill. repeat. m…. f…. k…. r….. mtkr…blip. blip. blip. b-l-i-p….

SLIPKNOT (IA) Slipknot

Album · 1999 · Nu Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
A lot changed after Slipknot's debut Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat., some possibly questionable lineup changes and change in sound. It doesn't sacrifice many of the experimental qualities of the debut though, rather switches things up. It's not as raw, and some of the influences are different, but it all works out. There's more electronic influences, not as many funk influences, the death metal elements pronounced in more specific ways like with the drumming and a few riffs here and there, as opposed to the more overall rawness and groove of death metal on the debut.

Some of the songs are reworked from songs on the debut, such as (Sic) being somewhat of a reworking of the song Slipknot, but instead of a noisy death metal track, it becomes a busy nu metal banger with blastbeats. Tattered and Torn and Only One were both on the debut, and honestly haven't been changed too much. They were screeching noise metal on the debut and they sound like that here as well.

The highlight of the album is easily Eyeless, intense nu metal blends with drum and bass perfectly, even before Psiheya did it more within a whole album context a few years later. Spit It Out is another electronic influenced song, with a mix of nu metal grooves, alt metal melodies, a short rap section, and short but effective breakbeats. Diluted, rap-heavy No Life, and the screeching Surfacing are other highlights.

If more funky and jazzy bass sounds better, go for the debut, if more noisy guitars and electronics does, go here.

SLIPKNOT (IA) We Are Not Your Kind

Album · 2019 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
I’ve said it before, but I don’t think in my life I have listened to any album more than Slipknot’s 1999 debut. I got into the band my first year of high-school and for my generation they were the biggest and most important band in the world, the way Metallica and Maiden were for people starting school in the ‘80s, or Pantera were for people starting school in the ‘90s, or Zeppelin and Kiss were for people starting school in the ‘70s.

Slipknot were more than a band; they were so much more in my mind. I can’t count on two hands the number of pictures I drew of them, or discussions I had with school friends about them or magazines I bought just because they were in it. The first time I saw them live, on the Iowa cycle at Belfast Odyssey Arena, is one of the most memorable concerts I have ever been to. I don’t want to throw around terms like life-changing in my old and cynical age, but if I was to apply such an epithet to any band, Slipknot would be the one.

To some extent I like everything they have ever done. I am a bit of a lifer and so this review isn’t exactly going to be impartial or unbiased. But I am not 100% blind and unwilling to think critically either so I’d like to say you can trust what I say. I will admit All Hope Is Gone is not as good as the others. I’ll be happy to admit that there quite a few lyrics I dislike and sometimes Shawn’s video projects are a bit too arty and pretentious and that maybe a straighter take might do the band more favours. I’ll even admit that some songs I like have choruses I dislike even if the rest of the song is enjoyable. (‘Sulpher’ for example has a chorus I always seem to resent, as it represents the band going a bit too far away from what made me like them in the first place). I did get a bit sceptical when a few too many clean vocals started creeping in and what were amazing and refreshing moments of clean (‘Me Inside’) amongst the heaviness became the norm and it started to seem almost every song had to have a radio chorus.

A lot of people aren’t so keen on the band’s last two albums, All Hope Is Gone and .5 The Gray Chapter, so you can expect the reviews for this will all certainly feature some kind of ‘return to form’ or ‘best since’ line or two. Now; as I said, I like every album Slipknot have ever made (and probably every song too, its just some parts I am not keen on)… but I both can and can’t see why this ‘return to form’ thing is going to be so prevalent.

Now; I think The Gray Chapter is brilliant. I’ve been reading a lot of negative things about it online in the build up to We Are Not Your Kind’s release. I don’t agree with the narrative that it was a rushed or undercooked or too much like Corey’s other band Stone Sour. Tracks like ‘Custer,’ ‘Sarcastrophe’ and ‘The Negative One’ are rabid and savage, and even though I sort of resent them, I can’t deny the radio moments like ‘The Devil In I’ are damn catchy… However; In the same way I initially hated ‘Psychosocial’ when I first heard it for the big clean radio chorus that felt like a change in what the band was trying to be and what they represented, I can see how the cleaner moments on the Gray Chapter would put people off. I mean in isolation I like almost every one of them anyway, but I just wish on principal that on the last three albums there were a few more ‘Disasterpeice’ and ‘Metabolic’ style choruses and a few less ones like those of ‘Dead Memories’ and ‘Before I Forget.’ I reckon a lot of other older fans feel the same way.

We Are Not Your Kind seems to be blowing a lot of people’s skirts up for its heaviness and brutality. There is plenty of it on here. ‘Orphan,’ ‘Red Flag’ and ‘Nero Forte’ all connect like a haymaker to the face. Corey did say in interviews while it was being written that it reminded him of Iowa and on these songs you can sort of see why he might have thought that if they were the ones he was working on at the time.

But this album has plenty of clean moments too. Hell; the first real song (track 2) on every other Slipknot album is always one of the fastest, heaviest, most brutal ones on the record, and yet here, track two is the big single ‘Unsainted’ with its absolutely huge radio chorus and festival sing-along intro. So the public’s different reaction to ‘Gray Chapter and We Are Not Your Kind can’t just be about heavy vs. clean.

One thing that is clear is that the songs on this, their sixth official studio, album are just really good. It might be that simple. The first distorted verse to ‘Unsainted’ is fierce as honey badger and the drums throughout are really impressive and energetic. The way Jay flails sideways into the china cymbal at unexpected times reminds me of what made the band’s debut so damn exciting.

You know what else makes this album so good? (Now; I’m not saying it wasn’t there on the last two albums, but…) on this album the amount of time given over to the band’s extra members and how high they are in the mix seems to be higher on this record. Lots of Sid’s DJ scratches. Lots of additional percussion from the two extra percussionists. Lots of samples and sounds from the mysterious Craig. It feels like this album really goes out of its way to justify having all nine members and revels in what makes Slipknot unique… After the massive success of Vol. 3 and its radio singles and ballads, it felt like on the follow up, All Hope Is Gone that the band were trying to be more of a ‘normal’ band instead of celebrating their uniqueness. Here they seem to shine a spotlight on them more often.

What else is great is that the band aren’t afraid to do new things. ‘Birth Of The Cruel’ for example sees the band discover ‘90s Groove Metal, and lean into the sort of riffs and drum beats that would fit on Burn My Eyes or Chaos Ad at times, with bendy riffs, and stomping jarring rhythms. Obviously through a Slipknot filter, but still…

I think the best thing about the album though might well be the fact that Corey isn’t holding back with his vocals so much. On the first album he screamed his head off so much that we were told he wasn’t allowed to talk between shows so he could rest his voice. By the time Vol. 3 came around he had to find a way to scream without damaging his voicebox and came up with the new voices that he has been using on that and all subsequent albums. It feels at times though that on this album (and maybe ‘Custer’ off of the last album… because as I said, I don’t get the hate for that one) that Corey is back to shredding his throat to pieces like back in the glory days. Some of the vocals on ‘Red Flag’ and the start of ‘Orphan’ could be straight out of ‘People = Shit’ or ‘The Heretic Anthem’ and that is the sound I fell in love with all those years ago. That was a big part of the initial magic that hooked me in and made me such a lifer for this generation defining band. Corey howling himself hoarse is just one of the best noises in all of heavy music and its nice to hear it so much again.

The production is also good, it keeps the mix clear without losing the frenzied and chaotic feel too much on the heavier tracks. You can hear each beater on the kick drum, you can hear the bass under the vocals, but you can also tune out and just be swept away in the energy of the whole thing. It doesn’t feel like the edges have been sanded down too much.

One little minor niggle against the album is the exclusion of the track ‘All Out Life’ (which was separately released back around Halloween 2018, but it contains the title line ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ repeatedly chanted). Admittedly; There was one bit I didn’t like in it, where they slow down and there is the spoken word ‘‘I will not…’’ section that was a bit similar to the intro of ‘Pulse Of The Maggots.’ Otherwise however, that track was quite a rager. I really love how driving the first verse is and when he sings that ‘’the horizon is coming like a hellbent killing machine’’ you really feel this sense of urgency and momentum. I have just added the track in as number 15 on my iTunes and phone so I get to hear it every time I hear the album (which has been pretty much non-stop since release). If you want it on CD though, you’d have to buy the special Japanese bonus track edition. Bit of a shame though that everyone doesn’t just get it as standard, because it’s a great song that I’ve really grown to love and it fits into the album well.

I feel it’s a bit weird to leave it out, as the biggest complaint I have about The Gray Chapter is that it needs just one more heavy song to balance the album out. It’s a bit frustrating to see them make the same decision again. I mean don’t get me wrong; I like ‘A Liar’s Funeral’ and ‘Not Long For This World’ and their atmospheric build ups. (Slipknot have always been the master of that, with the likes of ‘Gently’ and ‘Skin Ticket’ in the good old days, and ‘If Rain Is What You Want’ recently). But what right-minded metal fan wouldn’t want the majority of a Slipknot album to be flailing double kicks and gnarly riffs?

Now I don’t want it to be exclusively speed and power. Slipknot’s diversity is as big a draw as their ferocity. The band have always had a creepy experimental side (often driven by Shawn) to balance out Joey and Mick’s love of Deicide and Morbid Angel. All the way back to ‘Tattered And Torn,’ ‘Frail Limb Nursery’ and ‘Scissors’ from the debut and evolving into things like ‘The Virus Of Life’ and ‘Danger Keep Away (Extended Version)’ they have been balancing out the aggressive songs with nightmarish moments. They have also been experimenting with clean and subtle moments on recent albums like ‘Killpop’ and ‘Goodbye.’ So you can sort of see the legacy and evolution there and so it isn’t a total bolt out of the blue, when this album takes the cleans and mixes them with the creepy to come up with a new sound. I have read a lot of reviews of this record saying this record is dominated by experimentation. You can sort of see why. The album is full of creepy nursery rhyme-meets-experimental electronic tracks. ‘Death Because Of Death,’ ‘What’s Next,’ ‘My Pain’ and ‘Spiders’ for example come across at the same time as being both something that the band has never done before but also as a continuation in their long line of broadening the scope of their albums by adding in something more esoteric.

This album is certainly diverse; you have the four aforementioned quiet creepy ones, you have the two above-mentioned atmospheric ones, a selection of ragers as discussed prior, the huge big radio single with the surprisingly heavy verses and great drumming to open the proceedings. There’s also ‘Critical Darling’ which toes the line between radio and rager with its chorus reminiscent of Alice In Chains’ track ‘God Smack,’ and then there’s the album closer ‘Soloway Firth,’ which is a sprawling, strangely structured and winding song that goes in many different directions and which requires a good few listens to even pin down and follow what’s going on. Its not prog, but its certainly not three-chord trick, verse-chorus-verse, rock either.

All in all it is a very interesting listen (even without adding in ‘All Out Life’ for heaviness sake). I don’t want to go and say ‘’The best album since…’’ because I am really fond of all their albums, but it is certainly really good. Really, really good in fact. As a bit of an over eager fan it certainly satisfies, but objectively it is a damn fine record with a good flow, a good balance of different directions, a good sound and fantastic vocal performance. It not only meets my high expectations but exceeds them.

SLIPKNOT (IA) All Hope is Gone (10th Anniversary Reissue)

Boxset / Compilation · 2018 · Alternative Metal
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Necrotica
The 10th anniversary re-release of All Hope is Gone is strikingly deficient of extra content, especially given Slipknot’s penchant for giving fans a wealth of new rarities and goodies with prior reissues. For comparison’s sake, Iowa’s re-release saw the 9-piece provide an entire film of music videos and interviews, new artwork, and live audio of the Disasterpieces DVD. Meanwhile, the reissue of All Hope is Gone simply features new cover art (which is quite pisspoor compared to the original cover) and a live disc featuring the band performing at Madison Square Garden. That’s pretty paltry, but I suppose it’s not entirely surprising when taking the band’s views on the record into consideration.

After all, they themselves (minus a few members) often consider All Hope is Gone to be the most disappointing record in their short discography. Guitarist Jim Root once stated that “it felt a little rushed” and went further to blast producer Dave Fortman by saying he “wasn't able to get nine people together on the same page and, to me, that's the most important thing in making a Slipknot record." And if there’s anything I can at least agree with the album’s detractors on, it’s Root’s comment about not being able to stay on the same page. Yes, All Hope is Gone is very obviously a stitch job. Many disparate flavors are blended together without much forethought into what the outcome would be. Many elements of Stone Sour, in particular, creep almost uncomfortably into Slipknot’s sound to offset some of the outfit’s heaviest moments.

And yet, that last statement is often more of a strength than a weakness to my ears. I understand that many people found the album sorely lacking in the anger and brutality of previous records (which amuses me, considering how soft Vol. 3 was on many occasions), but it’s not like the band’s unique brand of groove-inflected alt metal has dulled all that much here. “Gematria,” “Sulfur,” “Wherein the Lies Continue,” “This Cold Black,” and the title track are all imbued with the same manic energy and intensity that Slipknot built their empire on, and they should prove to be highlights to fans who flocked to their most furious and hard-edged moments. Some of the moments where the Stone Sour influences rear their head also prove to be highlights, such as the way “Sulfur” combines a thrash-like fury in the verses with a fusion of catharsis and clarity in the groove metal chorus. “Gehenna” is another strong point, using the softer elements to throw the listener into a host of creepy guitar and sampling effects while Corey Taylor delivers one of his most effective performances yet.

Speaking of Corey, All Hope is Gone may actually be the strongest showing of the man’s versatility on the mic. Growling, screaming, gentle crooning, mid-range singing (with a bit of rasp for good measure), creepy low vocals that almost pass for spoken word, and forceful gang shouts are all given a chance and are more equally distributed on this album than on any other by the group. Even for non-fans of the band, one has to admit that there’s a lot of power and charisma whenever he takes centerstage. However, true to this album’s spirit of inclusion, most of the other members step it up quite a bit too. Guitar-wise, expect to hear a lot more shredding and traditional death/thrash-influenced riffs than on previous outings; the solos in particular prove to be some of the best bits on the songs that include them, like “Psychosocial,” “Butcher’s Hook,” and “Gematria.” Joey Jordison, meanwhile, remains a powerhouse on the drums and does a nice job of combining brutality and force with a strong ear for tasteful and varied dynamics. The only real disappointment here is that some of the more extraneous members, such as keyboardist/sampler Craig Jones and DJ Sid Wilson, have a lot more time on the sidelines because of the band’s shift toward a more traditional metal sound.

Truth be told, I find the weakest moments to be found in the softest moments. “Snuff,” while very nostalgic to return to, simply doesn’t hold up well anymore (hell, one could argue it didn’t hold up very well in the first place). It’s an overly saccharine piece of melancholic alt-rock fluff that doesn’t really fit too well in the band’s discography as a whole. Perhaps if it was one of the ballads on a Stone Sour record - in the same vein as “Bother” - it would have found a better home. The same could be said of “Dead Memories” to an extent; despite some decent lead guitar work from Mick Thompson, the heartbroken lyrics (Corey was going through a divorce at the time) prove to be too melodramatic and are quite hard to take seriously. Also, some of the pacing is a bit startling; did anyone really expect the title track to appear right after “Snuff,” for instance?

All Hope is Gone is a strange record. It’s a mishmashed, disjointed metal album with a severe identity crisis. Joey Jordison once stated that it’s the sound of the band breaking at the seams, and that’s probably the best way to explain the lack of control and cohesion regarding the project. Still, I can’t deny that I found some of the band’s best material to be present here. The heaviest moments remain a force to be reckoned with - just as on past Slipknot records - and the moments that integrate the mix of heavy and soft dynamics are often quite effective too (with a few exceptions; the chorus to “Butcher’s Hook” is absolutely miserable). All Hope is Gone definitely works better on a song-by-song basis than as an entire experience, but there’s still a ton of good stuff here if you’re willing to hit the “skip” button once or twice.

SLIPKNOT (IA) Movies Reviews

SLIPKNOT (IA) Day Of The Gusano

Movie · 2017 · Nu Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
***This review is regarding the single disc, UK Blu-Ray version only. Which contains the full uninterrupted concert only, with no special features or documentary footage.***

Now, you might be thinking ‘I’ve already got three Slipknot videos with concert footage on them’ if you already own Disasterpeices live in London from the Iowa touring cycle, (Sic)nesses live at Download festival 2009 on their first headline performance there during the All Hope Is Gone touring cycle, and the 2nd disc of the documentary release Voliminal Inside The Nine which had a smattering of live tracks from different dates and locations during the Vol. 3 touring cycle.

So what has Day Of The Gusano got to separate it from the others and make it worth buying as well? Well; first off, it is their first official concert video with the new rhythm section of Jay and Alex on drums and bass. Its their first ever show in Mexico City and the fans are energetic and grateful. Its their first video of a Knotfest performance and features all the associated spectacle and backdrops. It has songs from the .5 The Gray Chapter album, which obviously none of the previous videos will have had.

Comparing it to their other DVDs, there are 11 songs here that aren’t on Disaterpieces, including the rarely played ‘Metabolic’ off of Iowa, and ‘Me Inside’ & ‘Prosthetics’ off of the debut. There are 6 songs here that aren’t on (Sic)nesses at Download ’09. Compared to Voliminal‘s concert section, well, its a full length concert in a single location not just 9 random tracks from various locations, and none of it is in black & white.

So, onto ‘Gusano itself. (If you didn’t know already or bother to google that, its Spanish for ‘Maggots’ by the way, which makes sense, since y’know, they call their fans ‘Maggots’ and its filmed in Mexico). The audio visual quality of the release is really high. The picture quality, camera work, variety of shots, editing and general watching experience of the concert are the best that Slipknot have had to date. It is beautiful to look at, and there’s nothing distracting or interrupting about the editing. The performance visually has lots of pyro and fireworks and big backdrops and set pieces, fancy lighting. There’s generally lots going on up there on stage… its big and flashy and never boring.

The mix and production are very good. The only niggle is that Corey’s vocals are a bit lower in the mix than any previous live efforts from the band, but that’s real nitpicking. Otherwise, the instruments are really clear and well balanced, you can make the kick drum out clearly in all situations, and its even easier to hear Craig and Sid’s stuff than usual too which helps you notice them a bit better. If there’s a key riff or drum fill or whatever its given priority and generally its all beefy, heavy and just plain well put together.

The band themselves’ performance will always make or break a concert though. All the audio visual quality in the world, with the most expensive fireworks and lighting can’t hide a crappy performance. Slipknot have been through different phases in that regard. Old bootlegs off of the first album cycle show them as a sort of messy raw jumble. On Iowa they were a tight well-oiled million dollar perfect live-band (I remember seeing them live in Belfast on that cycle and its still one of my favourite ever concert experiences all these years later). On Volume 3 they flipped between the two but generally they were let down by Corey’s vocals (both times I saw them on that cycle and indeed both their 9.0 Live album and Voliminal DVD from that cycle all suffered from Corey’s vocals not being as great as usual). On All Hope‘ however, they came back blazing and were incredible and put in career defining performances and Corey sounded like one of the world’s greatest ever frontmen.

Luckily, here, the band are really on top form. This is a fiery, energetic, fun performance that everybody seems into. There are no complaints about the new line up and they do a great job of trying to fill some pretty massive, childhood-defining, shoes. (Heck, Jay arguably plays ‘Vermilion’ better live here than on any of the other three officially released versions of it). The veteran members are all super practiced, tight and precise. Corey is really strong here, arguably the second-best that he’s ever been on an official release next to Download ’09. (There are some minor questions about that on ‘Sarcastrophe’ and ‘Prosthetics’ maybe, which are a bit sketchy perhaps, but for the majority of it he really, really nails it). Its also nice to see him making an effort to speak Spanish which he does rather a lot and appears really humble and grateful.

The one bit where all Slipknot concerts drag is during ‘Spit It Out’ when the band get all the audience to squat down so they can all jump (the fuck) up at the same key moment. The actual process of cajoling them all to squat down can be a bit boring to watch or listen to if you aren’t actually there yourself sometimes, but luckily here it really doesn’t drag on too long and they payoff is great; the image of the gigantic Mexican crowd all bouncing in unison is really rather impressive.

So just to go through the list: It looks great. It sounds great. The band play great. The setlist is different enough from previous live releases to be worth it. That setlist itself is also pretty great, doing a good job of pleasing fans with the songs they’d expect to hear (Old fans could never see a set without ‘(sic)’ or ‘Surfacing’ and newer fans would never accept a set without ‘Duality’ and ‘Psychosocial’ for example) with pleasing them by spicing things up a bit and not just repeating themselves every time. On a personal note as well, its just so damn nice that they played ‘Metabolic’ live. I’ve been banging on for years about it and how its my favourite Slipknot song and they’ve finally put it out on something. I’m very pleased about that. Underrated song!

Anyway, that’s just personal preference. Everyone has their pros and cons to any setlist by any band. I’m sure some people are gutted ‘Sulfur’ and ‘Left Behind’ are missing considering they were big singles. I myself am kind of surprised ‘Skeptic’ is missing. With its catchy-ass chorus its absolutely built for big audience sing-alongs. I’d have thought that would be in every live set ever following Paul’s death, but I guess maybe its too personal for them lyrically or something like that.

Overall; this is a damn fine release from the band and not one to miss out on. Not even if you’ve already got a lot of live material by them already, as discussed at the beginning. Its probably their best video album on purely video terms, and its really worthy of inclusion in your collection in the other aspects like tracklisting and performance. If you are desperate to see the documentary, don’t get this version, but if you, like me, only really want the concert then this is the perfect version (at the lowest price).

SLIPKNOT (IA) (sic)nesses

Movie · 2010 · Nu Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Most Slipknot fans won’t need very much convincing, a new live DVD has been released an you very probably plan t buy it, but for anyone on the fence about whether or not to get it, I highly recommend this package, on is own merits and not just out of blind dedication to the band.

‘(sic)nesses,’ is a pretty great package, documenting their 2009 headline performance at the UK’s Download Festival in front of 80,000 excited fans. Also included is a documentary (curiously on disc one, with the concert on disc 2) from Shaun ‘Clown,’ Crahan and all the music videos from the band’s ‘All Hope Is Gone,’ album cycle.

Performance wise, everything you expect to happen at a Slipknot concert is there, so don’t expect to be disappointed in that regard. One can expect to see people hanging off things, jumping off things and throwing things at regular intervals; in addition to a spinning in mid air drum kit, Different band members fretting the notes for the guitarists, different band members hitting a keg with a baseball bat, Clown and Criss’s strap-on marching drums during ‘The Blister Exists,’ and ‘Psycho Social,’ and of course Sid getting into the midst of everything, including the crowd whenever possible.

Without a doubt the entire concert is made on the strength of the crowds passionate reaction and that undefinable live energy that just makes the concert feel amazing. Seeing 80,000 plus people singing along to very heavy music is almost life affirming.

If you were dissapointed by the band’s live performances on their live album ‘9.0 Live,’ or the bonus live material from ‘Voliminal,’ specifically the mix, Corey’s vocals and the disjointed feeling caused from material being taken from various concerts and are unsure whether or not to buy ‘(sic)nesses,’ then I’d like to reassure you that it is of a much higher quality than the previously mentioned releases, the whole concert is much more impressive and intense, Corey’s vocal performance is noticeably stronger and the mix is a lot more suitable.

The audiovisual quality of the release is in absolutely no question, the tech crew behind it have done an absolutely sterling job recording, mixing, filming and editing it and the whole viewing experience is of as high a quality as you would expect from a band of Slipknot’s size, even considering that this was a festival performance which is where a lot of big bands release their weaker DVDs due to the reduced amount of control available. Put simply this DVD looks and sounds fantastic, better even than you’d expect.

The only negative things I have to say are mere nitpicking, such as a perceived shortage of material from the ‘Iowa,’ album and that the documentary is very much in the Shaun Crahan style (as seen on the main Voliminal film and the All Hope is Gone bonus DVD) which I don’t personally care for but of course, you could indeed love this style. These minor and circumstantial niggles do nothing to detract from the sheer quality of the release. It may sound cheesy, but ‘(sic)nesses,’ proves why people love Slipknot so much.

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