The Angry Scotsman
Slipknot's forgotten, and disowned, debut album
I'm not too surprised, most fans of Slipknot would wonder what the hell was wrong with the band, and the band has since changed their opinion of M.F.K.R. from their debut to a "demo". It's a shame because I was extremely surprised when I first heard this album, in a good way!
Heavy, (often very) guitar and harsh vocals are still abundant, but many of the songs feature very unorthodox, often progressive song structures, with some incorporating jazz, funk, slap bass and even happy tropical sounding stuff with various vocal styles ranging from growls to rapping, clean and strained singing. What??
There are guitar solos and melodic songwriting. Slipknot fanboys usually flood every drummer youtube video with comments about how they suck and Joey Jordison is the man, much to my chagrin. While it's not mind blowing, I was a bit surprised by Joey's drumming on this album. Usually nothing but speed, with a random feel to it, the drumming here is a pretty decent output.
"Slipknot" is an extended with a long noisy intro that builds, until the bulk of the song kicks in with lots of slow heavy riffing and harsh vocals. It's not too bad and middle section features a solo and some nice melodies.
"Gently" has a very nice melodic intro, followed by peaks and valleys of chugging riffs and slow melodies. The song has an unusual structure and a powerful ending. Drums have a tribal sound and his vocals are pretty good all around.
"Do Nothing/Bitchslap" has a slap bass intro, ironic (or maybe not)followed by death metal guitaring, jazzy interludes, a very long funky disco section, good drumming and vocals, and some impressive bass playing.
"Only One" is more a "typical" Slipknot song and while largely heavy pounding metal it still has some varied styles. "Tattered & Torn" is a bassy, noisy song that gradually builds to a powerful, pummeling climax.
"Confessions" is largely devoid of any metal, mainly jazz influenced with warm, clean guitar tones and a rapping/grunge singing style that has great flow. Impressive playing by Jordison and especially Paul Gray on bass, with an impressive guitar solo thrown in and an awesome final minute and a half.
"Some Feel" throws us back to a heavy, alt/nu metal style. Not a bad song, when sprinkled in with an album like this. The album ends with "Killers are Quiet" a 20 minute song (including the hidden song "Dogfish Rising"). Still, an almost 11 minute song from Slipknot? Indeed, and it starts with very quiet and slowly builds and builds before easing back down and launching back into a metal dirge. Though not for too long and the song ends with a pretty lengthy quiet section, featuring pounding tribal drums and sparse bass notes, punctuated with occasional bursts of percussion. Holy sh*t was Slipknot taking a page from the book of Neurosis???
The final/hidden song (whatever you want to call it) "Dogfish Rising" is an industrial rock type song, very experimental, going on for 9 minutes with loud industrial noises, distant and distorted guitar with very unusual, often layered, vocals and surreal lyrics, more like ramblings.
So is this is the same Slipknot we now know? Yes, same band and except for a few differences it's largely the same members! Very unknown album and largely abandoned by the band, this is an intriguing and pretty good debut album. Shame they took the nu metal route instead of staying with this progressive influenced alt metal style, maybe they would've gone on to be the only other band to rival System of a Down as the popular metal band of the 2000's with talent and taste.
Three and a Half Stars