There’s not much to say about these masked metal pioneers that hasn’t been said before. Corey Taylor and Co. have sent ripples through the metal world with either news regarding Slipknot, or comments made by the members. They’ve gone through line-up changes, devastating experiences as members and as a band. They continue strong, with Jay Weinberg now sitting on the drum throne. This is their latest release, The End, So Far.
Instead of asking Corey Taylor about Adam Levine, ask him the process behind The End, So Far. Tonally, this is a departure from their aggressive attack that they were typecast for, by fans and reviewers. We Are Not Your Kind had some thematic meditations by the group, with changes being made in how they approach the rhythm sections for their tracks. Adderall opens up this album, an almost acoustic, neutered version of the group seems to be facing the light. It is mellow, uses some really creative changes and brings about a shift in how we, as fans, perceive a Slipknot album.
The Dying Song (Time To Sing) was one of their releases as a single, earlier this year. With an a cappella opening, we get into standard Slipknot riffage. Jim Root chugs through the guttural rage that Corey Taylor expresses with a different spectrum of mastery now. There is a shift to black metal shift with The Chapeltown Rag, their first single released for this album. Jay is an absolute demon behind the kit, especially highlighting his blast beat ability.
Do we compare this to Vol 3 or, worse yet, Iowa? That would be what is called as plain stupidity. Slipknot have gone through a journey of ups and downs, their music has to reveal that particular chronology. Fans attack this album saying it doesn’t have the brutal raw nature of their debut, we say it doesn’t have to. This is the tone that has been the decay of an old Slipknot, breeding us maggots into a new one.
For example, the ambience surrounding Yen is what is more exciting than the track itself. It is a dramatic punctuation, devoid of the instrumentation but very much holding the aggression. The expression has changed, move on from the carriage you claim to be a passenger of. Hive Mind has an instrumental adage that bars Corey from singing, it is a layered, explosive barrage that showcases the tempo these guys operate at. Want the stadium to thunder? This track is going to have more mosh pits opening up than stars in the sky.
Warranty brings in … The Subliminal Verses in terms of sound and execution. It is that Sulphur kind of sound that everyone fell in love with and tried to imitate, but never could arrange it quite like Slipknot. Medicine for the Dead has that industrial metal/harrowing dramatic opening that these heretics have been credited with for over 2 decades. One of their longer songs, it spreads out the detail and fury like a hate ballad that you wouldn’t mind getting hooked to.
Before entering purgatory
With the droning guitars, here, Slipknot’s sound is almost reminiscent of Gojira for From Mars to Sirius. The droning guitar is a signature riff style, along with the boing boing that Gojira seem to have patented. Since The Gray Chapter, this is where Corey Taylor is merging his clean singing voice with the 90% neck theme that has driven millions of maggots towards this band. Heirloom is Jay Weinberg’s opening chapter stylistically, a sound and energy that originates from his imposing mask.
H377 builds to a bulletproof verse and chorus section, the lyrics melting through the perpetual daze we’e been in. De Sade wrenches through phases of horror, using suspenseful builds to create an organically growing Tasmanian devil. The tones are surprisingly experimental for a band that has been assigned a certain style through years of releases. Finale is a melodic masterpiece, taking off the masks for a moment and facing the light. It shows what this band can do, claiming their position as one of the most brutal and creative metal acts to ever grace the stage.
21 years later, Slipknot still know in whom the Devil resides. Followers of faith, ire and misfits have idolised this band for a reason. More than 2 decades after their debut, they know where their strengths lie. Do they deviate? Definitely, like any artist should-creating art. Do they come back to level the place?
You tell me:
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Self professed metalhead, moderately well read. If the music has soul, it's whole to me. The fact that my bio could have ended on a rhyme and doesn't should tell you a lot about my personality.