There are a lot of good things to be said about this album.  It's heavy, it's raw, and it's a fairly creative evolution of the nu-metal sound popularized in the late 90s.  It sounds somewhat unique, but it also sounds somewhat familiar, but admittedly better than mostl of their peers at the time.  Basically it sounds like a thrashier, more up-tempo version of Korn, but with turntables and a death-metal flavor.  So, yes, I would say that they did recycle Korn's original sound/intensity here, but added their own spin to it to make it their own.  And the album does kick ass, it does, there are a lot of good songs, and it's nice and raw, although they try too hard to be "scary/heavy" at times.  Occassionally sounds forced, but haven said that, they clearly knew how to market themselves.  9 members, all in unique horrorshow masks, all in jumpsuits...3 drummers...they clearly standout from the pack visually, but if that's all they had going for them, they never would have become as huge as they did.  Slipknot were a good Nu-Metal band that put on a great live show.  They were what they were, and while their visual schtick reaks of hollowness, the band clearly had chops which are best displayed in all their intensity on this their best album.



Album cover



Trying to pull a "Far Beyond Driven" by going heavier and failing miserably at it.  "People = Shit" makes me embarassed to say I ever liked this band.  Iowa basically sounds like they are trying way too hard to be extreme and heavy.  The production is too bass-heavy, which wouldn't be a bad thing except for the fact Slipknot doesn't have any rhythm (at least on this album).  "Heretic Anthem" is pretty awesome...other than that, a couple of other decent songs, but the majority just sounds like a bunch of losers throwing a shitty sounding temper-tantrum for damn near an hour straight...


Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)



Whereas Iowa sounded like diarrhea spewing from the speakers most of the time, Vol 3 actually sounds like a band trying to progess their sound somewhat and rediscovering their groove.  Sure, it lacks the rawness and intensity of their debut, but overall it's probably their most well-rounded album.  The heavy songs actually have groove and rhythm most of the time (unlike Iowa) and as much as I gripe about Nu-Metal courses, these are actually good and memorable, and they work with the songs.  So while Slipknot was ultimately kind of a full of shit band, there's no denying that most of these songs kick ass, and that this is probaby their best crafted album overall.


All Hope is Gone

A group of nine men wearing masks stand in a field of grass with a gloomy clouded sky behind them.



By the time 2008 came around, I couldn't have given two shits about Slipknot.  A gimmicky band that was selling hallow aggression and image more than anything else, Slipknot reminded me of my somewhat pathetic days of living in the middle of nowhere, being a tad too anti-social, and generally wallowing in my own resin-stained, depressing existence.  Out of recent curiosity, I gave this album a full listen, and in a nutsell: it was what I thought it was.  It's not as dynamic/infectious as Vol 3, similar in tone/style to the pummeling Iowa, and it certainly is nowhere near as fresh/raw as their debut.  While some of these songs would no doubt be invigorating in a live setting, it's all fairly predictable stuff (cliche themes...brutality mixed with overly melodic choruses, etc).  Most annoying is Cory Taylor's choruses/singing, which no doubt appeal to the type of withdrawn, isolated, and bitter suburban/rural teenagers that just lap that generic shit up.  In a nutshull, it probably wouldn't be a healthy thing if a 30+ y.o. old-school fan still cared about this band and really enjoyed their music, and I'm happy to report that is not the case with yours truly.


.5: The Gray Chapter



Just in time for Halloween, Slipknot drops its 5th (and hopefully final) album upon it's adoring fan-base they affectionately refer to as "maggots".  I admit that I used to be one of these "maggots" myself, but that was also about 15 years ago when I was a weed-obsessed misanthropic teenager.  Now that I'm 31, I find this type of music really hard to relate to.  Mind you, I will always like heavy music, but as I grow older, I have less and less tolerance for bullshit.  And I'm not sure how else you would describe Slipknot at this stage in their career.  See, I like riffs, I like breakdowns, I like rawness, I like groove, I like rhythm, and I like realness, but unfortunately all you're going to find on this album is lame-ass radio-friendly choruses, predictable song structures (quiet/loud/generic chorus/really loud/shitty chorus again) and plastic, pre-packaged manufactured rage aimed at a bunch of bitter and pissed off teenagers with kind of shitty taste in music.  Sure, most of this album is pretty heavy, but all the songs pretty much sound the same.  Slipknot seems to only know one speed: fast, but unfortunately you need more than intensity and speed to be interesting (at least to me).  The best part of the music here is when Corey Taylor shuts the fuck up and lets his band jam-out, which unfortunately doesn't happen very often.  His choruses here are as lame as they've ever been, and his whole yelling/screaming the songs thing is getting old and makes him sound like an raging, sadistic asshole with absolutely nothing to say with his trite lyrics that sound like they could have been written by an overly dramatic teenage emo-kid.  Now, would this album probably be fun to hear in a live setting?  Sure, I guess.  Are there at least 20 other heavy bands that have come and gone that I'd rather see than these assholes?  Yes, for sure.  Are Slipknot overrated, and more annoying than enjoyable at this point for me now?  Absolutely.  Why do I keep reviewing them?  I do not know.


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