Slipknot Album Reviews and ratings
.5: The Gray Chapter
USA Release Date: 21 October 2014
Label: Roadrunner Records
The brand new 2014 album from Slipknot.
.5: The Gray chapter Album Review
With the death of bassist Paul Gray and departure of drummer Joey Jordison, there was some speculation as to whether the nine would, or could, continue. Here we are though, six years after the release of All Hope Is Gone, about to review .5: The Gray Chapter. Slipknot are a band who influenced my life in a number of ways, and even now, 15 years on, they still make my heart beat a little bit faster. With singles 'The Negative One' and 'The Devil In I' teasing us and giving a taste of what to expect from the album, I couldn’t hit the play button quick enough.
Immediately I know this is going to be another triumphant Slipknot album. Haunting intro XIX harks back to the Iowa days, it is gritty and angry, but it also carries a message of unity amongst the maggots. Sarcastrophe is a brutal ripper of a song, which would drive a crowd mad at a festival, and has me moshing around my bedroom from the outset. AOV is probably one of my favourite track on the album, with its furious guitars and catchy angry hook line “Approaching Original Violence” Twisting and tumbling riffs spin us and twist us as we fall down the rabbit hole in to the unknown.
Slipknot have an incredible ability to make music that is so instantly recognisable. They really do possess an inherent sound that is theirs and theirs alone. This is clearly a Slipknot album, and their signature sound is ever present throughout. In fact the only song I could see Stone Sour do is the anthemic The Devil In I, but even then the chorus is Slipknot at their finest. The subject matter is pretty thinly veiled- Lech spits venom that could burn through steel and there are multiple references to The Negative One…we wonder who or what that is?!
Goodbye is one of the most emotional Slipknot moments ever, as we bid farewell to Paul Gray. Then its straight back in to the heavy with Custer (who can’t love a chorus of “Cut, cut, cut me up and fuck, fuck, fuck me up”), this is Surfacing 2014. Be Prepared for Hell has all of the horror of Scissors…OK so its an interlude but it sets the scene perfectly for The Negative One.
5: The Gray Chapter offers the next phase in the life of Slipknot. It isn’t Iowa, Slipknot, Vol 3 or All Hope Is Gone and it doesn’t try to be. Rather, it’s a powerful, passionate, and potent piece of music in its own right, while still retaining the hallmarks of the group’s patented sound. Don’t just disregard 5: The Gray Chapter as another Slipknot album, its a masterpiece of modern metal mayhem. This is Slipknot in 2014, and they’re still haunting, toxic, modern, urban and oh so dark. Their music is so much more than it seems. Beneath the surface lurk layers and layers of purification, while ushering in a gorgeously chaotic and crushing future for the new nine.
It’s hard to imagine any Maggot being disappointed by The Gray Chapter. Slipknot may have had to go through hell to make this album happen… but in the end, it was all worth it.
Antennas To Hell
USA Release Date: July 23, 2012
Label: Roadrunner Records
Antennas to Hell is the first greatest hits compilation by Slipknot
Antennas To Hell Album Review
The past couple of years have been tough on legendary extreme-metal outfit Slipknot and their legions of fans: the untimely loss of bassist & songwriter Paul Gray in May of 2010 shook the band to the core... and for a while there, it seemed they would disband in the wake of that tragedy. Fortunately, they pulled together and soldiered on, continuing to uphold the legacy that Paul had worked so hard to build since their inception in the late '90s. That legacy has now been chronicled in the band's first greatest-hits compilation Antennas to Hell. It's a massive and comprehensive package, containing all of the band's blockbuster singles (the lone exception being 2005's “The Nameless”), along with two companion DVDs containing their complete live set at the 2009 Download Festival and all of the band's music videos to date - including the complete short film Snuff, featuring guest performances from two icons of genre cinema.
Antennas To Hell is the ideal jumping-off point, as it details the band's evolution from their self-titled 1999 debut - which also marked the beginning of their controversial reputation and the first real surge of a cult following - and continues through their 2008 chart-topping release All Hope is Gone. Along the way, flamboyant percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan, also the band's official chronicler and visual artist, has racked up countless hours of documentary footage of the band's outrageous live shows, studio sessions, on-the-road shenanigans and other candid craziness - much of which has been compiled on DVD projects like the feature-length Voliminal. Many of Crahan's inventive visions appear on Antennas' video supplements, and some are like mini-horror films in themselves.
As for the audio content the standard one-CD edition of Antennas To Hell features tracks from the band's debut album including "(sic),” "Eyeless,” “Wait and Bleed,” "Spit it Out" and "Surfacing." The chartbusting 2001 release Iowa yielded the hits "People = Shit," "Disasterpiece,” "Left Behind” and "My Plague,” all of which are compiled here, though “My Plague” appears in the “New Abuse Mix,” as heard on the first Resident Evil soundtrack:
From the 2002 live album Disasterpieces, we get "The Heretic Anthem" and "Purity,” and from 2004's Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses comes “Pulse of the Maggots," "Duality," "Before I Forget" and “Vermilion.” The band's latest studio album (and their biggest seller to date) is 2008's All Hope is Gone, the last Slipknot release to feature the late Paul Gray as songwriter and bassist. Tracks included from this monster include "Sulfur,” "Psychosocial,” "Dead Memories” and “Snuff."
The Special Edition of Antennas to Hell contains two bonus DVDs, beginning with (sic)nesses: Live At The Download Festival 2009. The band's entire set is included, covering all of the songs mentioned above as well as "Get This,” "The Blister Exists" and "Everything Ends."
The second bonus DVD contains the band's entire video library, beginning with their first music video “Spit it Out” and featuring three versions of “Wait and Bleed,” the most interesting of which being a creepy animated film depicting the band members as macabre puppets:
The majority of the band's video output focuses on their live performances (and rightly so), but their experimental film work, much of which is handled by Crahan, is creepy and nightmarish, particularly the accompanying clips for “Vermilion,” a two-part mood piece depicting a waifish ghost woman - first in stop-motion animation, then in a dreamlike floating sequence. Other high points include “Sulfur,” depicting the band members floating in a water tank (which resembles a drowning device concocted for the SAW franchise), and “The Blister Exists,” which is a mostly sped-up performance piece, but perfectly captures the band's maniacal energy, as you can see here:
Dedicated maggots and curious (and brave) newcomers alike will find everything they need in Antennas to Hell. If you've never been down with the band's bizarre carnival of madness and thunderous melodic metal, as well as some seriously dark and doomy mood pieces, you may not change your mind about them just yet, but for the rest of us it's a worthy addition to the collection... hell, if just for the comprehensive video collection alone.
All Hope Is Gone
USA Release Date: August 26, 2008
Label: Roadrunner Records
Produced by: Dave Fortman
Recorded: February 2008 - June 2008, Sound Farm in Jamaica, Iowa
All Hope Is Gone Album Review
Let the haters hate: Slipknot
are a great band, and, more than that, they’re a great band that has show substantial growth from album to album - and their most recent release, All Hope is Gone
, is no exception. Sonically, the record is something of a codification of everything the band has ever done, which means the Stone Sourisms (clean vocals, reasonably radio-friendly alt-rock anthems, moody power ballads, etc.) of Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses
are here once again. Whether or not that’s a good thing, ultimately, will depend solely on the tastes of the listener. Musical evolution in and of itself is never really a bad thing.
All Hope is Gone
actually flows better than Vol. 3
. ever did. The members of Slipknot
said publicly that they wanted Vol. 3
to be their Reign in Blood (and even hired Rick Rubin to produce it), but the truth is that Vol. 3
was more like Slipknot
’s Use Your Illusion - a slightly bloated, nonetheless totally rockin’ melting pot of various pop-metal styles. All Hope is Gone
still offers a wide range of different types of metal, often within one song - for example, “Vendetta
” moves from a death metal-lite riff to a biker rawk verse to a “Beautiful People
”-esque audience anthem to Panteric groove metal all in just over five minutes. But the transitions on All Hope is Gone
are considerably smoother. Album opener (after “execute
,” the obligatory intro) “Gematria
(The Killing Name)” is a “The Blister Exists
”-like exercise in classic Slipknot
mayhem, a song that, were Dave Fortman’s production a little more raw, would fit right in on Iowa
, complete with violent threats (“We will burn your cities down
”) and philosophical ponderings right out of The Book of Slayer (“What if God doesn’t care?
”) - but it flows into the nu-thrash anthem “Sulfur
” with incredible ease.
Like Vol. 3
, All Hope is Gone
takes a few listens for its strengths to make themselves readily apparent; maybe it’s because I, like a lot of Slipknot fans, still go into every album expecting songs more in the vein of “Disasterpiece
” and “Sic
.” As it was on Vol. 3, certain songs - “Dead Memories
,” “This Cold Black
,” and “Wherein Lies Continue
” amongst them - took a while to grow on me. And it’s almost impossible to believe that “Snuff
,” a guilty pleasure prom song that Staind would kill to have written, was recorded by the same band that once did “People = Shit.
” But I think these tracks are completely worth a Slipknot
Jordison does a lot of cool shit on this record, but we know for a fact that he’s capable of even more, so we might as well hold him to that higher standard, no?
I suspect that All Hope is Gone will only get better with more listens, and Slipknot continue to prove that you can change and even lighten your sound without sacrificing the elements that won you your fanbase in the first place. For Slipknot
, all hope most certainly is not gone.
USA Release Date: October 30, 2005
Label: Roadrunner Records
Producer: Joey Jordison
Recorded: 2004-2005 during the Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) World Tour
9.0: Live Album Review
Live albums are always difficult to review because they too are an acquired taste, usually meant for diehard fans. Not everyone who listens to SLIPKNOT's music needs a double-CD of a SLIPKNOT concert, and it's always tricky for bands to capture what makes them great on tape (or on a hard drive, for that matter). In this case, however, "9.0 Live" does a fine job of summing up the band's recorded high points over the course of six years and three albums, and also comes very close to presenting a definitive audio record of what the group sounds like live.
In some ways, I enjoy this record more than the band's 2004 studio effort, "Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)" only because sonically SLIPKNOT sounds heavier and darker here than on that disc. And with a nonstop barrage of favorites like "Pulse of the Maggots", "Purity", "Everything Ends" and an especially vicious "Heretic Anthem", "9.0 Live" also emphasizes that underneath the band's sonic and sometimes chaotic assault, there is a core of solid metal songwriting that shines through.
"9.0. Live" also showcases the individual and collective talents of the group live, proving them to be a formidable concert unit. Despite having nine people onstage at all times (except for Joey Jordison's drum solo, which drives home what an excellent drummer and indispensable component he is), the band stays tight throughout the album, weaving its way through death metal blastbeats and more complex, melodic material with equal ease. On the downside, singer Corey Taylor goes flat on occasion, and the musical contribution of both percussionists remains murky at best.
Nonetheless, it's rare that a live album truly replicates the experience of being there, but "9.0 Live" definitely captures the aggression, power and underrated abilities of SLIPKNOT in a punchy mix, courtesy of the great Colin Richardson, that probably beats out an actual live show in terms of clarity. Whether you love them or hate them, there are reasons why SLIPKNOT is a tremendously successful band, and "9.0 Live" documents one of them in the strongest possible fashion.
Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses
USA Release Date: May 24, 2004
Label: Roadrunner Records
Produced by: Rick Rubin
Recorded: 2003 at The Mansion in California
Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses Album Review
Slipknot set out to construct the ultimate metal music flamethrower, ever since their genesis in a Des Moines, IA
, basement. But they also deployed an agitprop campaign of masks
, and bar codes
that helped scare parents (like good metal should) and transform Slipknot
fans into faithful "Maggots
The Midwestern origin of all this craziness is genius, as the band's marrow-draining metal and twisted, fibrous mythology is antithetical to the region's milquetoast rep. Still, after the gothic nausea of 2001's Iowa
vitality dissipated in clouds of gaseous hype and individual indulgence. Had they grown fat on their thrones? Probably. But the layoff only makes Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses
Working with famously bearded helmer Rick Rubin
-- aka He Who Smites Bullshit -- Slipknot
pour the shrill accessibility of their self-titled debut down Iowa's
dark sieve, and the result is flinty, angry, and rewardingly restless. Vol. 3
shares its lyrical themes of anger, disaffection, and psychosis with most of Slipknot's nu-metal
peers. Lines like "I've screamed until my veins collapsed
" and "Push my fingers into my eyes/It's the only thing that slowly stops the ache
" (from the otherwise strong "Duality
") aren't unique to this cult. But unlike so many, the band's sound rarely disassembles into genre building blocks: riff + glowering vocal + throaty chorus = Ozzfest acceptance.
What makes Vol. 3
stick is the dedication to making it a Slipknot
album, and not just another flashy alt-metal billboard. The seething anger and preoccupation with pain is valid because it's componential to the group's uniquely branded havoc. "Blister Exists
," "Three Nil,
" and "Opium of the People
" are all standouts, strafing soft underbellies with rhythmic (occasionally melodic) vocals, stuttering, quadruple-helix percussion, and muted grindcore guitar.
is integral to the album's power -- his cataclysmic vocal filters and arrays of unidentifiable squiggle and squelch unite Vol. 3's
various portions in wildly different ways. Just when the meditative "Circles
" threatens to keel over from melodrama, in sputters strings of damaged electronics and percussion to lead it into "Welcome
," which sounds like Helmet covering Relapse Records' entire catalog at once. Later, another counterpoint is offered, when the swift boot kicks of "Pulse of the Maggots
" and "Before I Forget
" separate "Vermilion
"'s gothic and acoustic parts. Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses
doesn't feel like Slipknot's
final statement. It's a satisfying, carefully crafted representation of their career to date. One thing that is certain, is that Slipknot
have made an ambitious attempt to move things forward. So, who’s coming with them
? After all, what have you got to lose
USA Release Date: August 28, 2001
Label: Roadrunner Records
Produced by: Ross Robinson
Recorded: 2001 at Sound City and Sound Image in California
Iowa Album Review
After their legendary major label debut
, the nine-piece band from Iowa
are back, and fueled with more hate
than before. We were promised by the band brutality in the most pure of forms, and that is what they have delivered. It is difficult imagining how it was possible to surpass the band's performance on their debut album, but they have found a loophole to slip through. Perhaps it is disputable as to whether it is a full assault on the auditory canal and eardrum, but the album definitely can raise chaos for your mind. The best way to grasp their seemingly infinite hate is to pop the CD in, and read the linear notes along with the album. Read the lyrics, feel the music, release the rage.
Tracks such as "Left Behind
" demonstrate Corey Taylor 's
singing talents, while other cuts further reveal his ability to nail thunderous screams in succession. Although it was not originally written as material for Iowa , "Gently
" is an excellent addition to the CD. This repackaged song may come from Slipknot's early days, but the lyrics fit perfectly in this psych-rendering masterpiece.
Like the art of the insane, every possible space is covered in scrawl and cymbals: guitars, percussion, electronic squall, subhuman screaming, Ross Robinson's
production ensuring the music lets no light in, that you can never quite see round the edges. At its occasional worst - 'New Abortion
- it sounds like ill-aimed projectile loathing, yet elsewhere they've worked out that there are 50 ways to smash a cranium, from the nauseous glory of 'People=Shit' - a Coke ad waiting to happen - to the boilersuited fight song 'Heretic Anthem'.
The excellent 'Everything Ends
' ("I think I'm gonna be sick and it's your fault", growls nervous-breakdown-on-legs Corey) is momentarily Nirvana
-like, a melodic fin sharks through the filthy noise of 'My Plague
' while the scrapyard baroque of 'Skin Ticket
' is Phantom Of The Opera with real Phantoms. And, having abundantly fulfilled their brief, they even get away with a closing 15-minute title track which is, ludicrously, almost post-rock, a suite of bass menace, muttering and incipient apocalypse that makes you wonder whether it's Godspeed who've been lurking behind those masks all along.
utilizes music to rid all of the poisons of life from their thoughts, their minds, and their flesh. While Iowa may aid in the release of their frustration, it also acts as an Intravenous thread allowing that same poison to seep and transfuse into the listener. Buy this album, shatter your dreams, shatter your life, and shatter your hopes. The population just got sicker, welcome to Iowa.
Think you're going to be sick and it's their fault? Then their work here is done. People might well equal shit, but sometimes, they care enough to make records this exhilarating, this brutal, this good. It could almost restore your faith in humanity.
Release Date: June 29, 1999
Label: Roadrunner Records
Produced by: Ross Robinson and Slipknot
Recorded: 1998:1999 at Indigo Ranch in Malibu, California
Slipknot Album Review
The album cover of this self-titled release depicts the nine members of Slipknot in creepy masks, the dark image confirmed by the presence of a parental advisory sticker. Inside, foul language and subversive lyrics complete the picture. Yet Slipknot are no Insane Clown Posse, using hyperbole to mask a lack of talent. Slipknot's sound, while indebted to the likes of Korn , is more aggressive and creative; indeed, it's a closer kind to Slayer and death metal, yet listenable and surprisingly melodic.
The common denominator among Slipknot and the late 1990s crop of neo-metal-rap bands is producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Limp Bizkit ), who discovered the Iowa-bred Slipknot and signed them to his label, I Am Records. His stellar production, melded with wonderfully creepy percussive elements, a sampler, a DJ, metallic-grind guitars, and singer Corey Taylor's immense passion and wide melodic range, makes Slipknot immensely listenable. Slipknot isn't for everyone, but they provide a visceral and satisfying ride for fans of the hard stuff.
“(sic)” is still quite possibly one of the best opening tracks I can think of. “Surfacing” is still a punishingly dissonant take on what really boils down to a typical “angry white male” lyrical focus. “Liberate” is one of the only tracks on the record that is actually better than I remember it being the first time. “Spit It Out” is really the only song on the entire album where Corey Taylor’s more rap-styled delivery really works, with “fuck me, I’m all out of enemies” still being one of my favorite shout-along metal refrains ever.
Combine this with often refreshingly intelligent lyrics, and equally refreshing melodic vocals between the shouting, and you begin to realise that Slipknot's music goes above and beyond the band's image.
Buy this album, listen to it all the way through with an open mind, and i defy any metal/rock fan not to be impressed. If you're a huge fan of Slipknot, or consider yourself some sort of Slipknot collector, odds are you already own this. Heck, I'd even recommend that casual fans pick this up.
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
Release Date: October 31, 1996
Label: Pale One
Recorded: 1995-1996 at SR Audio in Des Moines, Iowa
Produced by: Sean Mcmahon and Slipknot
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. Album Review
became known for there 1999 debut
album and the subsequent breakthrough album 'Iowa'
, which knew how to impress both with a hitherto almost unprecedented level of aggression and brutality. Quite rightly, no question - but what it should not be forgotten is that the foundation of this success before, and even that can not be concealed, was laid by a partially different cast: with "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat
Even if this album may not be a logical predecessor, and "Slipknot
" was not the only possible consequence of this album, so that's as crazy as artful creation of the then eight-piece band from Des Moines
on this recordings but essential part of SLIPKNOT
success - after all, a good part of the song material on the following two albums were re-arranged recycled: "Only One", "Tattered & Torn" and vigorously revised under the title "(Sic)
" in the history of New Metal received, "Slipknot
" on the debut album, "Gently
" and "Killers Are Quiet
" (as the title track with new lyrics) to "Iowa
What "Mate. Feed. Kill. . Repeat
"so unique made as an album, but it is actually exactly the part of the music, which did not bring it on the following boards to world fame - the experimental, really weird part of the story of SLIPKNOT
Between the hard and riffs, which in combination noticeably remember with Anders Colsefni's
singing sometimes witty way to the then just-hot-stuff like Pantera
"Far Beyond Driven", offers "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat
." The listener that is a veritable potpourri of different styles: Is the combination of death metal riffing with soulful, jazzy clean-parts in "Gently
", although very nice, but still relatively common, probably at the latest on "Do Nothing / Bitchslap"
so far for a more or less blunt force beating hiel, his ears hardly believe: In a fixed-slapping bass intro with a short "welcome
" by the distortion guitars follows an almost jazzy clean-Interlude. Somewhere in the background ringing a telephone, and then all hell breaks loose - really totally unexpected, therefore, come to SLIPKNOT
with a radio part to which the Red Hot Chili Peppers
would have been proud in their prime before - you guessed it - again all hell breaks loose.Remarkable is the compositional skill with which the band brings in 4:19 so many different parts, without that the song it gets out of hand. Messy, yes, but not without a concept.
Whoever thinks, so you would be at the end of Progressivitäts flagpole of the band from Iowa
arrived, think again: Already in the subsequent "Only One
" comes genre technically still a pinch Hiphop added, which in the latest "Confessions
" (together with the radio!) is at the center of the composition. That the singing here is sometimes not something fishy, to forgive as happy, not least because that gives the song a certain impromptu charm, and fits so well to the radio character.
After the rather brutal "Some Feel
" finally ended the twenty-minute "Killers Are Quiet
" album his character cranky accordingly.
With words like "revolutionary
" or "legendary
" one should be careful, but at least sparingly - in this case I could but get carried almost to its use, is "Mate.Feed. Kill. Repeat
" but of such uncompromising individuality and genre boundaries marked busting innovation, as they have not and only rarely heard later get in New Metal-sector previously.