I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t overly excited about the release of the new Slipknot album; the singles didn’t really grab me the way I expected, especially since the band likened it to ‘Iowa’levels of heaviness. That, and there seemed to be a lot of drama surrounding them in the weeks before the release; from Chris Fehn bringing up allegations of financial unfairness, Corey being almost irritatingly honest in interviews, and the constant barrage of “What would Corey Taylor think?” posts on those music news sites publishing his interviews. Those two things made it very hard for me to get excited about one of my favourite groups releasing a new album.
Their album We Are Not Your Kind was released on August 9th, yet I didn’t bother listening to it until about two weeks later; after my friend, Sal talked me into giving it a chance. YouTube supplied me with enough of it to whet my appetite, and after hearing tracks like ‘Birth of the Cruel’, ‘Nero Forte’, and ‘Red Flag’, I was positive that I was completely wrong with my initial judgement.
After a brief intro track, we get ‘Unsainted’. This was one of the singles that were released, and at first, I wasn’t impressed with it. However, upon many listens, I now feel that it’s one of the best on the album. The choral intro, with Corey singing the same part as the female vocals, is very well put together. When the heavy guitars enter, I’m immediately banging my head in time with the keg hits that Clown (Shawn Crahan) performs; which are bright sounding, and very clear within the mix. One of the best tracks presented here!
The next song’s intro reminds me of an industrial-based horror film, which makes me smile from ear to ear. That song is called ‘Birth of the Cruel’, and it’s one of the heaviest on We Are Not Your Kind; the way they use dynamic shifts really makes this track stand out in my opinion. The verse parts are significantly more laid back, and the heavy sections are increasingly more powerful because of that fact.
‘Nero Forte’ crashes in like a bull in a China shop, and makes me feel like breaking things as I slam my head uncontrollably. Corey sounds possessed as he delivers one of the best vocal performances on the record, and the riffs are slamming; everything about this track reminds me of why I have always loved Slipknot.
If you’re an old school fan like me, then you’ll absolutely love ‘Red Flag’. This track screams the sounds of their self-titled debut, and is one of the few tracks where I can hear the ‘Iowa’ comparison the band made in the months leading up to the release date; this sound makes me happier than I can express with mere human words. Easily my favourite track on the album, and the heaviest as well.
Taking a break from the riff fueled brutality, Slipknot takes us away with the keyboard saturated ‘Spiders’. I love this song, with its minimalistic guitar playing, and the tone of the keyboard is as creepy as can be; even the brief guitar solo is subdued. Corey delivers another fantastic performance, but that’s nothing surprising at this point in their career.
The last number I’d like to bring up is called ‘Solway Firth’. This track starts off with a strange intro, with a vocal tone that is really cool. After that, we get a barrage of heavy metal power that doesn’t let down, done in the way that only Slipknot can. This is another in a line of killer new music from these nu-metal stalwarts.
So as you can see, I went from hating the singles to absolutely loving the entire album; with the exception of ‘My Pain’, which in my opinion is just boring, six and a half minutes of boring. I guess what I’m attempting to impart upon you is this, go listen to this album even if you’re on the fence about it; you will not be disappointed that you did. Enjoy!!!!
Edited by: Bishoy Nader.