It seems like just yesterday that the horror bomb swept the world of metal and music in general.
An album concocted by eight Slipknot members in the depths of a dark abyss, haunted by creatures, sounds, voices, and out-of-this-world experiences. We are dramatic and we love it...
From the first teasers ahead of the album, "Slipknot" made us develop expectations at the levels of Quentin Tarantino's next film. Unprecedented marketing work in the rock world, unprecedented in the sub-genre world, and unprecedented on the part of the band.
Posts on various social media, collaborations with huge brands, and one slogan that has made anyone who is not connected to this band inferior, different, and even undeveloped.
"WE ARE NOT YOUR KIND"
How bold, how unstoppable, and how talented this band brought us this groundbreaking, dynamic, and diverse album that will be a beacon in the world of music.
Again, we get carried away here but we love it...
It all started after completing the tour for the previous album in 2017, Shawn "Clown" Crahan and Jim Root started writing new material together, Shawn and Jim originally intended to take the time on this album and not run forward indiscriminately. Not only new material but also material that they wrote together during the tour. Jim said he was very pleased that he could concentrate on one band, without having to split into two, which is also why he did not continue with "Stone Sour". Even then Shawn had the idea to produce a double, large, and experimental concept album.
At a later stage, the drummer (the huge and crazy one who by the way has not yet received a number in the band) Jay Weinberg joined and they began to form demos to record the album. Corey Taylor at the time was busy on the "Hydrograd" album of his second band "Stone Sour".
Although the single "All Out Life" was released in October 2018, the band gathered to start recording only in early 2019. For two whole years, the three worked on the album's demos, like a witch who cooks a potion from dangerous substances and lets it brew in the fire, so the album crystallized. The songs evolved and grew during this time, every time they touched them, something different happened and it gave them the ability to experiment and create in new spaces.
“Let me tell you, this one’s biblical”
After the demos were done all the materials were transferred to Corey who was blown away by the creativity of the three and was inspired to go to places he had not dared to go before and he wrote from the depths of his soul all the lyrics to the album. Corey, who today had already found a new love, got married, and regained his sanity, at that time was suffering from severe depression. He went through a difficult and ugly divorce from a relationship that was "toxic" as he said, he went into depression and tried to find a way to recover from the difficult experience. Corey said that this is an almost autobiographical album in which he reveals all his experiences and feelings, he claims that he has never been so personal on any of the band's albums. Gloomy lyrics that tell the process that Corey went through on the way to "redemption"!
Nearly 27 tracks were formed during the writing and in early 2019 it was time to start recording. Together with producer Greg Fidelman who produced the band's previous album, the horror dance of this crazy album began (and we say this in a positive sense). Jim said that during the recordings there was a direct continuation of the process that started the writing. The recordings were made fluently and quickly. It all happened together, and fast. The band members recorded the album while they were all playing together and not when everyone was recording their part separately. Corey said that suddenly the pieces took on a different volume and meaning, from a crazy evolution that took place in the band along with the songs, imagine eight crazy members in one studio, after 5 years not being together in this situation, and everyone longing to get everything they have in their stomachs !!
Just before the release of the album, Chris Fehn decided to sue the band members for royalties on the tour. This led to a huge lawsuit and very negative public relations that made the band's fans suspect that something was wrong with the band members again and everything was starting to fall apart once again.
But that did not happen, they came out stronger, armed with a new slogan, new masks, and crazy visual teasers released in all possible media, and so the eight released the album on August 9th, 2019!
The album opens with "Insert Coin" just to have a test for your eardrum and make sure everything is balanced before entering the official 2019 anthem (there is no need to deny that it will not help) "Unsainted" !!
This is one of the greatest songs of this ensemble, strong, powerful, exemplary, melodic at times, cut to chapters, with dynamics that can accommodate everything "Slipknot" have done up to that moment.
All the hype created around the album erupted in this wonderful single that without you noticing puts the visit to the band's show at the top of your priorities in life, in general !! Musical elements from all of the band's albums are combined with harsh and gloomy lyrics about Corey's depression that brings a ruthless bomb. In the video of the song, the band members reveal their new masks, but what does it matter now that Shawn hits his baseball bat on the barrel...
The song that opens like this is called "Birth Of The Cruel""Birth Of The Cruel" is the third track on the album with a different style from what we've heard so far from the band, with an industrial scent coming to the chorus, and Corey bursting into flames. The third single was written in the garage of Jim's house with the riffs leading the song and vice versa, with the drums and clicks on the barrel leading the song. Here, too, Corey copes with depression but manages to break through to overcome it.
One of the gloomy parts of the album is "Death Because Of Death", the fruit of Shawn's work that takes you to a kind of obscure moment of thought... and then it comes...
Explosions !!!!! The album's fifth track "Nero Forte" opens with a deadly and fast reef accompanied by Jay's superhuman drumming, but wait..."Nero Forte" what is it? Background noises? The vocal harmony of sounds is almost palpable? It suddenly upsets us, and we move uncomfortably, but in the second cycle we are already flowing with it and it's good because the roars, the guitars, the drums, everything just blends in perfectly, insane. Feels a bit like an evolution of the song "Psychosocial".
Moving on to the sixth track "Critical Darling", which starts very strong, a shape that is very characteristic of the first materials of the band, but later gets a kind of melodic poppy twist, as if something has melted here and become sticky and pleasant. Of course, the craze returns immediately afterward, a fascinating musical roller coaster !! The basic of the song was written during the previous album, but such and other changes to the riff and additions of electronic effects brought it to this album.
Now we change the atmosphere and move on to something slower and heavier that is very reminiscent of "Snuff". The episode "A Liar's Funeral" is another journey into the depths of Corey's wounded and depressed soul, how exciting it is... how painful it is... In this song, Corey sees the people around him with crooked eyes and condescendingly, calling them liars. Jay's blows on the high hat feel like pieces of metal that torment and hurt. Take a deep breath and let's continue...
Straight back to the familiar and beloved inferno with "Red Flag", Jim said that producer Greg took the demo of this song and stripped it completely until he found a certain riff part on which the whole song was rebuilt.
We will continue from here to a psychotic passage “What’s Next” reminiscent of a scene in the elevator or lobby of a creepy hotel a second before a horrific apocalypse occurs.
With this creepy piano melody, we continue to one of the most wonderful and surprising works on the album "Spiders". This is a new side of Slipknot that takes them to new spaces and different styles that characterize the band, and it's just an amazing piece, no need to be afraid to see more colors of the band.
Continue to the section called "Orphan" which begins with a long opening section and erupts into fast, high-quality thrash metal. We just admire Jay for his talent and abilities, he certainly does not fall short of Joey Jordison and maybe even surpass him (do not be angry if you are one of Joey's fans), he blends in perfectly with the new directions of the band, while still holding the rhythm. Corey tells you how lonely he feels, just like an orphan, but a ruthless orphan who destroys your world.
The song "My Pain" is another slow, heavy, and moving piece but... presented here with a musical, psychedelic twist that is not even close to the world of "Slipknot". The xylophone here puts us in an atmosphere of horror as Corey sings to us in a gentle way, if it is not daring, creative, and breaking boundaries then the settings need to be changed. The music for the song was written back in 2008 and every time the band members approached it was not ripe for the album, this time it was!
The penultimate section is called "Not Long for This World" and is simply perfectly constructed, a pleasant and caressing easy opening that breaks at once with the guitar riff and melody of the vocals. This is how the parts come back again and again with the exploding chorus in "Slipknot" style. This is not a catchy or hit song, it is a song that requires further listening with depth and internalization.
The section that seals the album is "Solway Firth" for some reason feels like a direct sequel to "Spiders" but is a wonderful summary for this album. A song that simply sums up everything we heard from this band here and now, the mowing, roaring, fragility, breaks with a pleasant melody, electronic effects, creepy music boxes, and a variety of other styles we got here from the band.
This different, diverse, and experimental album went straight to number one on the Billboard 200 and took first place in dozens of other countries in the world, it was not only a musical explosion but without a doubt also a commercial explosion. This must be taken seriously in the world of instant, pop, Instagram, and Tik Tok where we live today. The album gained insane exposure and brought the "new" metal to the various media headlines, even if it was only for a brief moment.
Along with the album that is considered in our eyes and in the eyes of the band for a leap, their tour also underwent a leap and it is impossible to separate the two. As they took their musical creativity to other, more extreme, unfamiliar districts, even in their performances today they went far. Add dramatic elements, pyrotechnics, and a crazy show, as an integral part of what they want to convey with the album.