In 1999, nu-metal was still going strong. This was also the year that Korn would take a break after releasing Issues, resulting in many clones of Korn and the Deftones to sprout like mushrooms on the quickest growing fertilizer. The clones showed no originality, if there was any at all. But then we have Des Moines’ own Slipknot, mixing only a wee bit of Korn’s formula and creating a sound to call their own.
The band has 9 members, abnormally high for your average four-to-five member rock band. But it feels more like 8. In the band’s sound overall in their s/t, the samples are claustrophobic, taking the breath right from the listener. The use of turntables is not only interesting, rather, they add a sort of “groove”, if you will, to Slipknot’s sound. The percussion is relentless, attacking with no surrender in sight. While the guitar riffs are down tuned and simplistic, like Munky and Head, Mick and James utilize a rhythmic assault to their advantage, and also manage to make the lead and ground riffing mix very well together.
Joey Jordisson’s drumming is similar to David Silveria’s earlier career, sometimes providing a beat that you can bob your head to, while at other times, Jordisson goes on a frenzy with his drumming. Corey Taylor’s vocals refresh the album when it’s necessary. It’s like this: Corey usually screams in the album, but he also sings when needed, providing melody and balancing out the main vocal in the process, to give the listener a breath of fresh air, resulting in the listener not becoming annoyed with the same screaming over and over every track(This meaning that the vocal isn’t 100% screaming). Taylor also provides a good use of figurative language, while still using the same nu-metal clichés, but not straying too far into the clichés. Meaning: He’s not like Jonathan Davis. More specifically, Taylor is not talking about the same hatred over and over again, however, he does rely too much on one certain four-letter word. So what’s the matter with this? Well, the bass is literally nonexistent, and it’s rare to even hear it in any Slipknot song, basically because the guitars literally dominate over the bass. Meaning that the only time you could hear the bass is whenever the guitars are quiet.
Enough with the overall sound of the album, time to actually talk about it. Intro 742617000027 repeats “The whole thing, I think, is Sick” for 30 seconds, speeding up and slowing down at random times, with a whistling-like sound in the background. What 742617000027 manages to accomplish: a prelude for what was to come. After it’s over, (Sic) starts, starting with repeating chords and drums, then exploding with a ravaging percussion assault, followed by aggressive drumming over rhythmic riffing. (Sic) gives off an idea of what’s to be expected from the rest of this album in terms of playing style. Every song on here, with exception to Prosthetics, Tattered and Torn, and Scissors, shows the same style of this no surrender, balls out, never-back-down playing style. Slipknot tests the waters of rap-metal with Spit It Out, Only One, and No Life. These tracks are extremely up-tempo, with Corey spitting out the lyrics as fast as he possibly can, matching with the speed of the guitars and drums.
Then there’s the “ballads” of the album, Scissors, Tattered and Torn, and Prosthetics. These songs show the most evidence that a bass is there, because it’s not being easily overpowered by Mick and James’s guitars. Tattered and Torn is boring, as you can barely make out what Corey is saying. The song’s direction here is very confused, and leaves the listener saying “What?”. Prosthetics talks about an old man collecting stuff, and somehow he manages to collect a young girl. It starts out very well, with brainchild/percussionist Shawn Crahan pounding at his oil drum, along with Mick providing some dark and eerie riffing, though it’s simplistic. Slowly but surely, Prosthetics becomes heavier, notably when Corey says “I found you leaning out of an open window”. Scissors is nothing but pure chaos. Corey starts by creepily whispering “I play doctor for 5 minutes flat, before I cut my heart open”. Similar to Prosthetics, Scissors slowly builds up, getting heavier, and heavier, and heavier still, finally with Corey belting out “YOU BITCH! I DON’T NEED YOU ANYMORE!!!!” near the end. The last few seconds, Corey screams “I DIE!”, as Scissors finally fades out. Scissors is truly devastating, taking the breath that the listener has right out of him and leaving the listener uneasy after hearing those eight minutes of nothing but chaos. This might sound like a song that would have been done by your typical Korn clone, but that’s not the case for Slipknot. Again, Slipknot does it their way. It might feel like a clone of Daddy, but the only difference: Daddy didn’t have eight minutes of nothing but pure chaos.
However, Slipknot really doesn’t try utilizing different playing styles. They just stick to one certain method: non existent bass, down tuned guitars, fast paced drumming and percussive assaulting, spine chilling samples, groovy turntables, and screaming with some melody at random instances. No matter if they added their own originality to their sound, the Korn clone in Slipknot is evident, whether it be their logo, their evident excerpts from Korn’s formula, or even in their lyrics, it’s there. You can say that there are too many people in Slipknot. Bollocks. But I will admit that Slipknot might as well drop their bassist. It’s not like it matters, seeing as how easily Mick and James’s guitars dominate and drown the bass out because it’s turned down way too low while the guitars are blasting. Joey might be a fast drummer, but he shows very little creativity on the drum set. Faster than the average nu-metal drummer? Yes indeed, but there are faster drummers. Slipknot still manages to create a release that is still considered as one of modern metal's innovations. If you are a fan of nu-metal, I recommended taking a listen to this release.
So, yeah... You're last review was mostly decent, but you just turned right back around with this one.
I think your main problem with reviewing is that you don't seem to understand the difference between a band and an album. Every review you write seems to revolve around what each member plays. This would be alright if you used that as a tool to analyze the album, but instead, you just make very simple observations. Your review can pretty much be summed up like this:
[quote=First sentence of the last paragraph]However, Slipknot really doesn’t try utilizing different playing styles. They just stick to one certain method: non existent bass, down tuned guitars, fast paced drumming and percussive assaulting, spine chilling samples, groovy turntables, and screaming with some melody at random instances.[/quote]
That's pretty much the abridged version of your entire review, and it's just a general statement about the band, and not a description of the album. You don't even seem to take any particular stance on the album.
There are some other things wrong with this review as well. First, your comparisons are usually always strange, especially in this review. Using Korn as some sort of Tool to measure Slipknot is a bit awkward, seeing as how the bands don't really sound alike. I mean, I can see you're linking the two bands using the genre of nu-metal, but the comparison really isn't great. Try to only make comparisons to other bands if you absolutely find it necessary to describe the band's sound.
Second, your diction and word choice is sometimes very strange. It's not so bad in this review, but some of your previous reviews (especially your Korn's Greatest Hits review) are incredibly difficult to read. A good way to work on this is just what the_wizard said: letting someone else read it before will help. It's nice that you've been putting more effort into your reviews and you're proofreading them before you submit them, but word isn't really enough.
I'm confused fascist, are you following this guys reviews? Because you've posted criticism on every one of them, and you have not managed to sound like a nice person in any of them.
There's constructive criticism, then there's repeated annoying criticism.
I've literally been working on this review all day, I even proofreaded in a sense. Hope you like it.
I don't think you proofreaded that sentence.
And Jacktiger, were you around when a user named Tribestros was around? He's a legendary character who wrote like 60 reviews and never took anyone's advice on getting better and was eventually sent into the oblivion we know as IGN. I think superfascist is trying to help stop this user from suffering the same fate. This Message Edited On 12.17.07