Slipknot. A name known to every Metalhead in the modern world. Since the release of their first album, Slipknot
in 1999, the band have developed quite a following, with thousands of teenagers wearing their t-shirts to records going platinum. This album, All Hope Is Gone
is their latest offering, released just today. Now, I am not the biggest Slipknot fan in the world, nor have I listened to that much of their stuff. I heard their self titled debut album a while back and wasn’t impressed, but I’m trying to go into All Hope Is Gone
with an open mind, so let’s see if the almighty Slipknot can pull out an impressive record.
Okay, we start with an instrumental-like piece called .Execute.
.It starts with some distorted speaking (sounds like police officers or something) and sound effects, until the drums come in about a minute in, playing a very fast beat over and over, which is quite impressive. It goes on for a while longer until Corey Taylor screams “All Hope Is Gone!
” and we bounce into the proper opening track, Gematria (The Killing Name)
. Clocking in at 6 minutes, this is a very lengthy opener. There’s a minute of some heavy riffage at the start, before the verses kick in with Corey Taylor’s familiar shouted vocals. To be honest the vocals sound very monotone, and half way through the song I worry if the vocals are gonna be like this through the whole album, because that would quickly become extremely boring. The verses flow nicely into the chorus, but the chorus itself isn’t that great. The song should finish around 5 minutes in, but for whatever reason they decide to repeat the chorus a few more times, before the song finally ends. Sulfur
is up next. Joey Jordison wastes no time laying down a very fast double bass pattern in the verses, which unfortunately sounds just like those of the previous song. The chorus is different however, as Corey Taylor uses his clean vocal range, giving us quite a catchy chorus. We have a short shredded solo in the middle section (which doesn’t sound like anything I haven’t heard before), then the final chorus closes out quite a decent track.
Now we come to the album’s first single, Psychosocial
. The drumming is much slower in this track, and is pretty boring. Actually, that highlights a problem I have with the drumming in this album; when Jordison isn’t laying down something really fast, he’s totally uninteresting. Oh well, at least he covers up his mediocrity with speed for most of the album. So, the song is pretty basic, but sports an incredibly catchy chorus with Taylor’s clean singing, which makes me realise instantly why they chose this to be the album’s first single. Not a bad song, and certainly a good choice for a single. Dead Memories
comes next, and is a slower number, almost ballad-like. The vocals are clean for all of the song, and Corey manages to put a decent amount of emotion in them. Unfortunately, the rest of the song sounds quite generic, and drags on a bit, even though it’s only 4:30 in length. The opening drum solo to Vendetta
gives me the impression we’re gonna get a faster track here, but it’s still kinda slow in places. I notice the DJ guys for the first time so far, doing some random sound effects that don’t really add anything to the song. The chorus consists of Corey shouting ‘Are you ready for the time of your life?
followed by some ‘HEY!’s, which don’t seem to fit in. Eh, this song is pretty boring. Next.
, and sadly, it’s almost as bad. It sounds like every other song on the album (albeit with a somewhat awkward chorus), and I find myself just wanting it to end. The longest track on the album, Gehenna
is next, and couldn’t sound more…average. It seems like they tried to create a dark, almost scary atmosphere, but the song just sounds like a longer version of the previous tracks. It drones on and on for almost 7 minutes, and I’m starting to lose hope (lolz) in this album. This Cold Black
is a more intense, aggressive song, which at this point the album really needs. It’s nothing great, but isn’t boring at least. There’s another guitar solo, but I don’t care as every solo on this album sounds the exact same and all are the same length. Wherein Lies Continue
just does nothing to grab my attention or separate itself from the rest of the album. Snuff
sounds different, coming in with sombre acoustic guitars and soft vocals. It’s like Dead Memories
as it’s pretty ballad-esque, but it’s a lot better. The solo sounds different to the rest (!) and is pretty emotional, but sadly it only lasts about 20 seconds. A good song, probably the best on the album. Anyways, now we’ve reached the final song of the album, the title track. It’s one of the fastest tracks on the album, sporting a faster riff and even having some blast beats thrown in the mix. It’s an okay closer, although does seem to drag a bit at the end.
Well, there we are then, All Hope Is Gone
. I’ve always thought of Slipknot as a basic, average band, and they really didn’t do anything here to change my opinion. Instrumentally it was nothing special, with the drumming being relatively uninteresting (although fast), the guitars churning out generic riffs and solos, while the bass and other instruments remain relatively unheard of. The vocals were okay; the clean ones were solid although the harsh vocals, while not overused, were kinda dull. Apart from the extremely catchy chorus of Psychosocial
and the Snuff
track, no song really grabbed my attention or had any lasting impression on me, and while most were boring albeit inoffensive, there were still a few quite bad tracks (Vendetta
). Overall Score