Slipknot
All Hope Is Gone


3.0
good

Review

by Jake C. Taylor USER (90 Reviews)
August 25th, 2008 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


Corey Taylor was once quoted as saying that Iowa was black, dark and depressive, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) was red, romantic and reflective – the question is, what colour is their latest venture, All Hope is Gone? There are many areas that Iowa’s notorious nu-metal act, Slipknot have pressed their distinct musicality upon, some have been for the better, and others have been perhaps disastrous. It’s up to you really. They have varied themselves quite a lot since their initial dwellings on the rap/groove metal witnessed in their self-titled debut, which fortunately evolved into something that was rather different from early concepts. Through the side-project Stone Sour Taylor and fellow guitarist James Root were able express themselves without any strings attached, but here on this album, they have brought the idea of sour stones to the table, and gathered the main ingredients from the other members to create a concoction of typical Slipknot, but with distinct flavours of Taylor and Root’s journeys.

We need to thank producer Rick Rubin for the evolution of Slipknot up to this point. Arguably you’d probably never have seen Root and Mick Thompson engage in dissonant Slayer-esque solos, and have percussionists Shawn Crahan and Chris Fehn actually make their presence be something other then childish beating away at beer kegs. There are many other things that Vol. 3 offered to the listener that meant Slipknot had something advantageous to work towards for their fourth liberation. Like Vol. 3 (and the others), the album is introduced unnecessarily with “.execute.”, a heavier and shorter version of “Prelude 3.0” making use of elevated levels of percussion and inaudible screeches. It morphs quickly into “Gematria (The Killing Name)”, which will have you looking back to “The Blister Exists’” thrashy design, and then immediately have you wondering if they’ve just decided to release a producer’s cut of Vol. 3.

“Psychosocial”, and it’s later title track rerun are no where near as dynamic as earlier Slipknot singles have been, suffering mainly from humdrum attributes, and a failed attempt at previous successful equations. On the other side of the scale, “Dead Memories” is littered with the undeniable distinction of Taylor’s crooning harmonic vocal style developed through acoustic Stone Sour ballads, but also shows the softer side of the guitarists using ominous reverberating grunge riffs. “Gehenna” is another location of where the album breaks new ground. It’s similar to Iowa’s diabolical “Skin Ticket” in terms of haunting aggressive dissonance, but is further made chilling by the usage of UFO-like yodelling samples that eventually bleed gradually into Taylor’s anguished vocals and also the guitars, leading to one of the most interesting outfits to this date.

However like other releases from the group, the preceding hype of the side percussionist’s membership leave you looking for where they are hidden other than brief stints during song introductions. Mostly you’re either trying to decide whether it’s Joey Jordison on his enthusiastically sized drum kit, or if it is actually Crahan and Fehn clowning around (literally) with wooden sticks and metallic cooking utensils. Furthermore, sampler Craig Jones and DJ Sid Wilson only make definable appearance when the rest of the band is in breakdown mode. Sporadically the odd sample or noise scratch surfaces, but still they are mostly left behind the main barrage of pounding chainsaw riffage. Often these side-effects appear to be one of the main substances to makes every Slipknot album complete, or… incomplete.

Substance, or lack of is what ultimately boils the album’s better moments. “Butcher’s Hook”, “Sulfur” and “Vendetta” all weevil away at the band’s aggressive rebellion of the world’s problems through unexciting song structures and Taylor’s overloaded lyrical themes based around angst. His lyrical reasoning is usually quite well designed to compliment the rhythm of the music; however his approach here sometimes feels like nothing more then a screaming-yelling-angry-man in a masked suit that leaves the impression that he’d have few better things to say instead of matryism, defiance, rebellion, distrust, frustration, etc, etc, etc. Not only does it become somewhat laughable, it also becomes highly tedious throughout.

Later on this is gratefully remedied in “Snuff”. While they don’t reinvent the wheel so to speak, they ponder away using some newly acquired instruments to produce one of their best power-ballads to this date that sounds like a classy blend between “Danger - Keep Away”, “Vermillion Pt. 2” and Stone Sour’s “Zzyzx Rd.”. As Taylor describes the dwelling transparency of lovers in demise in a form of escapism, there are hints of vermillion creeping out of edges. This concept is without doubt what gave Vol. 3 a redness, and in turn produced its radical difference from earlier approaches. So the answer to the earlier question is that All Hope is Gone is a calculated slant towards a blend of black, red and grey, installing bits and pieces used during other albums and bonding them together with a medium that’s ever changing between the evolving ideas of each band member, whether they are distinctly heard or not.

As Iowa is the repercussions of Slipknot (the album), All Hope is Gone is the resonance of the lasting ideas seen in Vol. 3 and Stone Sour’s Come What(ever) May. It blends the two well, but consequently lacks any major focal point to develop a lasting impression towards. There’s good material if you look for it, but Slipknot generally are a group you want a kick in the teeth from, even if it’s on a softer note.



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user ratings (2200)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • necroscope86 (3)
    Solid album, not perfect, but it has enough about it to carry it through its worst moments...

    OvTheFireAndVoid (1.5)
    Easily the best release by a mediocre band that's crazed by emo kids. It's good in parts, ...

    Jeremy Bentham (3)
    Slipknots latest effort can be described best by one word - solid...

    megalodon (2.5)
    "All Hope Is Gone" is good... but not good enough....

  • ThyCrossAwaits (3.5)
    Thrashy transcendent nu-metal. Solid in every sense of the word....

    Kyri1992 (4)
    The "Nasty Nine" return with impressive performances all around. This one will be loved by...

    angelfyre (4)
    If multilayered macramé metal is your thing, buy or download "All Hope is Gone" now. Or e...

    Pedro B. (4)
    The sound of Slipknot maturing before our very eyes....

  • BlindWriting (2.5)
    Those of us who listened to Slipknot through high school, and are now a little older and o...

    Tyler Munro EMERITUS (2)
    Slipknot tries to go back to their roots while pulling as far away from them as possible. ...

    HollywoodConstantine (3)
    Another Vol. 3. Another great nu metal experience....

    OllieS (2.5)
    ...

  • David James Young (4)
    Four records in, and Iowa's finest still know how to rouse the teens and scare the childre...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
August 25th 2008


19443 Comments


Really impressive review. Vote! Nice to see a varying range of opinions on this album. I'm still not going to waste my time with it though.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Meatplow
August 25th 2008


5524 Comments


Best review yet, IMO. Album is remarkably average.

Underlines really distract me though.

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2008


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, really good review but I think it could have at least waited until the other guy's was off the main page.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

PayneTiger777
August 25th 2008


4392 Comments


...And here comes another one lol.

Its "Sulfur" not "Sulfer"

"There’s good material if you look for it, but usually Slipknot are a group you usually want to a kick in the teeth from, even if it’s on a softer note."

Take out the second "usually" and the "to".

Snuff is an awesome track.

taylormemer
August 25th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

And to think I thought I had ironed everything out. I blame you Meatplow! lol

SpinLightTwo
August 25th 2008


1043 Comments


Very good review.

Meatplow
August 25th 2008


5524 Comments


well i'm not anal about tracklistings (esp. here because i'm not all too familiar with the track titles yet) so I kind of glanced over it

taylormemer
August 25th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

lol, as did I.

Kage
August 25th 2008


1172 Comments


the review was unusually stilted and read a little awkwardly in some places

PayneTiger777
August 25th 2008


4392 Comments


Sorry for being anal about it dude lol.

Bleak123
August 25th 2008


1902 Comments


Album is remarkably average.


lulwut? you've given this a 3.5

IAmInsect
August 25th 2008


3800 Comments


swell review man

AngelPhoenix
August 25th 2008


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So if it wasn't you that negged, who?

Meatplow
August 25th 2008


5524 Comments


lulwut? you've given this a 3.5


3.5 isn't exactly high praise, the album is good just... average

Bleak123
August 25th 2008


1902 Comments


3.5 is supposed to be a great album. A 3 is more appropriate for a good but average album am I not right?

fireaboveicebelow
August 25th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the rating can mean anything really, depends on the person

Kage
August 25th 2008


1172 Comments


joeys drumming is off da hook

Wizard
August 25th 2008


19443 Comments


joeys drumming is off da hook

Please tell me that is sarcasm.

Bleak123
August 25th 2008


1902 Comments


^^ lol he's a down diggity crack-a-lackin fine drummer ;)

Meatplow
August 25th 2008


5524 Comments


3.5 is supposed to be a great album. A 3 is more appropriate for a good but average album am I not right?


To me a 3 is average seeing as it's in the middle of the scale (average here meaning solid but unremarkable), 2.5 leaning more towards to a few things going wrong and 3.5 leaning towards a few things going right.



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