Review Summary: If you are one of those people who wrote off Slipknot because of their somewhat bizarre and silly image, now is time to open your ears and listen to an album that blew the cobwebs of the nu-metal scene with a flamethrower.
#0 - Sid Wilson (turntables)
#1 - Joey Jordison (drums)
#2 - Paul Gray (bass, backing vocals) R.I.P.
#3 - Chris Fehn (custom percussion, backing vocals)
#4 - Jim Root (guitars, replacement for Josh Brainard)
#5 - Craig Jones (samples & media)
#6 - Shawn "The Clown" Crahan (custom percussion, backing vocals)
#7 - Mick Thomson (guitars)
#8 - Corey Taylor (vocals)
The year is 1999 - I was 14 years old. I was already a fan of rock and metal music. I raided my dad’s vinyl collection to listen to his Metallica, Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin records. My friend had recently introduced me to Korn, whose Follow The Leader album I was particularly enamoured with at the time. Then, the guy who got me into Korn let me borrow Slipknot’s self-titled debut. I studied the cover – nine individuals in bright-red boiler suits,all represented by different numbers (0-8), all wearing uniquely grotesque masks. My interest quickly escalated.
I inserted the disc into my CD player, and intro track came blaring out – screeching, high-pitched squeals, and a looped sample of a woman proclaiming “The whole thing, I think, is sick”. It quickly became apparent that Slipknot weren’t going to be much like the other bands I’d been listening to recently.
That statement became firmer as the album progressed. This album was the heaviest record to hit mainstream metal in a long time. And what’s more is this – every member played their part in making it happen. James Root and Mick Thomson’s riffs are found throughout, whether it's the main lead riff of ‘Eyeless’ or the creepy malevolence of ‘Wait And Bleed’s verses. Joey Jordison’s power behind the drum kit hardly needs explanation. Corey Taylor’s vocal performance runs the show from his screams and growls, to the speed-rapping found in 'Spit It Out', to more melodic singing found in 'Wait And Bleed' and in his work with Stone Sour, at points it sounds like he is going to burst into tears. Paul Gray’s basslines provide a guttural undercurrent throughout, and occasionally leads the proceedings.
Chris Fehn and Shawn Crahan, the other two percussionists (custom percussionists,to be correct),supplies the aggression throughout the album from start to finish.The pounding and banging underline the rage that flows throughout the album. Sid Wilson on the turntables may sound like an unnecessary need for the band but try to imagine ‘Eyeless’ without the scratching-dance beat intro, or the scratched bridges in ‘Wait And Bleed’. Craig Jones handles samples & media, and adds another layer to tracks like the unsettling breakdown of ‘Tattered & Torn’. The whole picture comes together during ‘Scissors’ – eight minutes and twenty-one seconds of gradually building tension, unleashes at the cathartic climax. Chris and Shawn go crazy during the introduction, creating an unsettling wave of sweeping and clicking sounds over which Paul lays down a bass line.
Something that people tend to forget about the record is its diversity – from the hook-filled, radio-friendly single (Yet still heavier than most metal on the radio), ‘Wait & Bleed’, to the more rap-metal of ‘Spit It Out’, and to psychotic moods demonstrated in ‘Tattered & Torn’ and ‘Scissors’, Slipknot demonstrated a range of influences. Here we are, twelve years later. Over those 12 years, Slipknot have risen to become metal gods, and have released three more studio albums (Iowa, Vol.3, and All Hope Is Gone),and have won a Grammy in 2006 for the Vol.3 hit, 'Before I Forget' and toured the world with bands such as Slayer. Slipknot blazed a unignorable trail in the metal landscape, and it all started with this album, Slipknot.
This album is very good, hell, its GREAT, but with the good must come the bad. That sentence is actually very misleading, because there is nothing "bad" about the album the "cons" about this album are tracks 11-15. Tracks 11-15 are not bad, they just don't pack quite as much punch as tracks like (sic), Wait and Bleed, and Spit It Out.
That's the only negative I have about the album.
If you are one of those people who wrote off Slipknot because of their somewhat bizarre and silly image, now is time to open your ears and listen to an album that blew the cobwebs of the nu-metal scene with a flamethrower.