Review Summary: I'm treading in deep water with this one.....
During the mid 90's to early 00's, a term that seemed like a plague to all bands hoping to one day be recognized as actual good musicians was spreading like wild fire. This term: Nu-Metal. Hate it for whatever reason, weather it be because it's whiny, it's been done to death, or you think it's laughable, you're not alone. In fact, it's a trend I'm seeing. Every where I go on some music blogs, some way this genre becomes the spotlight of one of the post.
Now I'm very indifferent on this genre. Tons of the bands in this genre have lyrics talking about their personal trials or hating people, which is MEANT to make these bands seem "dark" or "heavy". It certainly fails, and it's generally just laughable. It's so laughable that I generally dub nu-metal bands as the "middle school savior bands". BUT: this is not the only "metal" sub-genre that is guilty of what was mentioned. I see it happen in almost all genres, so in fact metal as a whole is not the only guilty one in music.
SO WHY DOES EVERYONE THROW A FIT ABOUT NU-METAL?
I mean, I don't think it's the best by the way, most of it is awful (lookin' at you, Limp Bizkit), but some is good, like Slipknot's first two albums.
Slipknot's second album is a solid follow up to their earlier 99' self-titled release, the term nu-metal aside. While I do still think this album tries a little too hard to be dark, I will say it actually succeeds in it's task. The riffs in this album are apparently "Br00tal" according to most people, and while I wouldn't use such phrasing, I do agree that the riffs are pretty awesome. The drumming's pretty awesome, and the singing from Cory Taylor on this album sounds very angry and stressed.
While they still used "dark" lyrics to try to be "dark", the album actually presents a dark atmosphere, not through the lyrics, but the presents of anger in Cory's voice, pretty great riffs, and some ambient electronic stuff by the DJ and turntable guys in the band and really fit together and present an undeniable foreboding atmosphere. The album certainly didn't TRY to make this statement, but the album kind of proves that you don't need dark lyrics to make dark music.
The music it's self is certainly not for everyone, but I personally think that it is very solid. Not many albums have actually made me feel the atmosphere through the music, another being The Downward Spiral (better than this album, but that's another time).
I just never understood everyone's hate for this band, their not bad, if you can look past their ridiculous stage appearance, and their overall want to be dark, which I will say has died down slowly over the years. And it's kind of ironic, because my like for their work died down over their later releases. Possibly the reason behind this is because I liked that they had some groove back in the day,
-> Pretty great atmosphere
-> pretty good riffs, drumming and singing
-> proves that a nu-metal band CAN make decent music
-> tries a little to hard to be dark
-> generic in some parts.
If you like this album, you almost certainly will like their first album, so check that out if you like this one.