To all you 'maggots' out there..forget everything you know about the Slipknot of today. All that nu-metal and Slipknot-hating crap that everyone follows today is useless here. The Slipknot most of us here know and love is nothing compared to the back in '96.
In the beginning, after Shawn (drums), Anders (vocals), and Paul (bass) met up in 1993, the three toyed with the idea of making a band, and even wrote a few songs. But as Shawn's career moved on the idea fell through - until later, when along with guitarist Donnie Steele, the band really started to progress. Paul was determined to get his friend Joey Jordison involved. After much persuasion, Joey was finally convinced to watch a practice session in Anders' basement. After hearing three songs Joey decided to join moving Shawn to percussions. They knew that three drummers would be needed to achieve what they called a "hardcore audio assault". Anders filled in as the third drummer on the tracks where two percussionists were needed. To top it off, the guys realized a second guitarist would be needed - so Josh Brainard formerly of Modifidious was recruited. A small local show was played with the band donning almost Kiss style makeup with glowing green lights to match. Afterward, Shawn had started to attend practices in his legendary Clown mask. Thus started the band's masked appearance (only Donnie opposed the idea) and the anti-image ideas they adopted. That's as far as I'm going to go now because at this point only Cory Taylor could ruin things.
The album kicks off with the 7 minute tune Slipknot
. After a few guitar chords and some brief drumming, some odd noises fill the gap. After about a minute of these noises the actual music starts. The bass comes in with some fast drumming. Just after the two minute mark is broken, the noises stop, and the whole band starts playing. The main riff is repeated for a minute until the vocals start. Anders' lyrics are about a video game, so if you're really paying attention it's quite funny and ridiculous to listen to. Another minute in the killer guitar solo starts. It leads into the slower part which goes on for a while until and even slower part with very heavy vocals begins. The song is very long (I guess there was a lot of pointless stuff they could've taken out) and is a pretty cool listen. To follow it up we have the song Gently
which, unless I'm mistaken, is completely different from the Iowa version. It starts with some nice soft guitars and the drums back it up. The clean guitar riffs in this sound incredible. Soon the song goes all heavy on us with distortion and much more complex drumming. Mostly variations on what they've played so far fill in the song for maybe another two minutes until Anders comes in, sounding exactly like Sully Erna from Godsmack. Once the screaming starts over the main riffs we come to a deceptive break, where the instruments come back in playing something slightly different. Near the end Anders voice gets heavy and higher pitch and the song picks up until the end.
Track three and probably my favorite is Do/Nothing Bitchslap
. This among other songs is what merits the album the 'experimental' tag. Beginning with some sweet bass and after a few nice heavy riffs, the song suddenly transitions from metal to jazz. With some light clean guitars and odd drum noises, the song switches back and forth from those two sounds until about a minute and thirty seconds in when the huge funk section starts. It's really cool to listen to with the funk being backed by some dark sounding synth effects. Some more cool bass playing highlights it until we go back to the metal sound, which lasts until the end. As the track progresses the drumming gets heavier and heavier with all three guys going all out on their sets. The song wraps up Anders making insane noises and weird static sounds. Good stuff. Only One
, an even weirder song, comes next. It starts with the traditional metal sound that keeps for the entire short length. Soon Anders starts rapping (well, he's better than Corey) and eventually Paul playing the funk bass comes in. The three of those combined makes an interesting sound. With the repeated line "Only one of us walks away", this is probably the heaviest song on the record.
Next we have Tattered and Torn
, which has the most eerie sound I've ever heard. It has one repeated guitar riff which lasts almost the entire song. There isn't much else to the song except for the vocals since the entire track is built around the one guitar sound. In this song Anders is either sort of talking or doing a low death metal growl. Just before it ends they go all out again with about five vocalists to get an incredibly heavy sound. Track six is Confessions
which features some more good bass which gets damn fast at times. With the high-pitched guitar chords coming in on top of it with odd rapping vocals it's another completely unique track. It actually becomes upbeat sounding at times, which Anders making an adequate attempt at doing the melodic singing thing. We then get another great guitar solo. It's not really fast, but it sounds great with the rest of the song. It ends with the familiar bass/guitar/rapping combination. And yes, there is always Some Feel
. It starts with some sweet metal sounds with just the heavy riffing and some weird high pitch static sounds that really sets the stage for the rest of the track. It stays pretty much with this sound with Anders doing nothing special with his voice. But at three and a half minutes we get a drum/bass combo that I really love. Once again, they end the song going as heavy as they could.
We're almost there – Killers Are Quiet
emphasizes more bass playing that me cares not much about in the beginning. Some muffled percussions come in and some basic beats from Joey. This is the intro - and it lasts a very long time. I mean come on - this is not a prog metal band. How else could they get this song to last 11 minutes" Once again, Anders sounds like Sully Erna and there are some high pitch oss guitar noises. This also lasts quite a while. The track seems to be aptly named but is very repetitive. At 4:30 they fade back into the intro, and gradually gets softer. At 6:15 it goes into main riff with heaviness x10. Anders screams his crazy *** off in the end. Ultimately, there is no variation to the music in this song. For a few minutes Joey does random fast as hell drum fills, which I liked more than the actual song I'm sorry to say. The album draws to a close asthe song leads right into Dogfish Rising
. Some whooshing and clicking sounds start us off coupled with the noises heard in the beginning of Slipknot
. At some points it does sound like somebody is welding. Aside from getting louder, this lasts for four and a half minutes. Anders whispers something at that point and then it all starts again. Just over five minutes they actually start playing but it all sounds completely random. With horrible lyrics/vocals this is probably the most ridiculous and hilarious song ever. I swear to god, Anders must have been making this **** up off the top of his head as he went along. It's all completely random for the rest of the song and I can't even explain it.
This Slipknot's best album, hands down. But as Paranoidd once said, this was basically a completely different band than the one today. It's a shame, they could've done some extremely creative things had they stayed in the same direction. But a big thing is that this record is not what you would call "media-friendly". At times it does get hard to listen to with the genre transitions and overly harsh parts. But overall, people who think they know about the band but have never heard this need to listen to MFKR. This could change their mind - at least then maybe the band would get a little respect.
One really good thing
- the rapid switching of genres in the middle of the song is quite cool. The music is rather complex at times and comes together very well. All the instruments are utilized, almost to full potential. I guess this should've been called two good things, because I absolutely love the bass playing on this record.
One really bad thing
- Anders vocals can be really terrible and often sound completely out of place. Not to mention that a lot of his lyrics are downright stupid (althoguh they do make me want to play Whitewolf).
- this can be tricky. Compared to the later Slipknot work, this is an easy five. However, as I said, this is not media friendly. Some songs are hard to listen to and there's no getting around the fact that a lot of times they fill in big gaps with pure noise. So for these reasons, I give the album a...
Enjoy this if you can. It's worth a try for fans of the band or Slipknot haters.