Slipknot is of course one of the most important and famous band in the nu-metal genre. They have been on the metal scene for about 9 years and with every album that they have released, each of them are musically different. “Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat.”, there very first album is much more raw and features a lot of creativity (metal/funk), “Iowa”, their 3rd album, is the heaviest and darkest album out of all and on their latest album, “Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses”, the writing has greatly matured with more intricate music but not as heavy as the previous albums. The Self titled album is in my opinion, situated between “M/F/K/R” and “Iowa”; it features quite a lot of creativity and at the same time it’s heavy. Why" The band is composed of 9 different members, each with different ideas to add to their music which is why we get to hear an album full of innovation and variation of music. Sid Wilson (Turntables) and Craig Jones (Sample/Media) both try to add their different effect in the background to give each song a unique atmosphere, then both percussionists, Chris Fehn and Shawn Crahan, act as the “heavy” support for Joey’s fast drumming and also as the back-up “singers” which is what makes the music more intense. Then we have the simplistic yet catchy and heavy riffs played by Jim Root and Mick Thompson supporting the incredibly heavy roaring done by Corey Taylor. So expect to hear a very heavy album different to all other nu-metal ones. Nu-metal or not, this album should please any metal fan weather they listen to thrash, death, black or heavy etc…
#0 Sid Wilson - Turntables
#1 Joey Jordison - Drums
#2 Paul Gray - Bass
#3 Chris Fehn - Percussion
#4 Jim Root - Rhythm Guitar
#5 Craig Jones - Samples/Media
#6 Shawn Crahan - Percussion
#7 Mick Thompson - Lead Guitar
#8 Corey Taylor - Vocals
Sid Wilson and Craig Jones:
Although they are not the main contribution to the music, they both try to add another layer to each of the songs with various effects and have each of those songs unique in a way. Craig throws in from time to time different samples from different movies (“Here comes the pain” in “Sic”) and Sid Wilson does all the crazy scratching on his turntables (Beginning of Eyeless). Craig also maintains the official “Slipknot” site so he does not have to necessarily contribute musically.
Chris Fehn and Shawn Crahan:
Just like Sid and Craig, Chris and Shawn are the secondary contribution to the music. With their customised titanium drums, they “intensify” the music by acting as a sort of support for the drumming and playing percussive attacks at brutal openings (Opening of “Sic” and “Surfacing”). While also playing as percussionists, they both are as well back-up singers (Ending of “Sic”).
Paul Gray, Jim Root and Mick Thompson:
They are all very talented musicians and we can notice those talents in the next albums but they do not seem to show them on this album. Most of the riffs they play are very simplistic and straightforward and the bass is barely audible but that does not mean they sound plain and dull. Some of those riffs can be very catchy just like in “Wait and Bleed” and “Eyeless” or very chaotic and powerful just like in “Sic” and “Surfacing”.
Corey is a very talented singer in both roaring and singing. On certain tracks his voice can be very powerful and chaotic (“Sic”, “Surfacing” and “Scissors”) or melodic (“Wait and Bleed” and chorus of “Purity”). If you really like his voice then you should check out his 2Nd band, “Stone Sour”.
Joey is probably the one who stands out the most in the band. He may not be the best drummer in world but he is not a bad one. Most of his drumming is very solid and his double-bassing is indeed quite fast (mini-solo of “Surfacing”). And if you think he’s your average metal drummer then you should watch the video where he performs live, a drum solo whilst strapped into a rotating drum kit.
• (Sic): After a bizarre intro, (Sic) immediately starts. I’m going to already warn you, the song is fast, brutal and heavy. The beginning already starts with a heavy riff and some fast drumming by all 3 percussionists. Then Corey comes in roaring along with a really good riff. Shortly after, the song slows down and we get to hear a nice breakdown with some screaming by Corey. The song then finishes heavily with a fast riff guitar and Corey just roaring in his microphone which would be probably the best part of song as you just want to start jumping. This could be easily the favourite song of anyone who likes a fast and heavy song. The main highlight of this song would be Corey as his roaring perfectly fit the song.
• Surfacing: The “New National Anthem” for all maggots. Just like (Sic), this song is just as heavy and brutal with Corey harsh lyrics (the song is meant to be a huge “*** you” to the whole world). The song starts off with a simple guitar riff playing over a bunch of harmonics and all of this starts building up until it just explodes with Corey roaring. At a certain point, there is a mini-solo with a bass solo (the only time we can hear the bass) and then after a drum solo with some fast double-bassing. The song then ends in a total fury and chaos which is a good way to end such a brutal song.
• Wait and Bleed: The melodic/rock song of the album. This is probably their most famous song of all time and it should be loved by anyone, including non-slipknot fans. On this song, Corey has finally the opportunity to sing melodically and also scream/talk. And along with the guitar riffs, it’s very catchy. Close to the end of the song, the mood suddenly changes and they all start playing faster and more heavily and at the very end, the song finishes brutally with Corey roaring. Although it is a very good song and I enjoy every moment of it, the song itself is a bit too short.
• Spit it out: Just like “No Life”, this is another Rap-Metal song. The song begins with a very awkward-sounding guitar riff and then Corey comes in rapping in a fast and aggressive way with some very ferocious lyrics (once again, Corey shows us another one of his talents). In the chorus, Corey gets to sing with a very catchy guitar riff and after that, Sid gets to do some quick scratching. Just before the build-up near the end, we get to hear a little percussive solo done by Shawn. And after the build-up everything explodes in madness with Corey shouting “*** me, I’m all out of enemies”.
• Scissors: This is probably the most longest and chaotic track I’ve ever heard. The mood and tempo changes so often giving the song a very confused atmosphere and Corey’s singing changes in so many different ways; sometimes he’s screaming/roaring or just whispering and talking about anarchy and suicide. There are also a lot of effects made by Craig which gives the song that unique feeling. The song starts off with many different effects, drumming and bass playing and at about 1:43, Corey starts singing some very dark and confused lyrics. The rest of the song just continues with pure anger and Corey just intensifies that feeling with his “out-control” shouting. Although this song is crazy, it’s excellent.
Other recommended tracks: No Life, Liberate, Eyeless
Although Slipknots music has evolved and each member has matured as musicians just after “Iowa”, they now lack the freshness and heaviness that they once had which made them a unique band and I think they should have continued making albums just a bit more orientated to “Iowa”. Although their self-tilted album may not be a masterpiece or a classic, anyone should try listening it and not judge the band by their image or gimmick.
• Nu-metal or not, this album is heavy
• Coreys uses his voice very well in different ways: Rap, Melodic, Roaring, and Screaming
• Lack of solos
• Simplistic guitar riffs
Overall Score: 4/5