Review Summary: A new nine - an end to a fine career.
Slipknot are one of the most well established American metal bands to come out of the nu-metal scene. The nine have garnered a majority of fans (or maggots as they are affectionately known as) whom adore their signature brand of heavy, thrash-orientated (and at times incredibly groovy) metal. Their final album is undoubtedly their magnum opus - We Are Not Your Kind is a special album for a number of reasons. Let me explain...
The main ingredients that create the stew of the album rest in the new members the band have acquired. The chemistry between the band has always been good but now they seem a lot more acutely polished and a number of facets have improved. Consideration into thinking logically about song structure, lyrics and other attributes are also thought about. Corey Taylor is a fantastic vocalist and he shines on pretty much the whole album, delivering venomous and critically damaging vocals throughout. The guitars produce some amazing grooves and some great leads but the main thing I've always liked about Slipknot is the aggression. On their first two albums the band were at their peak in terms of anger and spit. On Subliminal Verses they were more experimental and musically advanced. On All Hope Is Gone they returned to their older style - and then after the death of Paul Gray and the release of the album dedicated to his life and memory, the band dipped in quality ever so slightly. Not to say that it was bad because it definitely wasn't - but the repercussions of Paul's death had clearly resonated with the band members. They were diluted, weaker yet stronger in the sense of passion and fire.
Insert Coin starts the album with a quick (and for the most part relatively uninteresting) introductory track before the following 13 songs on the album start. Pretty much every song here is fantastic but the highlights are certainly in the first, second middle and end of the album. Unsainted, Birth of the Cruel, Orphan and Solway Firth are the clear cuts to check if people want the band at their high points. The rest of the tracks are still good but those cuts are definitely the most vital elements to the albums goodness. A Liar's Funeral and Death Because of Death are also superb - everything else is worthy of a mention but those songs are clearly the best the band have produced for a very long time.
To conclude, Slipknot have finished on a high. To finish with such a powerful and sonically polished effort is a tribute to the band's lengthy stay in the world of nu-metal/alt. metal and I'm sure the band members are proud of their success. Definitely one to check out even if you're not really a fan of the band (which you may not be) but in essence, Slipknot have achieved a great thing in releasing We Are Not Your kind. I loved it from the moment I heard it - but now I may not believe it to be a 5 as I had originally rated it but it still probably the best album they've done since Subliminal Verses.