Review Summary: Slipknot’s most recent album is a definite banger!
Slipknot was one of the bands that helped me get into metal. Their ability to make catchy, yet heavy music helped introduce me to harsher vocals and riffs that make you headbang through the whole runtime of the song. As this was the first new album I heard from them since I became a fan, I absolutely loved it when it first came out. Since then, I have had some changing opinions as I listen to much more music now than I did back then.
The album starts off with the electronic intro, Insert Coin. It creates a very creepy yet intriguing atmosphere which is the perfect way to start this album. However, its transition to Unsainted feels way too sudden and is very poor in my opinion. The song Unsainted was the leading single off of this album and it is still great. Despite being much more accessible than most of their songs, it has some fantastic verses that will make any listener headbang along. The chorus is very catchy too. One problem with this songs is that on the last chorus, there is a choir. It sounds pretty cheesy but it not so bad that it completely ruins the song. The next track is Birth of the Cruel. This is one of my favourites off the album as the chorus has an absolutely destructive riff along with some brilliant vocals that would be amazing to hear live. Another one of my favourites is A Liar's Funeral. The song sounds like if Snuff was made on the Iowa album. The song features some of Corey Taylor's best vocals which are unforgettable and haunting at moments, especially when he screams 'Liar!'. They chant 'burn the liar' in the chorus with so much intensity and anger that is easily becomes one of their best songs after one listen.
We Are Not Your Kind is also one of their most experimental albums too which is absolutely great to see but the experimentation is very hit or miss for me. This criticism is most prevalent on Spiders. The song feels like they are building up to something but the song never really goes anywhere that interesting. The lyrics are also rather corny in the chorus which completely detracts from the creepy sound that they are obviously trying to make as the main keyboard line is undoubtedly inspired by the main Halloween theme by John Carpenter. They did this sound so much better on My Pain as the song actually goes somewhere with a terrifyingly dark and intense payoff. However, the song has some major issues as a minute (or two) of it could of easily been cut out. Another area where the bands experimentation did nothing for me were the two interludes. They both felt totally unnecessary and are obvious filler.
Nero Forte is a bit of a mix bag for me as it has amazing verses and a fantastic bridge with some insane riffage, drumming and vocals that keep me coming back to this song but the chorus does exactly nothing for me. Corey Taylor's falsetto vocals does not fit the song at all and takes me out of the track each time. I have a very similar problem with Critical Darling. The verses are great but the chorus sounds like it is taken from a completely different song. It is not bad chorus but it could of been better. The album ends with a high note with one of their heaviest songs since Iowa, Solway Firth. The intro is eerie but then transitions into an angry epic with some brilliant yet devastating lyrics such as the final line of the album 'I haven't smiled in years.'
Overall, the album has many great songs, some of which is undeniably a part their best work to date but the albums experimentation fails in some places. While nothing on the album is downright bad, it could definitely be improved upon. It is still a great listen though, despite some flaws I have with it and I would highly recommended it to anyone who is a fan of rock or metal.
MY TOP 5 SONGS:
2. A Liar's Funeral
3. Birth of the Cruel
4. My Pain
5. Solway Firth