SLIPKNOT

"All Hope Is Gone" (Roadrunner; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Nine years and four studio albums later Slipknot has pummeled the competition all while masquerading. This disc is a brutal fest from start to finish (if you can finish this metal-spiked, chorus-peppered and experimental offering). "Gehenna" and "Snuff" are prime examples of their untried previous sound.

The music is heavy and what would you expect from these cornfield freaks. The Billboard 200 saw Slipknot top that musical mountain, as they did with nine other album charts. Slipknot still has anger and obsession to growl about, plus they spit at the record companies. If you want a lazy day CD, do not reach for this disc.

I really love the guitar on this disc; pinches, driving rhythms and solos that make the casual listener bend an ear. The drums are still a bombastic part of Slipknot. The vocals are different on a few tracks and you might wonder what direction they are going with some songs sounding like (dare I say it?) radio hits. Either way, Corey Taylor can switch gears and punch your face right off if you get in his cross hairs.

The best noose tighteners are: "Psychological," "Dead Memories," "Vendetta," and "Butcher's Hook."

Slipknot: 0-8.

For more information, check out http://www.slipknot1.com.

"9.0: Live" (Roadrunner; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There's no question you'll enjoy Slipknot's live CD, "9.0 Live" if you're a Slipknot fan. There are 24 tracks here on two discs and the band's performance is energetic and dead on so -- if you like the music already -- you're  good to go with "9.0".

But even if you haven't caught the bug for these masked marvels, "9.0 Live" deserves a lot of credit for being a great live metal album all around. The sound quality is incredible throughout; you'll know it's a live album (as opposed to a studio recording) but the clarity here is stunning. And that's saying a lot when you're recording a band as complicated, chaotic and outrageous as Slipknot.

As mentioned above, Slipknot is in fine form here, driving through two dozen of their more popular tunes (and a few surprises as well) with a fiery passion and fury that explodes from the CD. The band is already legendary for their live performance and this CD is ample evidence as to why. Even without the visual stimuli that a live performance or DVD would give you, the band's communal electricity is almost tangible. 

Yeah, maybe the chest-beating self-worship between tracks gets a little over-the-top at times but I guess it's as much a part of the show as everything else. It certainly whips the audience into a mad frenzy.

One of the better live albums in years, Slipknot's "9.0: Live" delivers the goods big time and should win back those fans who unfortunately may have turned their back on the band's very different "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses." 

Slipknot: Joey, Sid, Paul, James, Clown, Mick, Chris, 133, Corey.

For more information, check out http://www.slipknot1.com

"Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses" (Roadrunner; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Slipknot's chaotic cacophony is corralled by master producer Rick Rubin (Slayer) in this, the band's third full-length outing. The result is a more refined and more streamlined album that still delivers the full impact of Slipknot's unmatched edge while not alienating those who aren't fans of extreme music.

Allow me to explain something here up front: When I first reviewed Slipknot's self-titled debut, I awarded it a three chainsaw rating. I thought it was fresh and unique but a little over the top. A crush of letters from angry fans bombarded me, insisting I up the rating to a full four. I refused. Then, one particularly plaintive e-mail caught my eye. After an exchange of increasingly complex and enlightening messages, I compromised and gave the band an extra half chainsaw.

This is important to bring up because, as far as I'm concerned, "Volume 3" is just as good as the band's debut. Different, but just as good. In fact, I'll probably listen to "Volume 3" far more than I ever did "Slipknot." "Volume 3" has a consistent cohesiveness that was missing on most of the tracks from "Slipknot" and "Iowa" and that I find refreshing. There's some sense of order to "Volume 3" that just doesn't exist on the band's first two CDs. Like he has done so often before with bands like Slayer, producer Rick Rubin has managed to capture the band's riotous attitude without compromising their sound.

Still, there are a couple of tracks that are true eye-openers as far as Slipknot is concerned. If you heard "Circle" on the radio, you'd never guess it was Slipknot. And the same goes for "Vermilion Pt. 2" which will simply blow your mind, sounding vaguely like something from Pink Floyd's "Animals."

Of course, there are those who prefer the band's furious, out of control freneticism and there are only hints of that here. "Volume 3" is a daring experiment by Slipknot because it may turn away more fans than it wins the band. But it's a risk well worth taking and a gamble that - as far as this CD is concerned - has paid off.

Slipknot: Joey, Sid, Paul, James, Clown, Mick, Chris, 133, Corey.

For more information, check out http://www.slipknot1.com

"Iowa" (Roadrunner; 2001)

Reviewed by TBJ

Slipknot has created here a near-perfect blend of traditional metal (death, and black) with new styles some people refer to as "nu-metal." But, before you run out to buy the new Emperor CD, sit down and experience "Iowa." This shit is brutal: there's no rap, no drum machines and no added sugar. This is what Slipknot should be. 

The music here is a mesh of different styles; for example, black-metal screams, and blast beats, Morbid Angel-like passages, spacey clean vocals a la Fear Factory. If you haven't felt the least bit attracted to what I'm saying, then there's something wrong with you. This is not Korn, this is not Linkin Park. This is METAL. Sure there's the requisite clean whisper-to-growl style that's so popular, and there are some bouncy riffs, but that's not the only thing that is offered here.

I recommend this album to any fan of metal, from nu to death to black to thrash. Everything is offered here!

Slipknot has basically re-introduced metal to a younger generation, and for that I am grateful.

Slipknot are: well, who cares their all under masks anyway!

"Slipknot" (Roadrunner; 1999)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Rough Edge photographer Lou Moreau went to a show at the world famous Palace in Hollywood and came back later saying, "Hey, you ever hear of Slipknot? Man, they were awesome!" Of course, I'd heard of Slipknot, but I'd never heard Slipknot. Then the e-mails started pouring in. "Hey, man, you should check out Slipknot." So, finally, I got my act together, phoned our friends at Roadrunner Records and finally gave the debut album by Slipknot a listen.

How would I best describe it? Well, how about "chaos captured"?

Slipknot is a wild band that speeds along at a breakneck pace and just barely keeps themselves from going out of control. Their music is filled with aggression and rage and their lyrics riddled with profanity and fury. "Who the fuck are you? Fuck you! Better suck it up 'cause you're bled through; Better get away from me. Stay the fuck away from me. I feel safe. Seems you're saved" screams lead vocalist Corey (a.k.a. 8) in "Eyeless." And, stenciled across the inside of the CD cover in what looks like a serial killer's hand are the words, "Fuck it all. Fuck this world. Fuck everything you stand for. Don't belong. Don't exist. Don't give a shit. Don't ever judge me."

Well! Take those few sample lyrics, put what you feel is the appropriate music to it (hint: it ain't piano) and you've got Slipknot.

According to Lou, the band was incredible live and their reputation, even at this early stage, certainly precedes the band. Each of the band's nine members (that's right, nine!) wears a mask of some kind - looking like some sort of Mardi Gras from Hell - and their live performance is as frenzied and as close to out-of-control as is possible - just like their debut recording.

Slipknot is generating a lot of heat these days and their pure, unadulterated rage and outrage are the reasons why. They're connecting with a lot of fans who feel the same way.

Scary, isn't it?

Slipknot is: Corey (aka 8), vocals; Mick (aka 7), guitars; Sid (aka 0), turntables; Shawn (aka 6), custom percussion; Paul (aka 2), bass; Joey (aka 1), drums; Chris (aka 3), custom percussion; James (aka 4), guitar and Craig (aka 5), samples/media.

For more information, please visit http://www.slipknot1.com or http://www.slipknot2.com or http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com.  

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 24 Sep 2017 15:29:52 -0400.