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Album Reviews : Slipknot – All Hope Is Gone

By on October 30, 2008

After ‘Vol. 3’ came out with a more commercial sound, and having another Stone Sour album sandwiched between Slipknot releases, no one was really sure what to expect from ‘All Hope Is Gone’ and which direction the band would take their music in.

Roadrunner heavily publicised the album starting 5 months before its release date, with their website showing little teasers to promote the album, showing just how big this release is for them.

The album kicks off with ‘.execute.’, an intro to the album. Less of a song than ‘Prelude 3.0’, the intro to ‘Vol. 3’, this is one fucking noisy track featuring Corey’s take on a former US presidents speech targeted at Vietnam War protesters, preparing us for the political theme the lyrics on the album are set to feature. After 1:49 the track seamlessly flows into ‘Gematria (The Killing Course)’, one hell of a brutal start to the album. Musically this track has slipknot written all over it, but with the likes of ‘America is a killing name’ and ‘America… what if God doesnt care’ takes Slipknot lyrically to new directions. ‘Sulfur’ continues where ‘Gemetria’ left off musically, and is the first track to feature Taylor’s Stone Sour-esque vocals in the chorus. The album appears to have a more experimental feel than their previous efforts, with all of the 9 members involved in the writing process of the album.

‘Pyschosocial’, the lead single from ‘All hope is Gone’ will go down as one of those Slipknot tracks that’s heavy as fuck, but has mass appeal to more than just Slipknot fans. The chuncky riffs and the simplicity of the music makes it more accesable, featuring Taylor singing in the chorus rather than screaming… but that is left just to chorus, with the track still making awesome use of 3 percussionists in the experimental break down.

‘Dead Memories’ comes off sounding like a reworked Stone Sour track, which doesn’t mean its bad, just something that might get played a little too easily on mainstream radio for die-hard ‘maggots’ out there, featuring lyrics that will connect all too easily to Emo’s.

Next is ‘Vendetta’ which starts the run of typically Slipknot sounding tracks, with the track sounding like a somewhat unispired left over from ‘Vol. 3’, but picks up atfer the halfway mark. ‘Butcher’s Hook’ is up next, proving to be the most popular track on the album amongst fans, sounding like old Slipknot, but in a good way. Featuring Taylor’s screams, and guitar solo’s, this track is definitely one of the best on the album.

‘Gehenna’ is a slow experimental track, and feels remeniscent of Prosthetics from their Selftitled album. From the slow and experimental we step into ‘This Cold Black’… the heavist 4 minutes and 40 seconds found on the album. Its heavy, brutal, and techincal. Again the drumming by the various members on this track is something to be admired, with Taylor’s screams rough enough to rip your face off and make it into sausages, an awesome track. ‘Wherein Lies Continue’ is thick with the riffs, and machine gun double kick drumming, featuring more screams from Taylor and co. before missing ’emotional’ by one in the chorus, but you’ve got to give him credit for trying.

‘Snuff’, the albums only track to feature acoustic guitars is… well… nice. A completely stripped back track, it might have gone better on a Stone Sour album where it could have been a commercial hit, by the time we reach the half way mark in the song it kicks into what you would have to call the closest thing Slipknot has come to making a power ballad, but just sits a little out of place surrounded by ‘This Cold Black’, ‘Wherein Lies..’ and the albums title track.

Which leads us to the album’s final track, and namesake, ‘All hope is Gone’. It was the first track available for this album, and is musically hectic, with Taylor’s screams leading into a musically simplified, fist pumping chorus, yet featuring everything that is Slipknot, is a good way to finish off the album.

‘All hope is Gone’ seems like a compilation of what Slipknot thought was their best tracks at the time, as opposed to an album that flows from start to finish. Apparently the band had close to 30 songs written for this album, so some continuity and flow was something I was looking for. It has some awesome tracks showing just how heavy and brutal this band can be, some average and experimental tracks, and the odd filler. But overall it’s a solid and enjoyable release from a band that has found its sound, yet isn’t afraid to experiment a little with something new.

7.5/10

Band: Slipknot
Album: All Hope Is Gone
Year: 2008
Genre: Metal
Label: Roadrunner Records
Origin: Des Moines, Iowa, United States
http://www.myspace.com/slipknot1

Track Listing
.execute.
Gematria (The Killing Name)
Sulfur
Pyschosocial
Dead memories
Vendetta
Butcher’s Hook
Gehenna
This Cold Black
Wherein Lies Continue
Snuff
All Hope Is Gone

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Scott is one of the fine co-owners of this establishment, handling the live content side of the site. Since 2008 he has been supplying the site with finely crafted photos. Check out his other work at scottboelsen.com, or boost his ego on facebook