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Album Reviews : Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind

By on August 11, 2019

I remember when the first Slipknot album came out, and all the ‘true’ metalheads started howling that it’s a ‘fad’, it’s a ‘flash in the pan’. Here we are, two decades later, they’ve just released their sixth record, and those diehards are being made to eat their words.

They may have lost much of the vicious, frenetic chaos inherent in the debut and especially sophomore Iowa, but they really are aging like nine fine wines. Okay, maybe it’s eight now…

What they’re about now is just writing strong, more mature Slipknot tunes, whilst still maintaining that delicious exuberance in the delivery of them that they’re known for. In fact, they’re walking that fine line between growing and developing their sound over time while not losing complete touch with their past rather well. I don’t imagine they will have lost a huge number of fans since the early days while picking up many new ones over the journey.

They throw up a few curveballs into the mix to challenge their audience on We Are Not Your Kind too, some nice experimental (for them anyway) touches here and there, the discordant pop and strange ambience of My Pain, the chugging, relentless industrial groove and eerie tinkling piano of Spiders, and the minute and a half interlude Death Because of Death, which combines tribal drums, weird white noise and chant-along vocals.

Elsewhere, it’s the balls to the wall alternative metal of Red Flag, probably the album’s best and most fist-pumping cut, Nero Forte, which features one of the most grooving riffs and catchy choruses of the record, and fierce, rabid album closer Solway Firth, which takes the listener on several twists and turns across its six-minute length and displays the true heft of modern Slipknot in full flight. There’s still plenty here for hardcore Maggots to thrash, smash and bash out to.

Throughout, frontman Corey Taylor is in fine fettle, switching up from his trademark throat-ripping howl to his soaring melodic cleans with aplomb. He has become a truly recognisable and iconic voice and presence in heavy music over the years. Newish drummer Jay Weinberg, son of Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg, is seriously making his presence felt too. The transition from Jordison to Weinberg, which could have been tough considering the player that the former is, has been seamless to the casual fan.

Written off early, this band has cemented its place as one of the great American bands in heavy music history, and We Are Not Your Kind adds another interesting page to their dynamic and storied history.

Band: Slipknot
Album:  We Are Not Your Kind
Year: 2019
Genre: Metal
Label: Roadrunner
Origin: USA
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About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.