Saturday 17 August 2019

Album Review: SLIPKNOT - We Are Not Your Kind

Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind

01. Insert Coin
02. Unsainted
03. Birth Of The Cruel
04. Death Because Of Death
05. Nero Forte
06. Critical Darling
07. Liar's Funeral
08. Red Flag
09. What's Next
10. Spiders
11. Orphan
12. My Pain
13. Not Long For This World
14. Solway Firth

When it comes to modern Metal bands, Slipknot needs no introduction. Over the last few years, they've had a few line-up changes and apparently some internal drama too. All of that aside, the question is "Has Slipknot still got it, or are they just mailing it in?". Many successful bands that have been around as long as them are often guilty of putting out lacklustre music that pales in comparison to their early material.

A few weeks before the release of this new record, the band released Unsainted, and all of my worries disappeared instantly. It sounds like Slipknot, but has a depth and an element of artistic risk that makes it something really special. The chorus is unbelievably catchy and the addition of the choir at the start gives it a melancholy quality and really adds character. It's brutally heavy too and a serious contender for 'Metal song of the year'.

Now that I've gotten my teeth into the rest of the album, it's an interesting, albeit mixed, bag of sense-assaulting Metal. There's a sense of the familiar, but enough creativity going on to give We Are Not Your Kind its own personality. 

Occasionally however, they take the familiarity a little too far. For example, Orphans at time sounds a bit too close to their classic The Heretic Anthem. It's not a big deal though, as many of the greats rip themselves off and recycle ideas. Just look at AC/DC, Metallica, and even Killswitch Engage! That minor gripe aside, Orphans is a great track and it's in good company.

We Are Not Your Kind is riddled with future classics. Nero Forte is one of my favourites. It has a manic chorus which incorporates a melodic vocal with a frantic 'almost-rap' style. Mixed with the 'Groove-Thrash' onslaught of the rest of the track, it all fits together seemlessly.

A Liar's Funeral is possibly the album's darkest moment, starting off as a sorrowful ballad then spiralling into a world of insanity and crushing heavy riffs. It is atmospheric, unnerving and soaked in passion.

Other favourites include Critical Darling, which has a chorus that's more in the territory of Corey Taylor's other band, Stone Sour, but swiftly lands back in familiar waters with the pounding verses. I also love the trippy My Pain which is Slipknot at their most experimental, and has an air of Pink Floyd about it. Not Long For This World also pushes the boundaries yet retains the bands DNA, and is quickly becoming another strong favourite on repeat listens.

It's fair to say that Slipknot still have a lot to offer. They continue to sound like Slipknot but have managed to keep things fresh, exciting and vital. We Are Not Your Kind is another album that is very much a unique part of their repertoire and I have no doubt that it will be looked back on as a classic.


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