It’s worth mentioning that I am a huge Slipknot fan. They were one of the bands that shaped my musical interests and pushed me towards the heavier side of the spectrum. As a result it’s made me extra critical of each album, always wanting each release to be better and better. While I liked their fifth release ‘The Gray Chapter,’ I felt it wasn’t anything drastically different and was more or less the band playing it safe. I was expecting this release to be a similar effort, a second part to The Gray Chapter. I’m pleased to say this album completely took me by surprise.
First thing to say about this album is that in many places; it is heavy. Longtime fans of the band have been crying out for years for Slipknot to return to a more aggressive sound and I feel that they will not be disappointed. The band has had a turbulent time with the death of Paul Gray (bassist) in 2010 and the departure of long time members Joey Jordison (drummer) and Chris Fehn (percussionist) in more recent years. Lyrically the album deals with themes of depression and mortality, with vocalist Corey Taylor sounding more ferocious than he has in recent memory. Samples and sound effects also seem more prevalent here, creating an atmosphere similar to that present in 2001’s Iowa (considered to be their best release by many,) as well as percussion being higher in the mix. There is a bit for old and new fans here. There are instant crowd pleasers guaranteed to get heads banging such as ‘Unsainted,’ and ‘Solway Firth,’ as well as eerie, atmospheric tracks reminiscent of the bands earlier releases such as ‘Spiders,’ and ‘Not Long For This World.’
This is a great effort from the band which I’m sure will be well received by their dedicated fan base. I personally cannot wait to see some of these tracks live and I know this album is going to be blaring through my headphones on repeat for the foreseeable future!
Slipknot are currently on tour in the US with UK dates being announced soon for 2020.