"The End, So Far" (Roadrunner; 2022)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Slipknot has been one of my fave bands for quite some time for the simple reason: I just can't figure these fuckers out.

What kind of metal are they? Well, that is exactly what I don't know and, frankly, I donít want to know. What I do know is that I like it, this strange, twisted music, dark and full of hidden meaning.

The name of this recording is "The End, So Far" and it does have the aspect of a story (a beginning, a middle and an end). Still, after three spins, I have yet to figure that story out!  Sometimes, you can actually understand what the singer in Slipknot is saying; while at others he can be as hard as any other metal band to understand. Keeps things interesting, no?

Great songwriting and outstanding musicianship throughout, although, what else did you expect from this band.

You know, I kinda like not being able to figure Slipknot out. It adds a little mystery to the overall coolness of the band. The masks are very strange and cool at the same time and that makes everything that much better. Great, overall release that begs to be listened to over and over again!

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"We Are Not Your Kind" (Roadrunner; 2019)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The Slipknot I like best are the monsters that appear on their live album, specifically "9.0: Live," the album that, to this day, I consider the best Slipknot album. There's a sort of uncontrollable fury that's captured in that live performance that perfectly describes the version of Slipknot that lives in my head. A band that takes "extreme" to heart and makes it real.

And there's a lot of that Slipknot on the band's "We Are Not Your Kind." That fury is still there, that power still exploding. But there's something different here, too. Something that's not so easy to put a finger on. Is it the band actually mellowing at times? Or are they simply evolving? Has some of that furious rage burned off into a form of mental anguish? What's going on here?

The first sign that things may be a little different this time out is the very first track, "Insert Coin," a 90-second noise track that brings to mind some of the soundtrack of David Lynch's "Twin Peaks." It's a scratchy bizarre little intro that puts a little unease into you, that sets the stage for what's to come. Then along comes the Track #2, "Unsainted," and it's Slipknot defined: fast, furious, loud, raw. Track #3 continues the trend, with a slightly slower pace but all the raw power. Track #4 is another of those short atmospheric tracks, again sounding like something from a David Lynch film. It's only 80 seconds long and is mostly the vocals saying "Death Because of Death" and an eerie electronic sound. But things kick in again with Track #5, "Nero Forte," which could cause you to bang your head in a dangerous circular motion so be careful.

I won't go through the entire CD here, but things get weird as often as they get Slipknot. Track 7, "A Liar's Funeral," is a (mostly) slow but heavy track that trudges along when compared to the other tracks. "Spiders" is a track that could almost come from a recent Alice Cooper album. "My Pain" is slow, melodic and hypnotizing and seems very odd here amongst the rest of the album. The final track, "Solway Firth," is a bizarre combo of everything you've heard thus far.

But here's the thing: "We Are Not Your Kind" is about the journey rather than its individual paths and, although there may be tracks that sound different than what we've come to expect from Slipknot, by the time the album is over you know you've been listening to Slipknot. Is that the mark of what makes a band great? I certainly believe it's a big part of it and that's what I like best about "We Are Not Your Kind."

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"Day of the Gusano" (Eagle Vision; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It took me forever to get around to reviewing Slipknot's "Day of the Gusano" release. It's a CD/DVD combo that is a record of the band's first-ever performance in Mexico City back in 2015. The reason it took so long is that I felt I had to sit down and watch the DVD from beginning to end before I gave this a fair review and, with its 90-minute running time, I had to find a block of time I could fit that in.

Well, at last I did and now here is the review. My apologies to to Slipknot and their their incredible publicist, Carol Kaye, for the delay.

As I've said before on these pages, Slipknot is at their best live. There's something about the band's energy that transcends studio recordings and gives their music a more dynamic, outrageous feel. That's true here on "Day of the Gusano" as well (Gusano, by the way, is Spanish for maggot, in case you were wondering."

The CD is 17 tracks of live Slipknot insanity and, as you might expect, roars through your sound system like machine gun fire. The band is in awesome shape here, high off the fact that this is their first time in Mexico City and the fans are ecstatic. Strangely, I don't think the sound quality is as good as it was on the band's previous live release, "9.0 Live," but maybe I'll go back and re-visit that record to compare later.

The accompanying DVD (also available on Blu-Ray), however, is where the action is at. Unfortunately, it doesn't contain every song that's on the CD but it's a great live recording nonetheless. Not only is the band in explosive form, but the concert portions of the film are frenetically paced and sharply edited. This is one of those rare concert films where you just don't feel like you're at the actual show, but the filmmaking emulates the band's sound and performance. It's a wild and fiery ride.

The DVD also consists of interviews with the bandmembers discussing, mostly, how it feels to be in Mexico City. It's all very interesting stuff but the way it's plugged into the concert video disturbs the live concert flow. Maybe there's a way to play the concert through-and-through without the interviews but I haven't found it yet. Regardless, it's only an annoyance and does little to detriment the overall enjoyment of the film. (I have since discovered that a deluxe CD/2DVD set has come out with the entire documentary on one DVD and the entire concert on the other DVD and CD and you can buy that edition here.)

Bottom line is that this is a great addition to any Slipknot fan's collection and the exact perfect film to see if you've never had the opportunity to catch the band live. Nothing is the same as actually being there, of course but, if you ask me, I think this is as close as you'll get.

Slipknot: Corey, Craig, Mick, Chris, Alex, Sid, Jay, Jim, Clown.

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 ".5: The Gray Chapter" (Roadrunner; 2014)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have been a fan of Slipknot since I first listened to their amazing live recording "9.0 Live" released in 2005. Not only does this band rock musically, if you've ever seen them live or even videos or pictures of them, you know they are all about the showmanship of heavy music.

Now this recording, ".5: The Gray Chapter," is a whole different reason to put out an album: The death of a friend. This album was released in 2014 and it was the band's first recording in six years. The original bassist, Paul Gray, died in May of 2010 and the band released ".5: The Gray Chapter" in his honor. The music is pure Slipknot, best played very loud and it drips with fucking attitude and emotion. Slipknot delivers whenever you put the CD on. This is raw and vibrant and real and whenever I put it on the music elevates me and, frankly, isnít that the reason we listen to music?

Another thing: We here at experienced a loss in our extended family and any time music is dedicated to a fallen friend we truly sympathize. Slipknot's ".5: The Gray Chapter" is rated from the heart with a hearty three guitarsaws.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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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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