Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
Slipknot return with an album as heavy as ever, but with a whole load of craftsmanship behind the distortion
Slipknot always seem to be in a constant contest between supplying fans with early-material levels of heaviness, while simultaneously pushing boundaries as the undeniable frontrunners of modern metal.
So when the band announced that We Are Not Your Kind sees them "doing heavier things than we’ve ever done", fans fell over their spiked-shoe heels in anticipation. It’ll be good news to hear then, that not only is WANYK as savage and unrelenting as their best releases – with tracks like Nero Forte, Critical Darling and Red Flag replicating Corey Taylor’s frantic vocals found on their early work – but they’re also courageous enough to go places they’ve "hinted at" before.
Where WANYK impresses is its display of Slipknot’s ever-evolving development, signs of the group – 24 years strong, remember – still growing as musicians. The band take the melodic tones and watertight production of 5: The Gray Chapter and add further external elements and atmospherics, showing they aren’t afraid to momentarily release the gain-heavy tension while still feeling unequivocally Slipknot. Take the uncomfortable, creepy-crawling slow-paced Spiders, or disturbing semi-interludes of Death Because of Death and What’s Next.
Darkness is a key part of their sonic aesthetic, with a frank Taylor right at the heart of it. From the lyrical nods to cult sensibilities and religious imagery, like Unsainted’s heavy reliance on chorals, to the atmospheric programming beneath. A Liar's Funeral epitomises it devilishly, with an acoustic-piece-turned-doom-metal that squirms vigorously between soft-rock and a satanic summoning; or the extended horror-esque build-up to Orphan; or Taylor’s priest-like utterance of 'I’m counting all the killers' that both introduces and concludes WANYK.
Meaty riffs, expertly orchestrated songwriting skills, arena-championing choruses, and delicate experimentation with metal nuances – this is Slipknot, and this is undoubtedly a Slipknot record. If you want We Are Not Your Kind to be heavy, you got it – but there’s far more craftsmanship hidden beneath the distortion.
Listen to: Unsainted, Nero Forte, Red Flag