The evolution of Slipknot has been a roller coaster ride. Starting out being lumped in with the “Nu Metal” genre, the band worked hard to shake that part of their identity on the epic Iowa album, and rightfully so – it never fit.
As they became the biggest band in the world, the cracks began to form. Personal demons were at the forefront, and eventually founding member, Paul Gray lost his life, Joey Jordison was ejected from the group, and most recently Chris Fehn has been ousted. But the Iowan nonet continues on, and as fans get excited for the release of “We Are Not Your Kind” on the 9th of August, we took a look back through the bands previous albums…
5- All Hope Is Gone (2008)
Bleak is the word that sums up All Hope Is Gone – not just musically, but the entire landscape of the band at the time. It had been close to five years since Slipknot had released an album, and while their popularity never faltered, maybe the creativity did to a degree.
There are some memorable tracks on offer (Psychosocial, Vendetta), but overall, All Hope Is Gone is not an album that I can listen to front to back like I can with its predecessors.
4- .5: The Gray Chapter (2014)
After the tragic death of founding member, Paul Gray, and the ousting of long time drummer, Joey Jordison – most fans probably thought that the band were done. In fact, I’m sure there was a time when the band themselves had no idea if they would, could or should continue.
But they did, and what they delivered was somewhat of a return to form after the slight mis-step of the previous album. Super heavy, and definitely a snap shot of a band re-discovering themselves and their sound. For obvious reasons, The Gray Chapter is dripping with emotion rather than venom, but it works very well.
3- Slipknot (1999)
At the time, this was one of the greatest records to happen to heavy metal music in a long time. A nine piece masked band, that played uncompromisingly heavy music, but also added in melody and elements that were commonly popular at the time – sampling and occasional hip hop styled vocals.
This was the album that put Slipknot on the map, and it still sounds just as fresh and original two decades later. Tracks like Spit It Out, Eyeless and Wait and Bleed are now bonafide classics. Seek out the “digi pack” version for some extra tracks and demos, some of which actually became favourites of mine, in Get This, Interloper and Despise.
2- Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses (2004)
This is the album that cemented Slipknot as not just the biggest band in metal, but one of the biggest bands in the entire world.
Duality was a massive single, while Pulse of The Maggots and Before I Forget provided some fist pumping action.
Of course, never one to compromise their sound, tracks like Welcome and The Nameless provided the brutality – the latter with some melodic elements – and the duo of Vermillion parts 1 and 2 provide the vulnerability.
1- Iowa (2001)
Proving to be anything but a flash in the pan, Slipknot roared back with an album that was dark as fuck, infectiously catchy at times, but completely venomous.
People = Shit is the album opener proper, and it basically sums up the bands mindset at the time. They hated everyone and everything, and they weren’t afraid to let it be know. Elsewhere, the catchier moments provided by tracks like Left Behind and My Plague were still dark, and dripping with hatred. The fifteen minute title track is a depressing downward spiral – the entire album is a masterpiece.
So, the question remains; where will “We Are Not Your Kind” fit in to this list…?