Published on February 19, 2014

Let’s timewarp ourselves back to 1998 real quick.

I am a punk teenager who's getting into metal right as nu-metal is in full swing. Lots of "filthy casuals" are getting int this band SLIPKNOT, wearing their T-shirts around the mall and whatnot. I see people on ThePRP talking shit about them. I read that they have nine members, including two drummers...and that they wear masks. How could this band be any good? Why would you need nine people?? I heard a few songs of theirs on compilations and stuff, like "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out". I decided they were dumb and moved on with my life.

So, 16 years later, why don't we go ahead and give 'em a fair listen?

Going through the Self-Titled album - this thing fucking ROCKS. (sic) is a great opener, and goddamn, they just keep tons of energy throughout the album. [umm I lost the text of this paragraph, oops :(]

Hey do you remember this classic Internet Video? This is still hilarious to me.

Iowa, I had mixed feelings about. The songs I’ve heard before are objectively the best songs! Like "People = Shit" and "The Heretic Anthem". But lots of songs on this album come off as lame. Like “Vermillion”. It just sounds like typical nu-metal, pretty generic with its growling and whatnot. Way too mid-tempo for me, sounds like a track by COLD or COAL CHAMBER. Especially when they’re cranking out aggressive burners like “Before I Forget”. Stick to what you’re good at, eh?

Vol. 3 was not really doing it for me. I wonder how I would’ve felt if I were a Slipknot fan, hearing this back in 2002. Would I be pissed that it wasn’t as heavy and straightforward as their first album? Would I think it was the most epic and progressive thing ever?

I love the variety within each Slipknot song. With nine band members, there are like 362880 things that could go wrong at any given moment. But these guys do a great job of switching from one sound to the next, and delivering some pretty dense riffage at times. Maybe not that dense compared to, you know, black metal, but it sure as hell was pretty dense for mainstream-friendly nu-metal. Even that track “Vermillion” does a good job of switching between clean and growly and shouty vocals.

All Hope Is Gone has pretty good production, and at least Slipknot evolved in SOME direction...but they kinda just sound like Pantera by this point. It definitely has some cool riffs, but it just doesn’t bring anything new or unique to the table. They get super-wussy on tracks like “Snuff” too. So yeah, I actually prefer them at their nu-est! Nu-metal fucking rules. I never thought nu-metal would make me nostalgic – I thought we could all just pretend it never happened – but I WAS WRONG.

  • Slipknot: A
  • Iowa: B+
  • Vol. 3: Subliminal Verses: B
  • All Hope Is Gone: C