Monday, November 22, 2004

What Have You Got to Lose, Except Your Soul?

Slipknot - Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses

For a long time I dismissed Slipknot as just another stupid nu-metal band, (although I did always think the gimp suits they always wear were kind of cool). "What kind of stupid band has two drummers, two guitarists and two singers anyway?" I said. Then their single Duality came out, and I thought it was not too bad, and Trent Reznor wrote on his website that he'd been listening to their new album, and they announced that they were coming to the big day out. So I thought, "Maybe it's about time I gave these Slipknot guys a chance".

Well the album wasn't really what I expected. There's a strong death metal influence, making them a lot heavier than just another stupid nu-metal band. Having two drummers means there's some pretty insane percussion happening on there, always a plus for a metal album. The two singers work well together too, and they keep it more interesting than 'there's one guy who sings, and one guy who screams'. Another pleasant surprise was that there were a few acoustic(-ish) tracks included to break up the heavy metal, and they work a lot better than you'd expect than from a band with eight members.

While the lead single (Duality) is still my favorite track, most of the rest of the album lives up to it. The only criticisms I'd make are that they veer off into stupid death metal wankery once or twice, and the lyrics aren't that great. While the vocalists have an ear for a catchy turn of phrase, there isn't much substance to back it up. They're fond of saying things like "I've gotta say what I've gotta say!", but I never really figured out just what that was. They're kind of like the Monkee's in that respect. However by and large this album is well written and infectiously agressive. The mellow tracks are very good and contrast nicely with the brutal heavy tracks that surround them. The heavy tracks are well written and varied in style (a lack of variety is a common shortcoming of many metal bands). This is the full-on, hardcore metal album album I was hoping Reise Reise would be.

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