Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind

Slipknot We Are Not Your Kind cover
We Are Not Your Kind
Trying to be shocking, when you’re into shock rock, is an art form in itself. A lot of people are unable to keep the person and persona separate enough, others lose themselves in a haze of drinks and drugs… being a monster, the boogeyman, your mother’s worst nightmare – it’s hard work.
A much different band than the one that started it all, with people dying or being pushed out of the band over business reasons, now it pretty much feels like a one man ego trip, albeit a very successful one…
From nihilist nu-metal scum, to melodic rock, mixed with some agro metal poster heroes and fast food figurines, just to keep up the pretenses of being “tough” but also “sensitive”, because the singer wouldn’t leave em to make Stone Sour his main concern, quickly losing their cred, but not their popularity, due to blanketed media coverage, Slipknot are here to stay, whether you or I like it or not…
And it’s not that I mind them much actually. They used to be incredibly boring, noise merchants, but after Corey Taylor’s melodic epiphany, they seem to have been getting poppier, all the time.
Case and point, “Unsainted” that comes after an inconsequential intro called “Insert Coin”… it begins with what is not a verse but the chorus that owes a ton to Linkin Park and the like only to go back and forth between that and a typical highly boring “Slipknot” extreme section – but is using the saccharine melodies as a hook.
As soon as Slipknot goes closer to their original MO, for “Birth of the Cruel”, things become rather predictable. There are more code hidden messages and melodic chants, but despite some interesting passages here and there the song is hopelessly generic.
“Death Because of Death” is a short atmospheric interlude that repeats the title in slight variations… it introduces the significantly heavier, riff driven “Nero Forte” that’s typical rap/groove metal, at least this time, but unfortunately while it goes on, reasonably well, Taylor feels the need to insert some melodic singing, just because… oh well, what new, that and that repetition is the name of the game. Dance monkey, dance!
“Critical Darling” is a mix of the same old piss-ola rock with a sub-par melodic chorus that feels like it wasn’t good enough for Stone Sour.
“A Liar’s Funeral” is shockingly a so and so ballad, with some random screaming just to remind you this is a rock/metal album and not some pissy “hair” band.
“Red Flag” is the umptenth song where the band employs the same formulaic build… with the same results; if you enjoy this sort of thing (groove metal) you will continue to do so, while if you don’t, this will feel like a kick in the gonads. Thankfully CT doesn’t go all “girly” and melodic on this one, incredulously.
“What’s Next” is not only what I was thinking but also the title of a minimalist interlude that leads us to the “gothic/post/new wave” inspired “Spiders” that feels like a more twisted and rocking Depeche Mode” without the song however being anything like a hit. It’s pretty average at best if not a little too repetitive.
“Orphan” wastes a minute in a pretty ambient intro, to then go apes hit in no time with some super-fast bicycle like double kick percussion. It has an inventive melodic line during the chorus, so yeah, it’s kinda the only other songs after “Unsainted” that is sort of interesting or highly memorable.
“My Pain” is six minutes of ambiance with some nursery rhyme like lyrics sung… it’s kinda creepy with its weird atmosphere, but it’s not until “Not Long for This World” comes around that it makes some sense. It also begins with a couple of introspective minutes of murmurs over soft instrumentation, before a short cathartic burst, rips through… before Taylor gets on with his usual “over the top” pissed histrionics, which in this case and due to the build and progressive introduction, not to mention copious amounts of melodic lines seem to work.
“Solway Filth” begins with a minute of almost psalm like singing, before half a minute of Slipknot percussion takes hold… it’s the usual chaotic vocal diarrhea, but mixed lower, so as to allow some neato guitars to keep the track from stagnating like most the super-formulaic songs on this album.
Weirdly enough “All Out Life”, a quite decent and more varied than most songs that are on offer on the album that even includes a line that is the title of the album, has been reserved, as a bonus for the Japanese edition of the album, for unknown reasons.
Since, “All Hope is Gone” the band, increasingly and more openly guided by Taylor’s whims, has been getting increasingly melodic. But now they base their continued success on those few melodic passages and not the raw ferocity of the past that now seems as an afterthought.
Haters are going to hate and fans are going to swallow up, pretty much whatever thrown in their face, trying to make sense of it. By far not the best Slipknot album and I am not sure if the band has ever been solid enough to write one. Guess the verdict is out though, so… meta.