buckle up, maggots – things get weird

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“Slipknot is a very special thing and it just keeps giving itself as it goes,” said percussionist, band founder and bandleader Shawn “Clown” Crahan. NME for their last Big Read cover story in 2019. “It’s fading like everything in this world,” he added, “but we’re trying our best.”

Over the years, the infamous nine have courted more controversy and tragedy than most. There was bassist Paul Gray suffering from a fatal overdose in 2010, Crahan’s 22-year-old daughter Gabrielle, who tragically died two years ago and the less than amicable split from founding drummer Joey Jordison in 2013 before his death last year. They have been through so much. So it’s no surprise that fans gasped and expected at least pause when they read that Slipknot’s new album would be called “The End, So Far.”

Their seventh LP marks the band‘s final album on Roadrunner Records, the rock label that’s been home to hidden threats since 1999, when they started scaring parents and blowing jars full of dead crows with their brutally changing self-titled debut. gives it. This disc is much more about the end of a contract, but the group does not give in either to the rumors of separation which have always pursued them.

Frontman Corey Taylor said in a recent interview, “Nothing sells albums like drama”, but all the hubbub “just comes from the fans”. Describing 2019’s stunning masterpiece ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ as a ‘palette’ cleanser, he says it feels ‘almost like a reset’ and ‘the end of one era and the start of the next. “. Hang on, Maggots – things are about to get weird.

Opener ‘Adderall’ is far more of a latter-day Bowie than anything you would associate with a band once labeled as ‘nu-metal’. A pensive, gloomy and wacky space-age dream with touches of jazz, prog and sharp rhythms that wouldn’t sound out of place on “Blackstar”, the track kicks off with a real satisfying eyebrow-raiser as Taylor delivers a fairly pure voice of “shallow graves and deepest fears”. ‘The Dying Song (Time To Sing)’, with its rhythmic assaults and guttural screams, is a bit more business as usual for the ‘Knot as they rage against nihilism in the face of outrage culture: “Forget, deny, ignore, good try”. It will look cool on a t-shirt.

We’re caught up in the full range of Slipknot sounds and moods. ‘The Chapeltown Rag’ continues its vision of socially conscious pop metal with a hint of Nirvana, Taylor’s Cobain-like closing howl: “When all is God online, nothing is”. Beginning with the subtly lighter side of tracks like ‘Snuff’ and ‘Vermillion’ but with undertones of an experimental horror soundtrack, ‘Yen’ sees the singer go a bit dark and sassy as he offers: “You’re the sin I’ve been waiting for – your hands around my throat are all I can think of”. The seduction then collapses in a debauchery of harsh guitars and turntable madness.

You can almost feel them pushing each other. “Medicine For The Dead” engenders an ambient grandeur you might associate more with Tool; elsewhere, pop sensibility runs through the stone temple pilots slow-burn grunge 90s verses of “Acidic” before a fairly manic low. ‘De Sade’ is a prog-metal beast and ‘Finale’ closes things out with assured lyrical pomp, leaving tantalizing anticipation for that next chapter.

Old-time Slipknot fans can find solace in the fast onslaught of ‘Hivemind’, the sultry rock of ‘Heirloom’ and the guitar noodles of ‘H377’, but even they show the band flexing its muscles. “The End, So Far” may rattle many metal faithful, but for the prowess and lasting impression of this single record, it’s a true Slipknot record. It’s unlikely that many of the fans who’ve accompanied the entire ride will be jumping ship now.

Blood, gore, theatrics and noise aside, there’s clearly always been a lot more to the band’s ability to shock and surprise – and now it looks like their next left turn of an era could be their boldest yet. As Taylor warns of the Tallica-worthy arena shredder from the album’s “Warranty” centerpiece: “Isn’t that why you came here?”

Details

  • Release date: September 30, 2022
  • Record company: Roadrunner folders
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