Hello. It’s Saturday, which is not a normal day for my blog post but today is special. I’m going to talk about my favourite Heavy Metal band Slipknot. I will talk more in depth about why I love them so much and what I think about the current state of the band.
They are from Iowa and they have consisted of 9 members untill their bass player Paul Gray passed away 4 years ago today. Their long time drummer Joey Jordison parted ways with the band. They have released 4 albums and they are all good and have different personalities to make them stand on their own. They also ware masks and coveralls, which are numbered for each member. This is the most striking visual feature of the band. Lastly, their fans are called maggots and yes, I am one proud Maggott.
In an earlier post I mentioned how I managed to meet them at an autograph session at a local record store in Toronto. They were nice to me and one of them shook my hand and I think he didn’t want to let go of it.
In another post I talked about how they and The Simpsons speak to me. Slipknot brings out the beast in me, who is much different from my main personality, which is very shy and quiet. They say things I couldn’t say to the world but sometimes feel in my heart.
As a teenager I was very angry, especially in my mid teens. I hated school and I was also bullied. I wanted to murder everyone of my nemeses but I’m too much of a coward to do that. Slipknot reminds me of those feelings and they seem to say to me; “dude, you’re not alone. We know how you feel about all the crap you went through. We had some of the same shit dropped on us at that age.”
The only thing wrong with them is that they came along in my mid 20s when I was no longer in school but I still had some of the same feelings about how I was picked on because of my size.
Slipknot also came along at a time when the New Metal trend was near its peak and things just exploded when they released their first album back in 1999. When I heard Eyeless for the first time I was blown away by the energy and rage that came out in the song. I went out and bought the first CD and I loved it and still do to this day. Their next 3 disks: Iowa, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and All Hope Is Gone, did not disappoint. The first album is mainly rage but there are hints of what is to come, with some singing on songs like Wait And Bleed and No Life. I love the original and the 10th anniversary edition of the CD, which includes a bonus DVD, wich is surely something to watch.
If I had to pick a favourite it would be Iowa, hands down. Eyeless appeared on the first album but Iowa’s 14 tracks just rocked my world the first time I gave it a spin on the morning of August 28th 2001. I had bought it at midnight and I went home and played it on my diskman and it became my album of the year, along side Lateralus by Tool. This album showed a progression in the sound, which also incorporates dynamic’s. The title track is especially creepy because it has moments where there is no guitar and the bass is the first instrument you hear, which plays a musical note in the song. The last bass note you hear as the song ends is a low g natural and this happens after Corey says “you’ll live forever” and laughs that that classic horror movie evil laugh, which he does so well. He talked about recording the song during one of his q and a sessions during one of his solo shows and it is in sain, what he puts himself through. He strips naked and while singing the song, he throws up all over himself and cuts himself up with broken glass, which he says are the result of each scream you hear on the almost 15 minute song. It reminds me of The End by The Doors, in that they both have quiet spooky sections and also parts where the band plays loudly. All though in Slipknot’s case it is amped up tenfold.
I also like the first real song on Iowa, People = Shit, because it sets the tone musically, for the entire album while the first track 515 has the same affect on it atmospherically. The track Heretic Anthem is another favorite of mine, because of the original rough mix which was released before the first single Left Behind came out to Radio. This time, you hear breaking glass and Corey coughing at the end of the song, after his last scream. The rough mix actually has another grown from Corey before the song fades out. The entire CD is just gripping from start to finish and the loud quiet contrast is what makes this album stand out from the rest.
I bought Vol. 3 when it came out on May 25th 2004 at midnight too. I liked how the band grew and expanded from just plain rage to melody. It reminded me of Corey Taylor’s other band Stone Sour and how they have songs which aren’t all rage but have melody and some spoken word tracks too. The only things I didn’t like were the production, particularly the sound of the drums and the guitars. They weren’t phat enough or me but everything else was okay, even Corey’s vocals. I didn’t really mind them that much, even if his scream was a bit too high.
The first single Duality should have received more radio play then it did, on active rock radio or mainstream rock radio. The track Circle is the first song in the Slipknot cannon not to feature electric guitar and sounds more like a folk song, rather than a hate filled rant against life in general. I don’t mind when they do that because it adds another element to their music. Plus it makes you wonder what they could do for the next album.
Another feature which also stands out for me is the addition of guitar solos. In fact, they sound a lot like the same kind of solos which you would hear on a song by slayer. The Blister Exists is the first track to feature one and there are a few others.
Another thing which also sets it apart is the lack of profanity. At first I thought that the band had went soft but later I found out that Corey Taylor made sure not to include it so he could prove to critics that he doesn’t rely on cussing throughout everything he does.
With All Hope Is Gone, it was a return to form and it also had the melodic elements of Vol. 3 as well. I was so happy when I heard it debuted at the number one position on the Billboard chart. I had hoped Vol. 3 would have done the same thing but Avril Lavigne’s Under My Skin album got in the way of that. I wasn’t happy and I had a real hate on for her for a long time after that.
With this album, Corey’s vocals are back to a sound similar to Iowa but he also sings a lot more and almost every song includes some melody. Also, the guitar solos are there again and they were just shredding like on Vol. 3. I like the song Dead Memories because it reminds me of both Stone Sour and other side projects that other members have been involved with, such as Murderdalls. It brings both sounds together and it is fine, even if it isn’t necessarily fueled by rage and anger.
The only thing that surprised me is the track Snuff was released as a single. If you notice with each song released by Slipknot as a single, they are usually placed in the same track sequence on each album. For example: track 4 on every album has been released as a single. Track 8 has also been another track number for single releases, both in Slipknot and Stone Sour. Just check the discography of both bands and you will understand what I am getting at.
One more thing about All Hope Is Gone I should mention is that during the sessions there was a song that wasn’t released, which sounds like a later Stone Sour track called Hesitate, which appeared on Stone Sour’s 2010 album Audio Secrecies. This early version appears on the bonus DVD of All Hope Is Gone and when the track in question came out, I immediately recognized it from that period of time.
I have also seen the band twice: once in Mississauga on January 13th 2005 and in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on October 25, 2005. The first show was short and they didn’t play Eyeless. Another problem with it was one of the opening bands Killswitch Engage’s singer blew out his voice and they played only 3 songs before they left the stage.
One of the main features of the show is during the song Spit It Out, Corey tells everybody to get down on the fucking ground and I actually flopped down and a lady who was with me helped me up and asked are you alright?” I told her I was and just doing it because I knew it was coming. I had watched the DVD Disaster Pieces and I paid attention to everything, including the part when Cory tells everyone to “get down on the fucking ground, right, now.” I think that the fans shouldn’t be told to do it during this part of the show because it is a permanent feature. However, there are some stupid kids who just stand up and don’t listen to Cory, thus they get pelted by bottles or something and are thus thrown down on the ground, right then and there. If you are at a Slipknot show, you should expect it when the song is played.
Anyway, the second show was just great. The only think missing was Jim Root, who injured himself, while mountain biking. In fact, Cory said during the show that he got an email from Jim with this news. They did play Eyeless and the croud was freekin loud. I unfortunately haven’t seen the band since then.
On May 24th 2010 bassist Paul Gray was found dead of an overdose of morphine and fentanyl. I remember it because it was a week or so after Ronnie James Dio passed away. Actually, Corey Taylor recorded a cover version of Dio’s Rainbow In The Dark for a tribute album released in 2014. I think it is cool that he did that and I found a vidio on Youtube of the two of them in the same room together at The Golden God’s Award’s. I’m not sure if it was in 2008 or 2009 but I’m glad they had a chance to meet.
Now in 2014, the band are working on their 5th album without their main song writer and drummer Joey Jordison and guitarist Jim Root was fired from Corey’s other band Stone Sour. What does that mean? Will Jim be dismissed from Slipknot at some point too? That scares me more than anything. Jim is a great guitarist and if he’s gone from Slipknot and Stone Sour that would really really suck. I’m sorry but Corey Taylor has some explaining to do for his fans.
It is the 10th anniversary of the release of Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and I have a feeling there may be a rerelease at some point, with an extra CD and a DVD with live or studio footage. I wonder what they haven’t given us from those sessions that appeared on the 2005 Special edition that they could release now. They gave us the full-length version of the song danger keep away and a couple of tracks which were released as bonus tracks on CD Singles and Japanese import versions of the album. I guess we will have to see.
Anyway, despite all that is going on inside Slipknot I am holding on for what promises to be a kick ass new studio album and hopefully a tour to support it. I can’t wait to hear what they are going to do this time that they haven’t done before.
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