Category Archives: Joey Jordison

Slipknot Iowa, 15 Years Later

Hi folks. This is an update of a post from a year ago today, looking back on my favourite album by Slipknot, released 15 years ago today. Iowa came out as the band were touring to promote it and while the band were further emerging from the success of their first and self titled debut album. We were promised a heavier and darker album and boy… did we get it and it was good too.For me, this was a turning point in the band because of how heavy it was, both musically and vocally for singer Corey Taylor. If you have it just listen to how hard he screams on the album and then, listen to his work after that on Stone Sour and later albums by both bands. You can hear the evolution in his singing and screaming from Iowa onwards and I think he has it all down to a science.
I remember the track Heretic Song was released to Radio as a rough mix of The Heretic Anthem, in June 2001. I actually like that version better than the one we get on Iowa, because there are more sounds at the end of it and that is my favourite thing about Slipknot. They weren’t afraid to put in such sounds as groans and screams just to give the song more energy. On later albums this happens sometimes but not as often as it did on the first two. Just think who they were working with at the time, to produce both albums! After all, Ross Robinson did produced the first two albums by Korn and the debut album by Limp Bizkit, as well as Roots by Sepultura and the sound was just as wild and live as was Slipknot’s sound at the time.

I was waiting all summer for the album to come out and when Left Behind was released as the first radio single, I was okay with it. Especially considering how heavy it and other songs I would hear on the radio from it, before the album was released. The songs: People = Shit, Disasterpiece, The Heretic Anthem, The Shape, I Am Hated, Skin Ticket and New Abortion were played on metal shows that I would listen to. There weren’t many interviews about the album that I heard before it came out but it didn’t matter because I didn’t expect to hear much from the band. They didn’t talk that much and that was fine with me at the time. Now they talk about a lot of stuff from their careers and that’s OK too.

This album is also significant for me in that it was the first one ever, that I actually purchased at midnight, the day of the release. I actually went downtown to the record store and bought it then and went home and gave the CD a spin or two or more, over the past 15 years. I can’t possibly go through the album track by track, so I will talk about as many songs as I can get my teeth into .

515 opens the album, with screams and sounds from DJ Sid Wilson. His Grandfather had recently died and all the emotion from that came out in that short avant-garde track.

People = Shit opened the album with the first full song, which came at the listener hard and fast, like Death Metal and it is certainly relentless. With fast vocals and intense screams and growls the song pummeled you into submission. It became a fan favourite immediately and is one of my favorites along with the track Eyeless from the first album.

Disasterpiece is much the same but a bit slower, with a slight let up in intensity in the breakdown. There is a bit of melody coming through in the vocals this time but after a reprieve the song goes back to its original high intensity. Much like the previous track it incorporates some elements of Death Metal but I think that Thrash Metal is more what is heard in this song.

My Plague is the second single and one of the few songs with a melodic chorus. However it still is as intense as the previous tracks. The single version has a much less intense lead vocal from Corey but despite that it still retains the same ferocity. It appears on the soundtrack of resident Evil, as well as the deluxe version of Iowa and the 2012 compilation Antennas To Hell.

Everything Ends goes back somewhat, to People = Shit and Disasterpiece but has some of the melody of My Plague in it. It is missing any trace of Extreme metal in it. However, it still is as angry and intense as anything else previous to it or yet to come.

The Heretic Anthem was the first single… sort of, but it was the rough mix that came out first with the slightly different title that I mentioned earlier. When it was played it also became a fan favourite just like People = Shit and Disasterpiece. I think the main reason for this is because of the chorus: “if your five five five then I’m six six six” which Corey would have the croud respond to before going into the song, with the sampled countdown from 8 to 0. As I said earlier, I like the rough mix because there was more sound effects at the end of the track like breaking glass and screams and grunts from Corey.

Gently is also another favourite of mine because of how it is structured. It starts off quiet and haunting then it builds to a Slipknot like crescendo at the end. It had been around for a few years, ever since before Corey joined the band and it was recorded for their debut EP Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. which came out in 1996 with original vocalist Anders Colsefani. He later stated that he had no problem with Corey taking over for him and called him a good guy. I’ve met Corey and despite what he is being known for now, (I-E) throwing fans out of Slipknot shows and dowsing people with bottles of water, who are using their smartphones at said concerts I agree.

Left Behind was the first single for radio but despite it’s melody it didn’t translate well to it. Thus, it was made a fan favourite. The strange thing about the end of the song is that it had a sound of an airplane and that was certainly scary For some people to hear that, especially after the September 11 attacks.

I can’t really say too much about: The Shape, I Am Hated, Skin Ticket, New Abortion or Metabolic because there really isn’t that much to say about those songs. All though if I had to talk about any of them, The Shape incorporates a loud quiet dynamic with the quiet verses and of course, the loud choruses. Skin Ticket does show a slower trippy side to the bands music and that later appears in songs like Iowa and Gehenna from All Hope Is Gone.

The final track Iowa is one that I can speak to because it is also a favourite of mine and I think it should have been released as a single, just to piss off some people if for no other reason then to just make them angry. It is such a long song with many ebbs and flows within it but it isn’t an easy ride through it. The song even includes back masking with the words “shit don’t look at me” being heard backwards during the second half of the song. The only reason I know what Corey is saying is that there is an iOS app called R-Player, which allows you to listen to your music backwards. I used it on my Beatles songs that had backwards singing and sounds and well… why not Slipknot?
The song has many sounds like sampled screams and evil laughs throughout. The other thing about it is that singer Corey Taylor has talked about how he recorded the vocals for it. He recorded the song While naked. He threw up all over himself and cut himself up with glass, just to bring out more intensity. Even other members of the band thought he was crazy to do this. But hay… it worked for the song and was a perfect way to end the album on a rather chilling note.
This album is my favourite and is indeed, the quintessential Slipknot album. After all, Iowa was named the greatest album of this century so far. Others are good but this one tops them all in the energy and in the musicians developments. There may not be any guitar solos on this album but there is some technicalities on this album musically. Just listen to the breakdown of My Plague and you will hear a slint of musical sophistication. Even the guitar riff for Left Behind has a degree of technicality to it. It reminds me of The Smashing Pumpkins 1996 single Zero but unlike that song, the riff goes up and down like a roller coaster. Yet, it is a relatively easy riff to play on guitar, if you listen to how it is being played. I won’t get into it here but just trust me on this.

Even the members of the band look to cull inspiration from this album for future albums with songs from All Hope Is Gone and .5, The Grey Chapter having elements from it on some songs on both albums. The track Goodby is a perfect example of how similar it and Gently are to each other in that they both start off quiet and haunting and build up to being heavy. All though in the case of Goodby, it goes into another song entirely, while Gently has a section which brings the song to its close. Even the track Gehenna from All Hope Is Gone sort of picks up where Skin Ticket left off but is much more subdued and trippy, yet still intense. Also, Corey has said that .5, The Grey Chapter would take elements from Iowa and Vol. 3, The Sabliminal Verses which they have done.

Will Slipknot ever try and perform Iowa in its entirety like other bands have performed full albums on tour? I can’t see it happening but you never can say never with them. They just might try it one night out of the blue and surprise all of us. I don’t put anything past them, even doing guest spots on animated TV shows. After all, most of the band our fathers and have offspring who are either fully grown or are still growing up. I can invision them on a Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror episode or a musical episode involving Otto, Bart or Homer. Well, I can dream… can’t I?

Well, that’s about it for todays entry. Talk to you sooner than you or I think and stay sic.

Slipknot Tuesday

Hello and welcome to a Slipknot Tuesday. It’s my 3rd annual Slipknot post, outside of reviewing or retro reviewing one of their albums. This post is simply to comment on how one of my favourite metal bands is doing from 366 days ago. The following are my own opinions and I don’t give a shit what anybody else thinks.
Since the last post they have continued touring .5: The Gray Chapter and things seem to be going alright. It is also the 6th anniversary of the death of basest Paul Gray and if you think about it, the band hasn’t been the same since.
When Paul died there was some talk about whether Slipknot was to continue and thankfully, they have. However 3 years later, drummer Joey Jordison was fired from the band, for the bands reasons. Corey has said that they going about it the right way, in order to be able to talk about why he was kicked out of the band he co-founded, along with Paul Gray and Shawn Crahan, better known as Clown. I think that they should try to patch things up and grow up and reunite. You can’t really replace Paul Gray but Joey Jordison brings his drumming style to the table and nobody else can coppy it and make it sound like Slipknot.

Now that I’ve mentioned Joey no longer being in the band, I have changed my review of .5: The Gray Chapter too. I gave it 10 out of 10 for being a Slipknot album and now, it has dropped significantly. It sounds like Slipknot only because Corey Taylor is still the vocalist but other than that, most of the album sounds nothing like what Slipknot should sound like. For example: the song Lech sounds less metal and more punk. The track Custer sounds way too much fun to be a Slipknot song and fun is not what Slipknot is about. It is about letting out all your anger and going nuts without any regard for yourself or other people. This goes for the band and the fans and I think that has been toned down somewhat, even if it is inadvertently so.
Something else I have been thinking about for a while is the trend towards songs which have acoustic guitars or conventional song structure to them. When Slipknot released their debut album in 1999, this was not what the band was about musically. I think that the influences that have come from outside projects other members have been involved with have confused the sound and some rather uninformed fans. For example: The Devil And I was thought to sound like Corey Taylor’s other band Stone Sour and both Corey and myself agree that it doesn’t at all and is purely a Slipknot song. The difference is that there is less double kick drum in the songs Corey writes for Stone Sour then what he writes with Slipknot. The other thing is that the song is in the key of a, which is not a typical key signature for any Stone Sour song. The exception to this is the song Red City from House Of Golden Bone PT 2 but that is rare. I hope that at some point, Slipknot decides to drop the acoustic guitars and just concentrate on playing heavy, thrashing, angry and violent music. This slow trippy stuff is fine but I would rather hear stuff like Sic or Eyeless then a song like Killpop or Snuff. Not that those songs are bad, they just don’t fit into how Slipknot started and how they should stay, in my opinion. I have all their albums and I know what I’m talking about.
As for the members, well, Corey Taylor has released another book and his other band Stone Sour are continuing to release the Burbank Trilogy., I’m sure everyone else in the band has other things on the side and can go back to them, when Slipknot goes on hiatus again. As for Joey Jordison, I really hope that he and the band try to patch things up and get back together. Then maybe, we can get back to the next Slipknot album sounding more like Slipknot, the whole way through. don’t get me wrong, I like Jay Weinberg as a drummer but he is not Joey. There is a certain feel that Joey has when he is playing and it makes Slipknot sound like they have, before .5: The Gray Chapter. Jay is close and The Negative One is a great song but I would like to hear Joey playing the same beats and fills. I think he would make the song sound even more like what Slipknot should sound like and that’s that. As for Joey, I think he also has to be less of a creative force and allow more of the other people room to have their say on future material. Maybe they have but I hear too much Joey on a song like Dead Memories. It reminds me of a song like Tired And Lonely, which appeared on the Road Runner United compilation back in 2005. If you have bothe the compilation and All Hope Is Gone, just take a listen and you will understand what I’m talking about. However, I also think that Joey is a great song writer and has given us great songs like the aforementioned Dead Memories and others, which he had a hand in writing on the first 4 albums.
Well, that’s about it for this years Slipknot post, unless a new album comes out. I have heard that it may be a concept album and that is a bit worrisome because that may take Slipknot into a less metal direction and into a more arch rock for progressive rock direction. Again, not that it’s bad… It’s just not what I would like them to do. I’ve said what I would like them to do above and if they have other ideas, I’ll follow but I may not necessarily like them screwing around with their sound. Obviously it’s good to develop and expand but please don’t forget where you came from. Slipknot are a metal band, with other elements which make up the sound. They have had 3 albums under their belt, in which they have expanded on their original sound and it is time for them to go back and kick ass, on record as well as live. The only thing I hope they will do that is in any way a nodd to pop culture is to appear on The Simpsoons. for Bart. Hay, Lady GaGa did for Lisa, so why not Slipknot for the character who loves to be a pain in the ass to people who are in a position of power.