Album: We Are Not Your Kind
Released: August 9th 2019 via Roadrunner / Warner
Reviewed By: Curt Ubank
There’s not many bands around that can have 9 different musicians onstage at once, there’s even fewer that can last for over 20 years in the music industry, and still maintain mystery and fevered interest. Then again, there’s nobody really like Slipknot. Back in March, the 18 legged hate machine announced their 6th studio album, titled “We Are Not Your Kind”. After months of teasing, singles, lawsuits, New masks, new members and a scattered handful of live shows, the day has finally arrived…. Slipknot are back.
The record starts off with “Insert Coin”, because you can’t start a Slipknot album without some creepy atmosphere. It’s a weird affair, almost a carnival meets synthwave feel, setting the stage for things to come.
“Unsainted” was the first single we were treated to hearing, along with the first glimpse at the new masks and even a new Percussionist “New Guy”, sometimes nicknamed “Tortilla man” by fans, replacing The litigious Chris Fehn. It’s a banger of a track, with a full choir backing and keg bashing aplenty. “Birth of the Cruel” and “Death Because of Death” bring a classic slipknot sonic feel to the album, full of eerie distortions and mixes, with “Death” serving as a twisted end cap to the percussive “Birth”. The album doesn’t slow at all as it brings us to “Nero Forte”, which would almost fit perfectly into any previous Knot album. It’s a true headbanger, and I hope it ends up in a set list or two later down the line.
The same can be said for “Critical darling”, especially with its interesting tempo shifts, but the album stand out in my opinion is definitely “A Liar’s Funeral”. Beginning with haunting acoustic guitars, almost sounding like a sequel to All Hope Is Gone’s “Snuff” before building to a crescendo of heavy riffing, chugging fun. “Red flag” is a flurry of energy, Classic thrash drums and percussion, and a sound straight of their 2nd album “Iowa”.
The use of interlude tracks like “What’s Next” really helps display a lot of sonic textures to this album, with a distorted elevator-Muzak-meets-carnival sound, before the piano dominated intro of “Spiders”, which is a nightmarish romp, very sinister and with Taylor’s lyrics is a real gem of the album. Eerie as Fuck. “My Pain” is another oddity, an almost spoken word lullaby, it’s twisted enough to not feel entirely out of place, but I can’t say it feels totally Slipknot to me.
Thankfully it’s made up for by “Not Long For This World” and the album closer “Solway Firth”. Solway has already been released as a single, and it’s done nothing but grow on me since release. It’s on tracks like this that showcase just how well Vman and Jay have fit into the band since joining and how polished the band still remain. This album is an excellent addition to the Slipknot Catalog, it doesn’t play it safe, with a few interesting choices, but shows just how utterly epic a bunch of Iowan dudes with rubber masks, a whole lot of pent up rage and a handful of beer kegs really can be. Long live the Knot!
Corey Taylor (8)- Vocals / Mick Thompson (7) – Guitars / Jim Root (4) – Guitars / Alessandro Venturella – VMAN – Bass / Sid Wilson (0) – Turntables/Keyboards / Craig Jones (5) – Samples /
Shawn “Clown” Crahan (6) – Percussion / Jay Weinberg – Drums / “New Guy: Tortilla Man” – Percussion