It has been 5 years since the Monsters of Metal released .5 The Grey Chapter. A lot has happened in that time, but one thing remains – Slipknot. Throughout everything the band has been through, its still amazing that you can hear the music and instantly recognize it as a Slipknot song. Even before Corey Taylor has started singing. There is just an air of finality to everything they put out, almost like daring the world to end on them.
Those going into We Are Not Your Kind will have to be prepared for something a little different. And I think have cracked the pattern of the Iowan Nine. This is their 6th studio album, and musically, I have gotten a lot of flashbacks to Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses. An album that represented Slipknot experimenting with different sounds, trying to push themselves as artists, push their sound in unexpected ways, and just having a lot more fun with a band full of nine different members than your typical quartet.
I have sensed a pattern here – this being the 6th album and it being a little more experimental than what we’re used to. Maybe Slipknot’s next album will mirror Slipknot ’99… Like all things in life, things go through cycles. Not to say this is a bad album at all! No ways! This is probably the heaviest Slipknot have gotten musically, but for absolute raw anger – you just can’t beat Iowa. And for good reason! I mean, the band was tearing itself apart during that time in their career. Their management team would make sure to keep the members as angry as possible. Everyone was at everyone’s throats. It was the album that almost broke the band.
Now, 20 years after their self titled debut album, Slipknot have managed to up their game again. And now, we’ll dive head first into their brand new offering, going track-by-track. Welcome to my review of We Are Not Your Kind…
An intro song. How long its been since these were a thing, but Slipknot have not let us down. Electronic, haunting, full of strange sounds. Craig and Sid must have had fun on this one. And to end it off with Corey’s clean voice dissolving into electronic static adds an unsettling feeling of build up. Its almost a pity that it doesn’t continue right into the double bass of
You have heard this song. I have heard this song. Your mom has even heard this song. Its the first single and if you did not stream it on repeat, then why do you even have a Spotify or Apple Music subscription? It takes a good 58 seconds before the beast that is Corey Taylor’s voice is unleashed. Starting off with an angelic choir and drums, you could be forgiven for thinking this not going to pummel you in the face. And then
I’m finally holding on to letting goUnsainted
Now you just know you’re listening to a Slipknot song. I really like that you can hear Clown and Tortilla Man beating on their empty kegs, and then Sid takes it away with some record mixing and the guitars get real low. The heaviest part of this song should have you punching your friends in the face with absolute joy.
You’ve killed the saint in meUnsainted
How dare you martyr me
Birth of the Cruel
Starting off with some great custom percussion from Clown and Tortilla Man mixed in with Jay’s drumming, its guitar riffs are very much like Gently if it was sped up. Corey’s voice in the opening mixes really well with every instrument. And then again, at 58 seconds, the beast is unleashed. Down tuned guitars lead onto some great gang vocals. This song is very drum lead, and its well worth listening for a few times to just hear the complexity between Jay’s drum set and the two customer percussionists. Its like a dance. This is a slower song, almost chugging a long, or marching.
Blessed are the fires that have burned meBirth of the Cruel
Death Because of Death
Almost an intermission. Very experimental and probably the clearest ties to Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses. It stands at 1 minute and 21 seconds and feels like the recorded it to put in-between songs. Not my favorite, but hey, every album has to have that song to give you time to sit down and catch your breath.
Death because of death because of youDeath Because of Death
And just like that, we’re back to the heavy. Guitars lead crashing drums in what can only be described as Jay showing off. This is a more typical Slipknot song – made to give your chiropractor something to do. Yet we do have some very angelic singing creeping in to the chorus, while Corey spits his venom over the top. It makes a great contradiction. Even while being typical Slipknot, they have managed to add in some experimentation in, which makes listening to each song an audio adventure. At least for me. Less predictability.
You can do your worst to meNero Forte
At the end of the day that’s what you do best
Giving you almost enough time to breathe before we’re back into the heavy, the into to this song is 18 seconds before the drums come to remind you who you’re listening to. Interject a roar from Corey and you’re off to the races. Nice and heavy, and then Corey’s clean vocals lead to almost a silence… With the fast drumming and Corey’s methodical pronunciation of each word, you have this juxtaposition of sound assaulting your ears. This song has enough slow bits in it to really make it feel like three different songs in one.
Every time this happens I’m breaking a promise I made to a version of meCritical Darling
The song ends with over a minute to go, and finishes off with an odd mix of distortion and electronic. Personally, I am not sure what this adds, as it comes across as some filler. But at the last minute, acoustic guitar introduces
A Liars Funeral
Judging by the intro, you might be lead to believe this is another Circle. Only at the end of the first verse when Corey belts out “Liar”, do you realize this might be a bit different. After two verses, the song descends into chugging guitars and a slow heavy beat.
Close your eyes and join the blindA Liar’s Funeral
Slit your wrists for peace of mind
Turn your back and show us the truth
Theres only one way to remember it for you
This is a great song. The perfect amount of buildup. The great execution. The Slipknot sound we know and love. I can’t wait to hear this song in the mosh pit, its that type of song! Full of anger and build up, and just a great mix all around.
You used to be something specialRed Flag
Now you’re nothing new
For me, this is a standout song on the new album, tying back to All Hope is Gone in its execution. Its made for the circle. Seeing the band go off to this song sure will be something to see. Corey doesn’t do any clean vocals on this song at all and I love it! More of this please! You can feel the anger in the groove of the music. This is Slipknot at their best in my opinion.
I love the breakdown about two thirds of the way in, where Corey’s and Clown’s vocals play off each other. Its something special for sure.
Instrumental, elevator music with undertones of buildup that leads into
Another slow song with keys sounding like a horror movie. This is not a cover of System of a Down’s Spiders, unfortunately. More experimental that anything, but with a catchy tune. I think its supposed to sound as creepy as spiders make you feel. But its just too experiential for my tastes. Tones of blues, electronic and is that auto-tune I hear? As you can tell, I think this is probably the weakest song on the album. It will have its fans I am sure.
The spiders come in side by sideSpiders
Two by two and night by night
Who is food and who is thrown away?
If Spiders disappointed me, then Orphan makes it up. The long intro, the lone echoing drum, and the simple guitar rift opens up the sound stage for the rest of the band to come in. Double bass, punishing guitars and an amazing composition explode into your ear holes. Heavy and angry – just doing what Slipknot does. I really like the hook in this song, and love the gang vocals in this song.
We eat the meat cause the meat had a soulOrphan
We take the lives cause to hurt them makes us whole
Another experimental and slow song. I would not be surprised if a drum machine was used. And it’s not that I don’t appreciate these songs, clearly the band feels these songs say something that needed to be said in this way. I would prefer all heavy, thats just my preference. Maybe these slower experimental songs need more time to grow on me. But as if this review, I find them incredibly meh… Especially at 6 minutes long.
I’m your chainMy Pain
And I’m your lock
There’s no esacpe
Just as long as I say
No Long for This World
A promising start brings us back to a slow, but heavy, song. Not Long for This World is a ballad meets metal song, which may sound weird, until you hear it. It could have quite easily been the last song on this album, as it has that feel to it. Just stretch it out to 8 or 9 minutes and it would be a great bookend to this album.
There’s nothing mellow in the drama you live and breatheNot Long For This World
While even at its 6 minutes run time, it is really only 5 minutes long – the last minute made up of more electronic filler that doesn’t really even blend into
This song starts off like a serial killer movie. You know something is going to go down, you just don’t know when. But when it hits, it hits! A really odd choice to end this album on, with the title track not even making an appearance. Solway Firth is still a great song, fast and heavy, then slow and quiet, and back to heavy – it flies through all the emotions Corey must have felt while recording this album.
They pick your bones like locks inside a tombSolway Firth
And take great care to not take care of you
Again, if you have not heard this song 1,000 times by now, what do you even listen to? It was the very second single off this album, and while I wasn’t a fan on first listen, it has won me over with more dedicated listening sessions.
I’m not ahead of my timeSolway Firth
I just drew the first breath
And so the sixth album draws to a close. As an album, its more mature and experimental than we have seen from Slipknot ever. It was mostly written while Corey was working through his toxic relationship with his now ex-wife, and taken in that light, makes it one of their more darker albums. Especially considering the album ends with
You want a real smile?Solway Firth
I haven’t smiled in years
Slipknot, the monsters of metal, are back. Carving their own path as only they know how. And while this album my not be my No. 1 album from them, it represents a big shift in the band. From dealing with loss on .5 The Grey Chapter, to working through toxic relationships on We Are Not Your Kind, Slipknot are a band on a journey.
When Corey Taylor is going through his worst, we – the fans – get his best. We Are Not Your Kind showcases this completely.