Sound — 9
When Slipknot blew up my earlobes for the first time with their smashing debut album, 'Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat', I have been clinging onto their songs. This may sound like a confession of bias, but I try my best not to be biased when criticising is the focus. 4 years after their third studio album (Vol3), Slipknot produced something that literally will 'rip your face off'. All Hope Is Gone, has been succesful in manifesting their much-anticipated imagery of darkness (well, obvious through their use of masks). With songs like 'Gematria (The Killing Name)', 'Psychosocial', 'This Cold Black', 'Wherein Lies Continue' and 'All Hope Is Gone', Slipknot manages to track back to their old 'headbang until your neck is ripped off' way. These songs are much heavier and darker, compared to the songs from Vol3; and to the fans that were pulling away for them not being as hardcore as they used to be as in Iowa, it can be seen to be a good enough turning point for them. They easily manage to bring back their uniqueness. Even though the song 'Vendetta' might be counted as going back to their old ways of dealing with 'insanity in music', listeing to that song, somewhat replicated the riff styles that were written by a death metal band 'Cannibal Corpse' or 'Cradle Of Filth'. Some of you might disagree, but the use of fast and consecutive notes in the intro sounds similar to Cradle Of Filth sort of riffs. Moreover, to the side where Slipknot promised on this album. The 'melodic' and 'experimental' side of things. Well, with songs such as 'Snuff' and 'Dead Memories' their melodic capability is aptly present. 'Snuff' had a presence similar to 'Vermillion Pt.2' in Vol3. Personally, 'Snuff' didn't sound as emotional/dark as Vermillion Pt.2 and compared to the whole 'impression' of the album, Snuff didn't really fit in to the picture. It is wierd. It is experimental in melodic sense. But it just simply 'doesnt't fit'. On the 'experimental' side, (well, all the songs do tend to exploit both sides) we have 'Butchers Hook'. I sensed a bit of metalcore influence in this song. Dark, swinging riffs accompanied by Corey's newly-enforced darker screams and of course, Joey Jordison full-on spine-breaking drumming. One of the best aspect of this new album was that many songs now featured solos; it seems like a compensation for Mick and Jim being accused of lacking 'talent'. Well, there you go doubters, you have extreme mind-boggling, yet, melodically fit (which is to say, ear-pleasing) solos that will rip your doubts to ribbons. In overview, the sound Slipknot have created on this new album is simply amazing. They have finally proven their capabillity to the full in my opinion. They now show us their talents more than ever, yet keeping the songs ear-pleasing and just purely enjoyable to listen to. Guitars, drums, vocals, turntables and keyboards were, in my opinion, to the full extent to virtualise the possibility of Slipnot's limit to their limitless sound.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics are usual stuffs. Indeed, they are dark. But Slipknot isnt really a band that require complex and metaphoric lyrics. All they needed was effect and the pure message conveyed in them. Although they need effects-only lyrics (such as 'if you're 555 then I'm 666 or SICCCCC SICCC SICCCC), they still bring forth the absurdity and often what we'd call 'insanity' into the lyrics. Most notable would be lyrics in 'Psychosocial'. You can read it and just realise how insane the lyrics actually feel. Reciting such lyrics casually as if you are saying it would cause a stir, wouldn't it? Besides that, as I said, Slipknot blends in lyrics into a right rythm, maximising the effect of them, without them needing to be overly metaphoric. Corey Taylor has develped a darker way of screaming and his representation of his change in vocal style is consistent throughout the album. Even though Slipknot achieves their goal, their lyrics are tidious on their own.
Overall Impression — 10
As mentioned, some original Slipknot, metalcore influences and other sorts of metal influences is present in their new songs (excluding melodic songs). As for me, the whole album blew me away, or it 'melted my face' in cliche. Most notable song would be 'This Cold Black'. This song had so many variations to their diversity in tone and their ability to write amazing songs. The intro riff is thrash, the solo is just awesome, the chorus and verses are metalcore/hardcore/original Slipknot and with all that blended in into one big formidable mass, how could it not be so bold? But, all the tracks on this album is listening to. They did achieve what they have promised, and IMO, they achieved even more. Every single song is notable, worthwhile to listen to and moreover. A Slipknot fan would not want to miss this. Even other metalheads who 'despise' Slipknot for various ignorant reasons should also have a listen at this album. This album is a pure attack on our ears and this, surprisingly, is a pleasant attack. Because of these reasons, I will never allow it to be stolen. I pre-ordered a limited edition and a normal one. So I won't really lose it, will I? but hypothetically speaking, if it was, then I would most definitely replace it ASAP.