Sound — 7
Slipknot's new album finally dropped and I have been looking forward to it for a while. It starts out with '.execute' which in itself is an intro. most of the time I skip intros but this is very foreboding and dark and gives you a feeling of what's to come. Gematria (The Killing Name) is a great first song. it's kind of long for a Slipknot song at just over 6 mins. but it really shows off the heaviness. 'Sulfer' is still hard but has a chorus that is sung in a StoneSour esque feel however it's still pretty Slipknot. I'm sure everyones heard 'Psychosocial' by now but everytime I hear it's intro I get pumped. And while the guitars are pretty simple it's very heavy and this song also gives us something that's not on a whole lot of their songs, a solo. The chorus is sung as well but in a way all their chorus's should be sung. Here's where my opinion starts to change. tracks 5 through 8 are the worst on the CD in my opinion. While they still have some heaviness to them the sound as though Corey Tayler came to the band and said 'Hey guys, I've got 4 tracks left over from the StoneSour recordings that we should use to save time'. That being said there not bad tracks just not very Slipknot. And before you bring the 'bands evolve and change sound' argument let me say that's fine but when you front 2 bands and you do the same thing with both why have 2 bands? If I was to play any of tracks 5 through 8 to someone who has listened to both Slipknot and StoneSour I bet that 90% of the time the would think the were StoneSour NOT Slipknot. Track 8 titled 'Gehenna' is my least favorite of all the tracks on the CD. although getting back to a slipknot sound the chorus is a terrible attempt and when he tries to hit the high note I really just wanted to shut off the disk. It is in fact my least favorite Slipknot song off all 4 of their albums. Also it might be their longest track ever at just short of 7 minutes. 'This Cold Black' the ninth track is one of the best songs they've done in a while. It has a very angry feel and gets right to the point. 'Wherein Lies Continue' and 'Snuff' are both good and then the album ends with another high note with 'All Hope Is Gone'.
Lyrics — 8
Lyricly a few songs stand out. Gematria has a very political stand to it's voice and seen with a lot bands lately "America is a killing name, It doesnt't feel or dicriminate" lines like this make up for the most part but arnt so overbaring that you will think they hate their right to free speech. again seen in 'Psychosocial' with lines like "I did my time, and I want out" and "Go dig your deserts, go dig your graves, Then fill your mouth with all the money you will save" Obviously their thoughts on the war in the Middle East. Another standout lyrically for me was 'Snuff' while it's mostly sung it doesnt't remind the listener of StoneSour, it retains it's Slipknot sound. 'Snuff' is this CD's 'Vermillion pt.2' sounds as though he's writing a letter to someone he hates but loves at the same time saying line like "If you love me, let me go, and run away before I know" and "I can't destroy what isn't here". You would think that the lyrical content of this song would be weird for a band like this but they have proven again they can make it work. Corey's vocal talent is present throughout showing his range from singing to outright growls and screams but the vocal low point is 'Gehenna'. It wouldn't have been so bad except when tries to hit the high note at the middle of the chorus. "Free my severed heart. Give me you" when he sings "you" he changes pitch and it is not something he should do.
Overall Impression — 8
Like I've said 8 of the 12 tracks are really good and 4 are not to my liking at all. most of the time I don't like it when an artist releases a short CD but I would have been happier if they only put those 8 on the disk. I really enjoy it overall but if you couldnt tell I really don't like StoneSour. If you really like both bands you will be pleased with this album. However if your on the fence and only like Slipknot's heavier stuff Download 'Gemetria (The Killing Name)', 'Psychosocial', 'This Cold Black', and 'All Hope Is Gone'. These are the standout tracks and definetly worth your time.