Sound — 9
Let me start off this review by saying that this was my first metal album, so nostalgia and bias is to be expected. And yes, Slipknot is metal, whether you elitists like it or not. Get over it. Corey Taylor is a fantastic vocalist. The amount of raw aggression he brings to the table here is Slipknot at it's finest. While listening, you can almost imagine Corey covered in sweat, exhausted as he screams his vocal chords to shreds. Every other aspect of this album's sound stands out in it's own way, from Joey's lightning fast drumming, to Mick and Jim's saw-like riffs (and Paul's bottomed bass booming in the back), to Sid and Craig's sample/turntable effects, and Shawn and Chris's percussive assault. HOWEVER, I do have a bit of a problem with the mixing of Joey's drums. While the goal during production was to capture the raw intensity of Slipknot's live shows, the kick drum is a little TOO raw. There's virtually no low end to the kick, reducing it to a small "pap" sound.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics throughout this album perfectly portray Corey and the band's disgust and hatred for most of humanity. All the members of the band had come from a rough place before Slipknot began, and the lyrics for every track reek of an extreme loathing of humanity. As mentioned earlier, one can't help but picture Corey howling and shrieking in rage in the studio, every ounce of hatred spewing out at once. It even starts to sound like Corey is losing it from the moment he begins screaming, as if every word causes him pain, a pain he feels he has to force himself to suffer through. Surfacing is the perfect example of Corey's rage on display, the chorus being the infamous phrase, "Fuck it all! Fuck this world! Fuck everything you stand for!"
Overall Impression — 9
Slipknot's self-titled debut is one hell of a listen. It's dark, gritty, and messed up in everywhere. You feel like you're listening to someone slowly losing their mind with every song, letting their emotions consume them to the point of no return. While many would right this off as just a trendy nu-metal band, those people are just not giving the band a chance. The only song that would really classify as a rap-metal song is "Spit It Out" which has very obvious rap influences. Ironically, give the time and age that this song came out in, it was one of Slipknot's biggest hits. I don't blame the people who write Slipknot off, though, because a lot of the fans are extremely annoying.
Anyway, give Slipknot a chance. Are they the most brutal thing on the planet? No, but they're still pretty damn heavy. But I can see a wide variety of metalheads enjoying this album, albeit unless they're a stuck up elitist.