Sound — 6
Ahh, Slipknot. Now let me make this clear to you. Slipknot is not my favorite band. After the shock value has worn off of the first 3 or so CDs, there's really nothing left to it. But this CD, you would have to be entirely biased not to find something that you like on it. Now don't go into this CD expecting beautifully crafted masterworks of guitar virtuosity, or hauntingly beautiful, serene lyrics or anything resembling restraint on those drums. Slipknot is still nu-metal, and wears that label with pride befitting their masked visages. That said, this album definately cools down their angst and rage into something resembling music. A shocker, I know, but try to regard this one with open ears. The guitars are mostly rhythm peices, with one sort of frantic solo that I managed to catch, on Pulse of the Maggots, but overall it was nothing too impressive. The bass guitar is massively underused. And, unfortunately, you can hear all 3 drummers pounding away, track after track. Somebody should teach these guys the virtues of a rest. The sampler is underused, thankfully. Honestly, how much can one song benefit from a couple loops anyways?
Lyrics — 5
Lyrics have never been a forte of Slipknot, and continue to be rather uninspiring here. Mr. Taylor's voice continues to be rather harsh at times, never quite quiting down from a sort of raspy shout, but at least it does seem to fit the Slipknot brand of music. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Taylor's (although I do support his side project, Stone Sour, but that's for another review) but I understand that they're a huge drawing point for the more "hardcore." I didn't like them, but he mellowed out every now and then for me to catch some of what he said, and actually appreciate it.
Overall Impression — 7
This is, by far, Slipknot's best album. The best songs are easily " The Virus Of Life" and "Duality," but don't forget "Prelude" and the last track. I can't remember its name, but it is a good, mellow, chilled out tune. This is a CD that is more than the sum of its parts. Somehow a bunch of overactive, over-angsty wierdos from Iowa managed to craft a pretty decent peice of music. Whatever. This is one CD that you shouldn't judge until you've taken at least a couple listens of. It's really not bad, and is, in fact, the only Slipknot album I could recommend you buy.