It’s a cold-hearted morning in the Northern region of old Viking realms. Through a foggy drizzle tears a grumpy gale and though I’m sheltered behind brick walls, looking out the windows, it’s not hard to picture the unwelcoming, harsh lands this once was.
In other words, it’s a perfect morning to – finally – put on my head phones and put some words to the Slipknot album “We Are Not Your Kind” – onwards called WANYK.
Slipknot Leading On
WANYK was highly anticipated and I still remember how I felt when suddenly “All Out Life” was released in one of the coolest marketing strategies, I’ve found myself caught up in. The disbelief (“is this shit for real?”) to understanding it was in fact very real, the heart rate as I saw the video on You Tube for the very first time – and a sense of catharsis after multiple views as I took it in. And I’ll bet you, I wasn’t the only one feeling like that.
The maggots were fucking starving and craving for carcasses.
Dinner was served.
So now, let’s insert the coin and let the feast begin.
It’s About to Get Heavy
In the universe of Slipknot there is a certain feel, the same you’ll find in any horror movie, where the frame circles a playground and a few kids playing innocently about, but you KNOW it’s gonna get grim real soon.
You know… that semi-light feel resting on nervous anticipation that turns into claustrophobic satin strings around your neck, too tight to be pleasant, but light enough to not hurt – well, not too much.
“Insert Coin”, opening WANYK, paints this picture as meticulously as an art conservator caressing The Scream, before “Unsainted” breaks the spell.
With “Unsainted” WANYK truly opens up with the iconic Slipknot sound, the intensity, the heartbeat of a tune created by drums, percussion and steel in collaboration with the wrath and melody of the vocals.
This particular feel is found throughout the album, interrupted by tracks like “Birth of the Cruel”, which is more niche-ish, but somehow it connects the feel from Insert Coin and Unsainted – like an odd compromise, the way an offspring of the two might sound like. These interruptions show up throughout the album and listened to on their own, they might feel a bit off as far as usual Slipknot standard goes – but somehow they connect and belong. I’ll get back to this in a bit…
A Few Highlights
“Nero Forte” came out as I personally had my entire foundation shaken and put to the test. It came out, as I discovered lies and the faces behind masks of loved ones and “Nero Forte” became my outlet, my way to keep my hands on the wheel and the eyes on the road. The anger and hurt that runs through the track kept my own chaotic insides company.
I know a good part of my followers will probably frown when I say this:
– but Slipknot can be some of the best comfort music I know.
It probably takes a Maggot to understand that.
Where “Nero Forte” was a spitting rant, “Critical Darling” goes really dark in the sound. The regurgitanic feel of the verses, that I have so far only heard from Coal Chamber makes up for a super strong track, that I needed a few listens to be totally in love with. It’s probably one of the tracks I’m the most excited to hear live as I go see them in Copenhagen on February 20th 2020. You see, while the verses may resemble Gollum coughing out his name, the chorus lifts up the lyrics to a point where you can easily imagine an entire venue singing along.
Having mentioned “Insert Coin” it goes without saying that I have to mention “Solway Firth” too. They have been counting all the killers throughout the album and that exact phrase opens – and closes – WANYK. “Solway Firth” is fire on torn metal, it’s tears apart whatever sentiment, you may have thought were present in “Spiders” and “My Pain” and beats up an explosive finish of yet another Slipknot artwork.
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Did I Say “Artwork”?
…of course, I did!
You wanna know why I’m a dedicated maggot?
Because there’s nothing quite like Slipknot outthere.
Never was and never will be.
Like I said – there is a certain Slipknot feel to a track, an audative trademark, created by the collaboration of nine people, dedicated to experimenting and creating a feel, rather than anonymous hits.
As WANYK was presented to the world, especially Corey Taylor announced it as the darkest but best of all their albums. They went back to the roots, where it all started.
Speaking of Corey Taylor, did you read my review of his authorship?
After WANYK being released, it’s taken a lot of heat for not being as dark as promised.
I was kind of disappointed myself.
Hey! Hold it…. wait for it….(before you rip my head off)
I felt there was too much poppish feel, half-heartedly written lyrics and that sensation – the dreaded one – where you go through an album and think “Oh honey, you should’ve stopped at the last one”.
I’m crazy about it.
WANYK gives so much more than any of the previous albums.
“What changed?”, you might ask…
Simple – I started listening to it for what it was…
A work of art.
WANYK – The Slipknot Masterpiece
Take any painting; Mona Lisa, The Scream, the sunflowers of Van Gogh.
Take any huge classic novel; 1984, Roots, the magic fellowship of the ring created by Tolkien.
Any timeless, classic movie.
Any classical piecce by Mozart or Beethoven.
Not a single one can hold, if you just look at one little part of the work. You need to look at the entire work. You can dive in and find genious strokes, but you can dive in and find excruciatingly boring parts too – but without them, there would not be a whole. They create background, complimentary colours and so forth.
WANYK is the most tied-together masterpiece coming off the hands of the Nine. It is one of the most tied-together albums period!
The darkness is in fact undeniable. It’s creeping through the notes and riffs, like icy fog flooding a twilit bathed garden with the slight rusty screech of a swing and then exploding in a mix of shock waves and scenic frames.
I will disagree on the fact that WANYK should be going back to the roots. In my opinion, WANYK is the strongest piece yet. The irony, the sarcasm wiggling through the rants and spitting, and yet melodically caressing the senses. WANYK presents sounds from the Knot that we haven’t heard from them before, as well as familiar feels. It even addresses some classic heavy metal sounds – a bit of the stuff that got us all hooked to metal in the first place.
WANYK is an evolvement, unfolding new potential.
Whether it will be explored or this is a stop-on-the-top-album – fuck, I couldn’t say.
I hope they explore and continue to play and experiment. If not for the money or the tours, then just for the hell of it.
Just to raise the middle finger at the haters….
They sway as they swarmSlipknot “Solway Firth”
A look of gluttons in their eyes