Band : Slipknot
Album/EP : We Are Not Your Kind
Label : Roadrunner Records
Location : Iowa
FFO : Trivium, KoRn, Stone Sour
The production on each Slipknot album, has gotten better since their self titled release. WANYK is no different. Sonically, its the best written album they have ever done. ?There are so many different elements, you can just focus on one. Jay (drums) has been a fan of the Knot since he was a kid. You can hear he tried to channel the influence that the previous records had on him. V-Man makes it sound like Paul never left. He literally is the perfect fit. Mick and Jim’s guitar tones are a little heavier than the previous record (.5: The Gray Chapter). They seems to have added a little more groove, while still keeping up their usual onslaught of riffs. Clown’s subtle percussion drums only add to the intensity of the record. They are placed at the perfect spots. Craig and Sid’s samples and DJ work are also subtle, but definitely very reminiscent of Iowa. Corey has graced us with some of his harshest vocals and maturely aggressive lyrics in years. To me, the shining element on WANYK is simple, Maturity. While the songs may seem “slower”, its because they took a more mature approach to writing an aggressive album. The mis is absolutely perfect. Every stem of each instrument is mixed at just the right setting. They couldn’t have done any better.
Lets look into the song structure. It seems to have a typical Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus arrangement. Which, to me, works well for them. Its a frame they have had since the beginning. Why change what works? I feel like this album is a mature version of an attack. Not an attack on anybody in particular. But I feel like Corey and the gang are taking a stand against the injustice in the world. In the past few years when they were writing this record, ALOT of bad things have happened all over the world and it seems at Slipknot has had enough.
The replay value is definitely there, but with a catch. You can’t just pick a track. WANYK is an album that deserves your full attention, front to back. Granted all the songs are great, I personally just feel that they all work the best, together. As for lyrics, they are definitely intense. The lead single, Unsainted, has one of my favorite lyrics. “Oh, I'll never kill myself to save my soul I was gone, but how was I to know? I didn't come this far to sink so low. I’m finally holding on to letting go” According to genius.com (where I cited lyrics from), it has to do with Corey finally letting go of the depression which had hold of him. That is a lyric we all can relate to. I feel like these lyrics are just overall darker/deeper than we will ever fully understand. But also when listening to this type of music, we all interpret things differently.
Compared to the last album (The Gray Chapter), I feel like this record is definitely better. Not to say that .5 was bad. It definitely had a few hits that work their way into the usual setlist. I just feel like WANYK is a bit more than Slipknot saying how they feel. The Knot is describing how we all feel as Maggots. Broken, beat down, cast aside, and we are not taking it anymore. The track ‘Spiders” has a chorus, that fits this perfectly. “The spiders come in side by side. Two by two and night by night. Who is food and who is thrown away?” To me, that’s like saying “take a stand, march against your oppression, and take it back for yourself” I could also be wrong, but hey, listen for yourself.
The vocals have definitely gotten harsher since The Gray Chapter. I also feel like now they’ve had time to work with Jay and V-Man. So now they know how each other work and can highlight everyones strengths. I can’t find anything that didn’t improve. Slipknot has never been a band that didn’t strive to improve each record. They are also a band that doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks. If you don’t like it, don’t listen. But if you do enjoy it, they welcome you with open arms.
Overall, after a week of listening, I’m impressed. Its got some of my favorite lyrics, which I feel we all can relate to. They channeled a sonically intense hybrid of Iowa and Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses. Slipknot has really shown their maturity with this record, and solidified themselves as one of the biggest bands in the world. If you have ever been a fan of Slipknot, this record is for you. If you were ever unsure of Slipknot, or were teetering on the edge of liking/disliking the band, I highly advise you to listen to We Are Not Your Kind.
Star Rating: 10/10
Strongest Song: Birth of The Cruel/Orphan