Slightly belated yes, however this was too sweet not to post. As far as metal bands go, none really hit as deep as Slipknot did in the early years. Their sound, a sick and extremely aggressive combination of industrial music, noise, and their own version of “metal”, has been keeping fans head banging and breaking their necks since the late 90’s. The truth is, their discography is not perfect, and since their transcendence into one of the most mainstream metal bands in the world today, there’s no surprise that they’ve…watered their sound down slightly. Still, let’s take a moment to remember the awesomeness of their second album, Slipknot, as it celebrated it’s birthday yesterday.
Slipknots self-titled came out June 29th in 1999 via Roadrunner Records, and was a really big turning point for the band. Fans were drawn to this new sound that hasn’t really been heard before, and enjoyed the unique ways in which Slipknot delivered their messages of anguish, mental torment and depression. Even though the s/t is considered their debut, Slipknot released their first album back in 1996 before now front-man Corey Taylor joined the band on vocals. It was called Kill. Mate. Feed. Repeat.
Musically, Slipknot has a multitude of influences ranging from death metal, alternative, nu-metal, and industrial rock, paired up with some noise and ambient elements as well. The thing that made the record interesting was how experimental the instrumentation was. The riffs weren’t overly technical but still pretty crushing, and the bands large line up and diversity in instruments provide a unique listening experience. The drums and the vocals are definitely the highlights on this album, as Corey Taylor goes on a full out rampage when he delivers his lines by expressing pure, raw and uncut emotion in the lyrics, and Joey Jordison pounds away and keeps up a an intense heartbeat for the rest of the band.
Personally, I enjoy this album because of how raw and honest it is in terms of its lyrical content. Some people consider them to be melodramatic and too angsty, however that’s entirely the point. Perhaps that might not be appealing, however one must understand why they are written the way they are and where Corey is coming from. The lyrics are a direct reflection of Corey’s life; an expression of his anguish, mental torment, and the way he felt when he was used and betrayed in his teens. They are entirely introspective, and the listener is supposed to connect with them and relate to his pain. The whole point of Slipknot on this album was a way for him to release all that rage and anger in a way that symbolically gave those experiences more meaning. The rest of the band uses the instruments as tools to express those feelings as they are felt on the inside, and so that the audience can truly understand how he felt. Certain emotions are too intense to simply put in words; sometimes there has to be something more to get your message across.
I’d like to end this on a positive note, and just say a happy birthday to this album. To this day, fans regard it as one of the best in Slipknots discography, and even one of the best modern metal albums ever released (Although I’d say that’s slightly pushing it). Slipknot will most likely never return to that visceral brutality that they once had, so at least we will all have their s/t among others to cherish as relics. Hails to the maggots!
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