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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Slipknot: All Hope Is Gone

Year released: 2008
Label: Roadrunner Records, Nuclear Blast
Official Website: www.slipknot1.com


1. .execute [1:49]

2. Gematria (The Killing Name) [6:02]

3. Sulfur [4:38]

4. Psychosocial [4:44]

5. Dead Memories [4:29]

6. Vendetta [5:16]

7. Butcher's Hook [4:15]

8. Gehenna [6:53]

9. The Cold Black [4:40]

10. Wherein Lies Continue [5:37]

11. Snuff [4:36]

12. All Hope is Gone [4:45]

What's the latest fad on the alternative music scene these days? To don make-up and gimmicky costumes of course!

From pioneer hard rockers KISS, to visual-kei of Japan, from black metal gods Dimmu Borgir to indie hardcore rockers The Locust, musicians certainly are not just about their music these days. As the saying goes, “Seeing is believing.”

Certainly, that seems to be the case for these bands.

Just as how visual-kei bands from Japan usually give off a grungy, “emo” feeling to their music from their appearance alone, Slipknot's disturbing appearance for one, leaves on one the first impression of a typical don't-really-care-what-others-think-about-me American metal band: Heavy, mean, thrashy.

Take a listen!: Gritty, aggressive, mainstream-friendly.

But sadly, that is all there really is to it. The old saying about never judging a book by its cover does not apply to Slipknot, for there is nothing new explored here on their 4th studio album, “All Hope Is Gone”. Similar to their earlier albums, Slipknot has not wandered away from their dissonant music style (which is actually, the typical style of most American metal bands), and as usual, such an album of theirs does produce a single or two. Three in fact, with the lucky trio being “Psychosocial”, “Dead Memories”, and “All Hope Is Gone”.

Yes metal gals n' boys, this is the mark of a “safe”, but not groundbreaking music album. Music, is an amorphous creation of mankind that is supposed to transcend space and time, surpass the previous generation's expectations, and yet retain that heartwarming feeling of melodic satisfaction within one's heart. Sure, Pop, Rock, and even Metal music have all contributed to destroying the traditionalistic views of contemporary music hardliners over the past half century with their immense success, but that does not mean all of them are timeless classics.

With the group numbering at a staggering 9 members, one would almost expect an epic sound from Slipknot. No, we did not get that on their 1st album, not their 2nd and 3rd either, and not even the 4th as well. In fact, the 4-member Metallica is so epic compared to them that Slipknot looks like Twilight put alongside Underworld. The saving grace of this album is the string of songs bearing the familiar mainstream-friendly tunes such as “Sulfur”, “Psychosocial”, and “Dead Memories”, and being “alternative metal” (Wikipedia, 2008), that sure is not going to please the more underground metalheads.

Metal Demons: The members of Slipknot – From left to right: Jim Root (Guitar), Paul Gray [R.I.P. Passed away in 2010] (Bass Guitar), Chris Fehn (Custom Percussion), Joey Jordison (Drums/Guitar), Shawn “The Clown” Crahan (Drums/ Custom Percussion), Corey Taylor (Vocals), Sid Wilson (DJ), Craig Jones (Keyboards), Mick Thomson (Guitar)

Yes, musical experimentation puts your next newest album at great sales risk, but if sales figures really matter to you more than making good music, you cannot truly call yourself a good musician. Keep your image Slipknot, its cool.

Improve on your sound however, it really needs some tweaking to get variety-seeking freaks (such as myself) to keep the CD in the player for months.

Here's my advice:

1. Mainstream junkies, pick it up, y'all should still find stuff like this cool.

2. Underground dudes, hold your horses, your money's better spent on some other CD.

Hope to hear better stuff on the next album, and my new year resolution to Slipknot: All hope is not gone for you!

Verdict: 8.3 / 10

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