Hokay…so. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you already know that there is a new SLIPKNOT album afoot named We Are Not Your Kind, and it’s out now on Roadrunner Records. There has been a ton of talk about this highly anticipated and extremely hyped record, and with good reason. Five years between releases is a long time, and your humble narrator here was less than impressed with the last one. Still, I didn’t feel like all hope is gone (see what I did there?!? I slay me!!) or anything. Over the course of 20 years now I have loved most of the band’s output, the exceptions being Iowa and .5: The Gray Chapter, as I said before. So in the grand scheme of all things SLIPKNOT, where does this album fall for The Maestro? Let’s see…
Before we really dig in, let me say this. The week of release I perused some outlets’ reviews of the disc and was shocked at all the perfect scores I was seeing: 5/5, 10/10, you get the idea. Come on, really? I mean, is EVERYONE lining up to kiss this group’s ass? Let me be crystal clear, okay? This is NOT a perfect album. There are some very strong tracks on it, but by no means is it fucking perfect. Stop lying to yourselves and your readers/listeners, you dicks!! And here’s the first reason why: an intro (I fucking hate intros!), and two interludes. Seriously? What is this, a 90’s rap album?? With that amount of time you could have included “All Out Life”, which is a killer tune!
Having said that, there is some great stuff to be found here, like second single and album closer “Solway Firth.” This song is excellent, but I was scratching my head as to why they’d stash it all the way at the end. Hey, who knows what makes artists do what they do, right? Third single “Birth of the Cruel” is pretty good, heavy and aggressive, while “Nero Forte” is without a doubt one of the album’s best tracks. We even get some cool higher vocals from Corey Taylor on the hook. And speaking of killer cuts, “Red Flag” is a fucking sledgehammer to the face, no question, and I love it! After a minute or so “Orphan” kicks in and keeps the intensity nice and high, with brutal vocals on the verses, and cleans on the chorus mixed with screams. Yes!
The whole mood of the record turns on a dime with “My Pain”, a slow and haunting number that has an eerie feel to it, which makes it another killer tune. My only issue is that it takes forever to start. Quite frankly a couple of songs on this record could have been trimmed by at least a minute. Still, it’s pretty sweet once it gets going. Now, “Critical Darling” wastes no time getting down to the business of fucking your shit up, making for a good headbanging affair. So now that I’ve gushed over what I love about this album, let’s have a look at some of the things that didn’t quite meet my standards in terms of outstanding achievement. Can’t wait to see who I piss off here!
First single “Unsainted” is good, but not great, “A Liar’s Funeral” is much the same, and I have no clue WHAT is going on with “Spiders”. Seriously, this is borderline nonsense. And while we’re at it “Not Long For This World” is way too long, and sounds like a STONE SOUR B-Side. By the way, have I mentioned how much I dislike the intros/interludes??? Still, despite a few obvious shortcomings, this is a great album simply because the best songs, the ones that really stand out, they truly kick many shades of ass. They also warrant repeat listens. The stuff that’s just okay, well, it’s what it is. At the end of the day We Are Not Your Kind is a welcome rebound from SLIPKNOT, and I can’t wait to take Mini-Amps to see them in two weeks.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Nero Forte”, “Red Flag”, “Orphan”, “My Pain”, “Solway Firth”