There’s really not anything I can say to introduce Slipknot because there’s almost no chance in the last twenty years that you haven’t heard even just one song from this landmark band that just never seems to stay down. Whether you’re the stereotypical angsty teen or used to be one that has now grown up, someone who digs the first two albums only and that’s it, someone who f*cking despises Slipknot top to bottom, or someone who loves them we’ve all heard something from them as at one time they were the new band to hear. And I don’t have to tell you that their road up to this point has been a treacherous one. But I have to be honest with you, this was the first new album that I heard that before going into it I was genuinely scared just a little.
I really got a kick out of “All Out Life” and really wanted to see where Slipknot was going to go with this new album. A clear evolution from “.5: The Gray Chapter“, it was obvious that whatever new album was in the works was going to hit like a truck. Maybe, anyway. Then the news of “All Out Life” not being on the full album bummed me out, but I was still confident.
Upon hearing “Unsainted”, I’ll be completely honest – I felt it was lacking a little. Don’t get me wrong it’s a solid intro and serves as the first actual piece of new music that follows an unnerving intro and served pretty well as the first single. But the melodies felt a little forced and I felt they just could’ve done more as we’ve seen better from them, and then the next two singles really made me wonder just where the f*ck was “We Are Not Your Kind” going? Was it going to be something we’ve never heard before from Slipknot on a small scale or was it going to echo past material like how it was described as, like “The Gray Chapter”, a fusion of their second and third albums with intensity and melody respectively being pulled? The answer: a bizarre blend that, if you just let it take you, will prove to be what’s arguably Slipknot’s most potent blend that we’ve gotten in several years.
For the entirety of “We Are Not Your Kind”, it really feels as though Slipknot tried to recapture energy that they produced in some of their earlier works, but trying to catch the same lightning in a bottle twice can result in an unpleasant reaction. So, knowing that just such a thing could happen, Slipknot didn’t let themselves fall on the spears of repeating themselves completely, as it’s the pure energy that’s constantly reshaping itself along with the entire attitude of “We Are Not Your Kind” that allows this massive album to prevail. They bring forth atmospheres that are simply haunting in their execution with gut punches that are morbidly satisfying to the highest degree. But, that doesn’t stop Slipknot from, of course, including melodies into the mix that can just as easily be used to lift you from a gloomy stupor as they can be used to sink you lower than you thought you could go and it can effortlessly come in many forms.
What we’re treated to for every single track of this record has something for just about all kinds of fans of Slipknot from all of their eras with so much being drawn from the past, but even more being pulled forth from seemingly nowhere to craft yet another unique experience that feels no less than immense. “We Are Not Your Kind” brings forth a darkness that is ridiculously accessible, but that doesn’t make it pretty in the slightest as we see in pieces like “Nero Forte” and “Solway Firth”. Then we get more melodic pieces like “Unsainted” and “Critical Darling” that show this band’s still more than capable of pulling off a potent melody that’s gripping in virtually every form. We even get somber works that really pluck at our heartstrings, far from love songs, though, like “A Liar’s Funeral” and “My Pain” that can be just as raw and visceral as they are honest. But then a real diversity in Slipknot’s songwriting shows with songs that are quiet but explosive and seductive but venomous as it’s with “Spiders” and “Orphan” that really know how to get underneath your skin in an instant before immediately eating away at your very psyche.
And when brought together, I’m still shocked at how well it all sounds with “We Are Not Your Kind” feeling cohesive and organic with so much difference from track to track being shown at every turn throughout the album to give us a Slipknot experience that feels truer to the band’s core ideals than any of their previous albums, and it perseveres at every turn with a new fervor the likes of which many bands would be lucky to get a glimpse of twenty years into their careers.
Simply put, “We Are Not Your Kind” really qualifies itself as a contender to be considered as the band’s best work to date, (the endless sh*t-talking and loyalty to previous albums will stunt many conversations of the topic, but I digress) and I truly do believe this record to be something that has got to be heard by anyone who has ever enjoyed a Slipknot song before. No matter who you are. If you’ve ever found yourself enjoying this legendary act before, then I cannot help but implore you to check out what may become a defining record for Slipknot after another twenty years down the line where we look back on this critical addition to their already potent discography.
You can buy “We Are Not Your Kind” via the official Slipknot website here.
1. Insert Coin
3. Birth of the Cruel
4. Death Because of Death
5. Nero Forte
6. Critical Darling
7. A Liar’s Funeral
8. Red Flag
9. What’s Next
12. My Pain
13. Not Long for This World
14. Solway Firth