WE ARE NOT YOUR KIND
"We're all dressed up with nobody to kill". As this menacing line flows out of the speakers there is this enormous sense that we're fully enveloped in what is set to be one of the most interesting and intense periods in Slipknot's history. Whilst of course this is a lyric which encapsulates the imagery of a band like Slipknot, it means so much more in the full context of this, their sixth studio record. For many, this is a band who had somewhat lost the kind of fire that flowed through their veins earlier on in their career - a mixture of tragedy, apathy, in-fighting and an overall loss that "the nine" were unbreakable meant that whilst Slipknot haven't been short of high points in the last decade it didn't quite touch the levels experienced in their first ten or so years. In this context, that particular lyric reads as, almost crushingly, self-aware of all of this. The track in which it was borne, Birth Of The Cruel, stands out strong as a brutal middle finger early on in the piece which amplifies a statement of intent the size of which Slipknot haven't wielded in years.
This has been a deliberately delayed review upload. When we caught Slipknot headlining the Saturday night at Download Festival this year it was brutally clear that something very special was on the horizon and we wanted to give this record a probably over the top level of time. On that Saturday, the lead single from the album Unsainted had only been out for a couple of weeks but the gargantuan sized reaction to it on the night was truly a sight to behold. In the context of the entire album, this anthemic slap in the face early on will have any listener engaged from the off.
To further accentuate this sense that Slipknot are running on a renewed stream of fire, another vital sounding lyric on this record comes from one of the album's high points Nero Forte. Corey Taylor's "I haven't felt like this in years" further explains the level of dark, brooding vitriol that is at the absolute core running through this whole record. This track itself has widely been marked as a real high point, it's intertwining bounce and heavy groove along with soaring melodies is infectious; you'll struggle to simply listen to it once when giving the record a play-through. This methodology isn't alien to Slipknot and it's used expertly elsewhere on the album as well. A slightly more menacing approach is taken with A Liar's Funeral which sees the band switch from acoustic led melody to monumentally heavy chugging riffs in a heartbeat. Absolutely brilliant.
Going through many of the reports that have surfaced in the lead-up to this record, a very welcome change in approach has clearly made all the difference on this record. This change of approach stems from the band choosing to go back to basics and recording sections live in studio without click-tracks. Why is that so important? It is a conscious return to the methods they implemented in their early days. When you're listening to a Slipknot album you want to feel a sense of danger, a sense of danger which is borne out of the level of urgency of having that many people in the one room and recording together as a unit.
Overall then, this is a pretty monumental statement within the heavy music scene at the moment. There is a seriously exciting crop of young bands coming through at the moment but with We Are Not Your Kind Slipknot have quite emphatically shown they're not going fucking anywhere.