Slipknot are about to start touring again, for the first time since the tragic passing of Paul Gray, and with all the talk of “Will they continue? Won’t they continue?” it seems like a perfect time to look back at their last album. I must warn you though, I will be brutally honest, and will be as harsh as I see fit. I won’t be sugar coating my opinions for the sake of being all sentimental about the band.
The format of this review, you will notice, will differ from the usual style here at Dose of Metal. I shall be taking the ‘Blitzkritik’ approach that we used to do a long time ago. Basically, I shall put the album, press play, and simply review the album in real time as I’m listening. In other words, yes I’m lazy.
Regardless, make your way over the jump for the review.
Slipknot – All Hope Is Gone
1. .Execute. – 1:48
2. Gematria (The Killing Name) – 6:01
3. Sulfur – 4:37
4. Psychosocial – 4:43
5. Dead Memories – 4:28
6. Vendetta – 5:15
7. Butcher’s Hook – 4:14
8. Gehenna – 6:53
9. This Cold Black – 4:40
10. Wherein Lies Continue – 4:36
11. Snuff – 4:36
12. All Hope Is Gone – 4:45
All Hope is Gone begins with an introduction called .Execute. It’s a really interesting piece of music… Just kidding, I may as well be listening to white noise. Moving on…
So, the second track, and first real song, Gematria (The Killing Name) is a strong start to the album. The drums kick in, with some relatively intense riffs (as “intense” as Slipknot gets these days) and there’s even some really slow blastbeats to get you in the mood. The song is good, but there is one slight problem. The track is 6 minutes in length, which isn’t at all a problem if you’re a decent band and can offer a range of dynamics, but this is Slipknot. Gematria goes on… and on… and on… and on… and on… “America is a killing name” Yes I know Corey, now shut the fuck up already. Overall, the song isn’t bad, and at least Corey’s voice sounds relatively decent again (remember those awful screams, that resemble a dog being violated, from Vol. 3 and Come What(ever) May?), but it’s just 2 or 3 minutes too long and gets boring.
On to the third track, Sulfur (whilst we’re at it, do any of these song titles even mean anything?), and it’s a commercial track. A commercial track on a Slipknot album? What a surprise. The verse is all right, it’s catchy like Before I Forget from Vol. 3, only not as good. The chorus is sung with clean vocals (surprised? Me neither), and it’s not actually too bad. I have to give it credit for at least not being anywhere near as ‘gay‘ as Corey and Jim’s shit with Stone Sour (and yes, I do mean SHIT). Sulfur is a fairly standard, blatant single, song, so on to the next track.
Psychosocial. Everyone knows this song. It sucks testicles. Skip-edy-skip.
Dead Memories is a success in that it follows Psychosocial and nothing can be as lame as that track (at least you would hope). It’s another commercial ‘look at me, aren’t I good singer?’ kind of track where the focal point is Corey’s overrated vocals. The chorus is, I’m ashamed to admit, pretty damn catchy, but the verses are a bit of a bore. Standard song is standard. It doesn’t sound like Slipknot though.
Half way through a Slipknot album and not even one great track? Hopefully Vendetta is better. So it starts fairly well, the riffs are nice and the drums are ok, what could go wrong? This may just be a good track… Oh no wait, Corey’s just opened his mouth. Fuck off Corey. Skip. No, I’m kidding, I’m a professional, so even though this experience is worse than being force fed horse crap, I’ll stick with it for the purpose of the review. Corey sings in a southern-ish sounding lame voice that makes Britney Spears sound manly. The song sucks, the chorus has some chants, is this a Linkin Park song? It sucks just as much as one.
Onto Butcher’s Hook. Well, the intro blows, oh and what a surprise, so does the verse. I remember reading a while back in an interview with Corey that this song is about ‘lame commercial Emo Pop bands.’ That’s nice Corey… Oh Hai Stone Sour! The chorus lacks what this entire album lacks… Balls.
8th track is called Gehanna. Good news; I’m closer to the end of this album. Bad news; I heard a Lady Gaga song once. It was better than this.
This Cold Black starts by sounding kinda Dream Theater-ish. Well, if Dream Theater only knew 5 notes and 4 chords (yes, I know that’s impossible). The verse is fairly decent, unlike the last 5 or so songs, but unfortunately it is fairly forgettable. I’m pretty sure there’s a verse, bridge and chorus somewhere in this song, but I can’t distinguish between them. There’s also a solo, but it sounds like jizz.
Onto Wherein Lies Continue and boy this song is bad. Plod, plod, plod, rinse, repeat. Nearly four minutes go by, and then bang! What the fuck is this? Oh joy, Corey has whipped out the clean vocals and it’s turned into another Stone Sour song. Yes Corey, you have a boner for Nickelback, I get it.
Yes, just two more tracks! Wait a second… Acoustic guitar? Clean singing? Oh FFS! It’s Stone Sour again isn’t it? I can’t decide what this sounds more like; Staind or having my ears ripped apart by a dildo. The acoustic tracks on Vol. 3 were interesting; Snuff just sucks. It won’t be long before you see Slipknot on Glee.
Final track, fucking rejoice! The funny thing is, Slipknot actually kept the best till last. Title track All Hope is Gone is fucking brilliant (fucking as an adjective again? Guess I’ve been listening to too much Slipknot) and actually stands as one of their best tracks since Iowa.
Overall: A few average tracks, a lot of shit tracks, one great track. Congratulations Slipknot, you were once an interesting band, but now you are far from it.