Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind
Genre: Nu Metal/Heavy Metal
Release Date: 9th August 2019
Record Label: Roadrunner Records
(#6) Shawn "Clown" Crahan – custom percussion, backing vocals
(#5) Craig "133" Jones – samples, media, keyboards
(#7) Mick Thomson – lead and rhythm guitars
(#8) Corey Taylor – lead vocals
(#0) Sid Wilson – turntables, keyboards
(#4) Jim Root – lead and rhythm guitars
Alessandro Venturella – bass
Jay Weinberg – drums
Tortilla Man - Percussion
Greg Fidelman – production, engineering
Greg Gordon – engineering
Sara Killion – engineering
Paul Fig – engineering
Bo Bodnar – engineering assistance
Chaz Sexton – engineering assistance
Joe Barresi – mixing
Jun Murakawa – mixing assistance
Dan Monti – editing
Bob Ludwig – mastering
Michael Boland – design
Alexandria Crahan-Conway – band photography
Angel City Chorale – choral vocals on "Unsainted"
Kat Primetau – additional vocals on "Death Because of Death"
Slipknot - Solway Firth
Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): Unsainted, Birth Of The Cruel, Nero Forte, Solway Firth, Not Long For This World
One of 2019's most anticipated albums is finally here! The 9 man monster that is Slipknot have made their triumphant return with new album, We Are Not Your Kind (WANYK). Blending various elements from their last three albums into one, WANYK sees the band branch out into more weird yet melodic areas of the Slipknot sound. Packed full of aggression and malice, WANYK comes at you like a freight train, overflowing with riffs and weird synth effects that add to the Slipknot aura, there is certainly a lot to take in and process with this album. Most importantly though, The Knot is back and I couldn't be happier!
Musically, the most noticeable thing from my perspective was the more progressive passages in some of the songs, Spiders more so than others. I like this evolution of the band, but not whole heartedly I must admit, I feel sometimes it took away from some of the more aggressive songs and sometimes felt slightly out of place. Even so, you listen to the album and you can definitively say that this is Slipknot, which means they haven't wondered too far away from their sound. I feel that WANYK is Iowa like in its style and delivery, sprinkled with the best bits from Vol. 3, All Hope Is Gone and The Grey Chapter. The best song to demonstrate this for me is Orphan, with a riff that takes us all the way back to the 2001 release but with the melodic singing of All Hope Is Gone in the choruses. One thing that confused me a little bit with the album is the minor interludes Death Because Of Death and What's Next. They're handy to build up the next song and break up the album a little but for me it kind of lost some of the momentum of the album before it was picked up again with songs like Orphan and Not Long For This World. With that in mind those tracks in my opinion feel like they are surplus to requirements. I have enjoyed the increased weird synths and sounds of this album, it does give the album a creepy edge and with Spooky Season fast approaching songs from WANYK will definitely feature in some Hallowe'en playlists for sure. I love the glitchy breakdown in Not Long For This World and it really brings to the front some of those electronic elements that we seem to overlook on previous Slipknot releases. One thing I was surprised about was the exclusion of All Out Life (It is the bonus track for the Japanese version of the album but I think it should have been included on all releases) I thought that was such a strong single and would have easily fit in on this album with ease. It has definitely taken me a few listens to get used to this album as for me it is such a contrast from The Grey Chapter, long story short though I do love the album, the riffs take me back to Iowa and the more progressive and weird sections catch me off guard on every song. It's incredibly well written and delivered as to be expected from a band that has been around for nearly 25 years. Definitely a lot to digest with this album musically that's for sure!
From the production side, it's a giant sounding colossus that comes at you from all angles. It can't be easy recording all the usual band instruments alongside layers of electronics and custom percussion but here it is. Joe Barresi has more than stood up to that monstrous challenge and has produced a stunning album mixed to the highest possible quality that I've heard out of all the music released this year. From the engineering to the mastering every inch of Slipknot's love energy has been captured in its most raw and uncompromising form. I've always loved Jim Root and Mick Thomson's guitar tones and I remember watching an hour rig rundown once, they just know how to get the best out of their tones yet still expand on the Slipknot sound. Bringing the more electronic and synths elements to the foreground is the best thing about the mix of this album, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, these elements seem to get drowned out and overlooked on previous Slipknot records. We heard them a bit more on The Grey Chapter but on WANYK they have their own starring role. All the low end percussion and bass all sit together awesomely and pack punches in all the right places to give the album that infamous Slipknot characteristic of a rhythmic onslaught to make your head explode. Overall, the production job on this album is awesome as everything has its own place and nothing gets drowned out. It may have been a crowded studio with a band of nine and all the production crew but this album has plenty of room to breathe and fester.
I've grown up with Slipknot, they have been an ever present overlording juggernaut beast throughout my musical journey, it almost feels as though the band has grown up with me. This album shows some maturity as well as experimentation and intrigue. Despite some of my own personal views this album is still worthy of a five rating as it shows that Slipknot are back, stronger than ever and still at the very top of their game. Check out We Are Not Your Kind now!
Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind