With the resurgence of nu-metal on the horizon, there is truly no better time for a Slipknot comeback!
Released Sept. 30, Slipknot’s The End, So Far is a full-bodied, experimental, nostalgic album that has had many fans thrown for a loop. Formed in 1995, Slipknot burst onto the scene hailing from Des Moines, Iowa with their 1999 debut album, Slipknot. Arguably one of the most influential pioneer nu-metal bands on the scene, the nine-man powerhouse always finds a way to innovatively impress their audience (affectionately called ‘maggots’).
In a recent interview for NME, lead singer Corey Taylor stated that the album is “more about relating to people and less about purging again,” referring to the creation of their 2019 album, We Are Not Your Kind, which he described as a “purge.” Taylor cited this change in tone as the reason for the variety found throughout The End, So Far.
The beauty of their latest album can be found in its impressive balance of new experiments and old influences. Slipknot pushes the boundaries of what “heavy” can imply in music, having clearly prioritized a more melodic approach to most of the tracks (namely the opening track, “Adderall,” “The Dying Song (Time to Sing),” “Hive Mind,” “De Sade,” and “Finale.”
Despite these melodic elements, Slipknot still manages to maintain their classic, ruthless metal sound, drawing influence from their third studio album, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses).
Slipknot have effectively innovated metal even prior to their debut, and it’s clear they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Despite death, despair and disease, the nine have always prevailed as a band. This album most definitely serves as proof.
Though The End, So Far proves itself to be solid from start to finish, there are still some tracks that are stronger than others. The opening track, “Adderall,” smoothly eases listeners into the album with psychedelic undertones while simultaneously subverting any preconceived notions of what Slipknot are about. Tracks like “The Chapeltown Rag” and “Finale” push the boundaries of metal, setting a new precedent for what metal can explore, both in sound and subject matter.
Going into this album, I expected to be more drawn to the heavier songs, however I was more enthralled by the ones with slow, entrancing intros and a show of vocal versatility from Taylor (specifically track four, “Yen,” and track 11, “De Sade.”)
This album grew on me very fast. With every listen I would find hidden gems in tracks that I’d previously dismissed. For a band that has been active for 27 years, I’d say they’re still going strong. There is definitely something for everybody in The End, So Far.
From psychedelically atmospheric intros and experimental steps to their familiar, vicious metal sequences and intense lyricism, the versatility of The End, So Far is sure to please those who are willing to embrace it.
Though some fans may find Slipknot’s subversive efforts to be out of character, I think that’s the point. I think fans will soon find it in themselves to embrace these new changes, changes that could arguably be considered advancements.
The world of Slipknot continues to expand and astonish, an unsurprising feat for a group with such a prominent presence.
There are some tracks that feel a bit unfinished or underproduced, but overall I did really love The End, So Far. With their departure from Roadrunner Records, I hope Slipknot continue to surprise us with their work.
Trial track: “The Chapeltown Rag”