Slipknot - All Hope is Gone
Label: Roadrunner
By: abadinfluence
Oct 10 08

Over the span of four albums and almost ten years in the major spotlight, Slipknot has matured into a cohesive collective that has tapped into their pure passion for making simply astounding music. Of all the bands that have employed the usage of mixing intensely heavy music with lyrical deliverance that varies from screaming anger to whispered serenity, Slipknot seems to have managed to figure out how to utilize it the best.

Back in ’99, when the band released their self-titled album and its first single, ‘Wait And Bleed’, hit the airwaves, listeners were treated to a perfect example of the bands skills.

Back in ’99, when the band released their self-titled album and its first single, ‘Wait And Bleed’, hit the airwaves, listeners were treated to a perfect example of the bands skills. Lead singer Corey Taylor’s baritone voice was almost speak-singing over a ripping bass-driven hook that suddenly opened up to pummeling percussion, insane guitar riffs and a very angry sounding Taylor, almost spewing out the lyrics. It was a vast change of pace in only fifteen seconds – and those fifteen seconds paved the road for Slipknot’s eventual success.

All Hope Is Gone, Slipknot’s current release, is a pleasant surprise, as it seems that they tend to practically re-invent their sound with each album. The album touches on aspects found on Iowa, their second major release, and Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. The former lends the youthful energy and heavy pounding that is synonymous with Slipknot, whereas the latter loans the more mature wielding of well-versed lyrics and mellow deliverance.

Over the course of fifteen tracks, the band expertly flows through a variety of sounds, yet pieces them together seamlessly. It is impressive to hear the range of Corey Taylor being fully utilized, both in terms of pitch and volume. On top of this, there is a more maturity lent to the songs, creating an even stronger atmosphere on the disc.

All Hope Is Gone is a very personal album in many ways.

All Hope Is Gone is a very personal album in many ways. Not only is it the first album they have both written and recorded in their hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, it also happens to be the first album that every member of the band had a hand in writing. The band has truly come together as one to make the album stand out as their strongest effort to date, as well as being very distinct from any of their previous works.

In fact, the only song that will sound similar to anything they’ve done before just so happens to be on the Special Edition version of the album. ‘Vermillion Pt. II [Bloodstone Mix]’ revisits one of the strongest and most emotionally driven songs Slipknot has ever recorded and somehow manages to make the song sound even more eerily beautiful than ever before.

Another song of note is ‘Ghenna’, the longest song on the album, coming in at just under seven minutes. It is easily the biggest risk Slipknot has taken in a song before and it totally works on so many levels. Corey Taylor expands his vocal range to include guttural screams, high pitched wavering pleas and mellow refrains. It will be interesting to see if this is an avenue for a sound that might return in a future album, or if it was proprietary to the song itself. Either way, it is an encouraging sign to hear the band branch out to an untested sound that doesn’t quite fit what one is used to when listening to Slipknot.

To further prove the band has matured and is open to change, Slipknot includes a song that almost comes across as a ballad. ‘Snuff’ starts off forlornly, sung in a soft voice that is dripping with bare emotion. Over the span of the song the forlorn emotion stays the same, despite the tempo and intensity of the deliverance steadily rising, which is an amazing feat when you think of it.

On a whole, this is a simply astounding release from Slipknot. It proves that they have really found their sound despite altering it slightly with every album they release. It also serves as proof that the band that was once passed off as a “passing fad of the current sub par music world” (sadly, that quote came directly from this reviewer about eight years ago when reviewing Iowa) is at the top of their game and refuses to look back - only forward. It will be interesting to hear what the band moves forward with, however, after hearing this album, it's almost safe to assume that no matter how Slipknot chooses to tweak their sound, their experiments will lead to greatness.

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