Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind review



Reviewer:
6.6

271 users:
7.79
Band: Slipknot
Album: We Are Not Your Kind
Release date: August 2019


01. Insert Coin
02. Unsainted
03. Birth Of The Cruel
04. Death Because Of Death
05. Nero Forte
06. Critical Darling
07. Liar's Funeral
08. Red Flag
09. What's Next
10. Spiders
11. Orphan
12. My Pain
13. Not Long For This World
14. Solway Firth
15. All Out Life [Japan bonus]


Emerging from a decade of turmoil that would destroy lesser bands, Slipknot have kept moving forward despite setback after setback, We Are Not Your Kind is the end product of this defiance, to overcome rather than stop. While the band does have a wealth of extenuating circumstances, even being charitable, it's a good but not great album; We Are Not Your Kind is just that, it's not my kind of fun.

Line up changes, lawsuits, the passing of an integral member and a level of hype and hysteria well beyond normal, Slipknot have not had it easy getting to this point. While I can appreciate the energy put into this record to get it to where it is, I still find it hard to label We Are Not Your Kind as anything better than just ok.

It's hard to believe that We Are Not Your Kind is only the sixth album by Slipknot; twenty years after their debut was released, they have become a part of the furniture when you look at the modern metal landscape. Undoubtedly the biggest metal band to have been born in the 90's (Linkin Park lost their way), the band's place in history is confirmed by this point, ascending into the institution of metal rather than merely one of the bigger bands.

Slipknot albums are often best summarized as singles, fan favourites and the diehard material; it's not an issue unique to the band but it's a pattern that emerges with every Slipknot record. You can tell which songs the band put their eggs in the basket with for radio airplay and the ones that were there to please fans, with some extra thrown in to pad things out. "Unsainted", "Nero Forte" and "Solway Firth" are tailor made for radio airplay while "Orphan", "Critical Darling" and "Spiders" are made for fans who listen to the album in full rather than just the singles. The rest of the album finds itself in a no man's land that will please the diehards but seem superfluous to anyone less than that; "Not Long For This World" and "A Liar's Funeral" won't appeal much to fans of the "Duality" sound Slipknot are best known for.

Depending on what level of fan you are will determine how much you will get from this record: only a fan of the singles up until this point? You got three more to add to your playlists; a middling fan of the band? You got three more hits and three more tracks to enjoy occasionally slotted into the bands live shows; a diehard fan? Enjoy the 14 new songs the band have produced for you. It sounds cold and mechanical but when you listen to every track it's hard not to notice this pattern; it's hard to knock it when you consider how successful it has been for the band.

It is this formula that makes the use of interludes an odd and poor choice to include. Given the tracks have little in common as a whole but rather as separate groupings encapsulated as a whole, it tries to add a cohesion that doesn't exist and as a result seem pointless to include. "Insert Coin" is the only exception, as it eases you into the album rather than between tracks; "Death Becomes Death" and "What's Next" could easily have been left on the cutting room floor. This extends to "My Pain", a track that I can only guess is their attempt at making an ambient sound collage; it's a well intentioned attempt but it takes minimalism too far and for too long, such that you're left in a near seven minute purgatory waiting for something that never comes.

The album is well produced and the band themselves are on good form; what with all the elements that go into a song, it's cohesive and no one element is lost in the cacophony. Songs like "Unsainted" are able to soar and pop when they need to while songs like "Not Long For This World" can sound heavy and moody without being short changed by the production.

In the words of Dave Mustaine "What do you mean I ain't kind? Just not your kind"


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 9

Written by omne metallum | 28.06.2020


 


Comments

Comments: 2   Visited by: 12 users
29.06.2020 - 17:26
IH8Hipsters
All Out Life was the only song on this album (i know it's a bonus track) that I truly loved. Everything else wasn't bad but it was forgettable IMO.
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30.06.2020 - 02:03
notheory
I'm glad that you are not our kind, because your kind kinda sucks
Good review, a little too generous imo
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