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Review – Slipknot "All Hope Is Gone" (2008) August 29, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Slipknot.
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Written by Jake

After a brief hiatus so Corey Taylor could work on some new material for Stone Sour, Slipknot has returned and is ready to blister your ear drums and keep you from sleeping for a week. I know, I can’t wait either.

After receiving All Hope Is Gone, and during the first listen I gave it, I began to ponder why I listen to Slipknot. Was it the thrashing instrumentals with spoken words like the opening track, “.Execute.”? The grim possibility that I’m entertained that simply was bracing, to say the least.

As my dark journey continued, I felt myself wander deeper into the cove that is metal. The walls shining with blood, be it human or otherwise. Stalagmites rise from the floor like arms reaching up, gasping for breath as they slowly diffuse into the mesh of drums and guitar that are songs like “Gematria (The Killing Name)” and “Sulfur”. The length is too much for them. They suffocate before the last chord can be played.

That’s fuckin’ Rock and Roll.

I was greeted, suddenly, by the first single off of the album, “Psychosocial”. I snapped back to reality. Was I listening to Stone Sour or Slipknot? The world around me twisted, swirled and began to change. I was surrounded by “hardcore” kids. All bowing to Taylor and the bands musical mastery. Taylor begins to remove his mask, a feat seen only in the “Before I Forget” video. My eyes must deceive me, yes? Certainly…no, it can’t be.

Chad. Kroeger.

The horrificness of the situation sinks into my body. Slipknot has turned mainstream, but I can’t stop listening. It’s too catchy, the riffs to enthralling. I have to admit that the song is…good.
And it doesn’t stop there. The ‘knot continues their rampant disregard for metal, tuning up their guitars and slowing down the drums somewhat for another mainstream snippet entitled, “Dead Memories”. Certainly a great choice for a next single.

Then, almost jarringly, I am brought back to the cove of blood and flesh. It takes me a moment to focus. I have no idea where I am for a short period. I am surrounded by characteristics only the blackest of metal can bring about. The transition is jarring, to say the least, and a little hurtful.

“Vendetta” echoes through the corridors as I meander my way deeper into the black depths. The fast paced abrasiveness of the song gets my hearts racing. I pass a wall lathered in plaques. The heads of Ozzy, Wylde and Harris are all present and accounted for, true expressions of rock appearing on their faces in the dim light. The song becomes tiresome, and I ache for release from its echoing grasp.

I find myself suddenly cold, chilled to the bone. I bump into frozen metal, a hook. I can see my breathe, just barely. The mood remains the same, though I feel slightly paranoid. The song changes, becoming “The Butcher’s Hook”. A pair of glowing eyes peer at me from afar for a moment, then grunt and disappear. My heart jumps. I want out, I don’t like this place anymore.
I sprint forward, egged on in the short-term by the haunting, eerie “Gehenna” and eventually “This Cold Black”. The paranoia grows, feeding on my fear but pushing me forward. Taylor taunts me, calming me with sweet crooning whilst pushing me past my limits with sudden screams and maniacal laughter. I stumble, getting lost in the music.

My head is spinning. I hear only thrashing guitar and gut-busting drums. It is all I can do to keep myself from bursting into a mosh spontaneously and losing myself. I have to keep control. The awesomeness resonating from the bloody crag eats away at my brain. My vision becomes tunnel, the feeling in my extremities lost.

“Wherein Lies Continue” presents the daunting task of…continuing. This event has been so long, it has taken so much out of me that I fear I can’t make it these next two tracks. I turn a corner and find blinding light. The music is loud hear. There are people. Sheep, herding to the slaughter. But a beautiful, shining slaughter it will be.

I lock eyes with Taylor as he opens up to us with “Snuff”, a heartfelt tune reminiscent of “Bother” by Stone Sour. A tear comes to my eye and he reaches an arm out to his adoring fans. I am one with him. His blood flows through my veins, and mine his. He’s singing to me.

Then he has to go and ruin the moment, replacing it with “All Hope Is Gone”. An evil grin spreads across my face, one of malice and hatred. I shove my way to front the bar near the front of the impromptu concert. Singing is all around. The screeching guitar pierces my ears. The cave begins to crumble around me, light shooting through the newly invented holes.

I stop a mere 10 feet from the stage, stopped only by a little black fence. My grins opens up, my head tilts back and I release a guttural scream in time with Taylor. I set myself free.

The Point – All Hope Is Gone is a grand opus from Slipknot, one which will be very tough to top. The fault of length and the dragging that each song gives you near the end is often pushed to the back of your mind with each new offering, only to return a few minutes later. Everything we’ve come to love about Slipknot is present and accounted for, but they have certainly matured. Whether it’s for the better it’s still hard to say.

8.5 out of 10

Download This – “Dead Memories”
___________________________

Take Two by Andrew

Chances are if you’ve ever liked Slipknot at all, you’ve long since made up your mind about buying All Hope Is Gone. As far as you care, I could call it shit here and now and it would make little difference. Luckily for you, the masked menaces have done little to eradicate themselves from the niche in heavy metal they’ve made for themselves, and while the music is just as erratic and thrashing as ever, the little bits of melody thrown in with it make this disc slightly more of a treat that previous works.

6.5 out of 10

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