This is the bands 6th studio album and their first since 2014 .5: The Gray Chapter.
The album title "We Are Not Your Kind" comes from a line in the song "All Out Life" which unfortunately is not on this album (though I believe is does appear on the Japanese deluxe edition of the album)
Most of the music for the album was written by Clown working closely with Jim Root (I believe drummer Jay Weinberg was also involved as well)
One of the things that has been mentioned a lot in the singles (by myself especially) is how aggressive and "old-school" Corey's vocals sound, and with good reason.
Corey went through a messy divorce in between albums and has been going through therapy. Not only has he had a lot to get off his chest but, apparently, each vocal track was done in one take, which adds to the mood of the song.
Insert Coin (Instrumental)
The first of three interlude pieces that were written solely by Clown. This acts as a precursor to "Unsainted" though we also get the line "I'm counting all the killers..." toward the end of the tune which will appear later in "Solway Firth"
The next 2 songs "Unsainted" and "Birth of the Cruel" I have already done reviews for but I will say that "Unsainted", works better for me in the context of the album (in fact I really enjoyed it in the context of the album) and "Birth of the Cruel" fucking rocks!
Death Because of Death
An interlude piece with instrumental loops and the repeating of
"Death because of death because of you"
A promising start with a great riff and pummelling drums (courtesy of Jay Weinberg who I for one think does a stellar job)
I have to confess that I wasn't so taken with this one at first but after a few listens this has fast become one of my favourite songs on the album.
I think it was the chorus that threw me off at first.
"A home like yours is upside down
Too much animosity
Nobody does it better than the enemy"
Now, I have to say that I think it is an awesome song.
This one felt like a meld of Slipknot, Stone Sour and the tribal percussive elements of a band like Soulfly.
The vocal patterns in the verses remind me very much of "Spit It Out" with there rap-like delivery, whereas the chorus wouldn't be out of place on a Stone Sour album.
"What is coming has begun
It's something that you've gotta see
We lie and say that it's too late for some redemption
What is coming has begun
An ending I would live to see
We tell ourselves there can't be hell if there's no heaven"
This one feels like a spiritual successor to "Snuff" for much of the song. Tales of a depressed mind permeate through the lyrics
"Yesterday was hard
Tomorrow's just a promise of the same"
and Corey screams out "Liar" throughout.
Things get really heavy at one point (both instrumental and vocal) with Corey sounding almosy demonic
"Close your eyes and join the blind
Slit your wrists for peace of mind
Turn your back and show us the truth
There's only one way to remember it for you
Burn, burn, burn the liar"
There was a guitar melody in here that reminded me a little of Metallica's "To Live Is To Die" and also elements of black metal tremolo picking
Really cool tune
Straight back into the old-school thrashier side of Slipknot (the bridge section especially) with this absolute banger of a song. Aggressive from start to finish.
Another interlude piece that goes straight into...
Has a very percussive (in both drum and bass) feel to it with a keyboard underneath that reminds me of John Carpenter's "Halloween" theme.
A more experimental side to the band for sure perhaps embracing some 80s influences like "The Cure"
"The spiders come in side by side
Two by two and night by night
Who is food and who is thrown away?"
Could imagine Jonathan Davis singing this song. Another one that I was not taken with at first but got better with every listen.
Some interesting bass work on the bridge along with a trippy guitar solo
Starts out slow before going off into a riff that is not dissimilar to "The Heretic Anthem" from Iowa (Jay Weinberg does an admirable job on the double bass it has to be said) with some very death metal style wobbly guitar thrown in (demonstrate)
Corey references an overdose he had when he was a teenager. Instead of taking him to hospital, he was left in a dumpster where luckily he woke up
"Theres still a part of me that is dying in a dumpster
The one who rose is a motherfuckin monster"
I really love the gnarly bridge section guitar riff that is closely followed by
"Everyone has something
Someone here has everything"
Another song that shows the band experimenting with different sounds and textures. It takes a good 2 minutes to get going, with ambient pads, instrumental looping and glockenspiel while the hushed vocals are truly expressive.
She loves me
Wants me to be...
Less scared of pain"
Not what you would expect from a Slipknot song but it worked really well.
Not Long for This World
Almost a Tool vibe on the intro for this one. Ambient textures with soft percussion as Corey reveals;
"Cutting and scratching
Scar the same
Edges are soft
I know I'm bitter
Full of rage
You'll be too, What I've been through
All is just a difficult stage"
Things get heavier for the chorus (with a riff that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Mastodon's "The Hunter" album) but it is not until the bridge section that things really amp up with Corey screaming
"You don't seem to get what I'm saying
And I'm sick and tired of explaining"
Not a bad song but not one of my favourites on the album
A song that has gotten better every time I have heard it. Apparently when Clown heard the line
"You want a real smile?
I haven't smiled in years"
he insisted that they be the final words on the album and I think it makes a fittingly heavy close to an album that is a true return to form.
Is this the best Slipknot album?
Is it the best version of Slipknot we have heard in many a year?
Tracks like Unsainted, Birth of the Cruel, Nero Forte, Orphan and Solway Firth and some of the best songs we have heard from the band in years and are genuinely exciting to listen to.
Spiders, My Pain and Not Long for This World are perfectly good songs, and I admire the experimentation, but I feel may take me a few more listens to fully digest.
This is definitely one I will be reevaluating for my end of year list!