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The Evolution Of Slipknot

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 6 June 2019 at 12.27

Over the course of their career, Slipknot have evolved musically in so many brilliant and bonkers ways. With each album possessing its own character and mood, this is the definitive look at the discogrpahy of one of the most iconic names in metal. 

With a new era of Slipknot only just beginning, this seemed like the perfect moment to bring you up to speed with 20 years of their history. Whether you've been around since the beginning, or are jumping on board the 'Knot train this year - this potted history should serve to bring you up to speed and prepare you for 'We Are Not Your Kind' to drop.

Let's start at the beginning...

'SLIPKNOT' (1999)
One of the most furious, disturbing, deranged and iconic debut albums in all of metal history, Slipknot made sure that your first taste of bile wouldn't be one you forget in a hurry. From the piercing feedback of '742617000027' quickly jolting in to '(Sic)' to the slow but destructive build-up of 'Surfacing', the disconcerting atmosphere of 'Scissors' to the all-out nu-metal savagery of 'Spit It Out', the 9 made their mark on the musical world by completely destroying perceptions of what a band could and couldn't sound like. With the identity of the band still a total mystery and a sound so debaucherous and deadly, it was difficult to ignore the cult that Slipknot was forming. 

'IOWA' (2001)
If you thought that the first record was evil, 'Iowa' will have you reaching for the holy water and repenting for your sins. Crass, filthy and utterly undeniable, the band went to the deepest cirlces of hell and came back more vicious than ever for this offering. With even more nightmarish masks adorned on their faces, and a massive audience waiting with open arms for just a taste of desolation, the collective delivered debauchery on all levels. The fist-in-the-air call of 'People=Shit', the boot-to-the-face battering of 'Disasterpiece', the delicious blasphemy of 'The Heretic Anthem', the all-encompassing feeling of dirt on your skin that comes with the riff of 'Left Behind'. It all adds up to a listening experience like no other. Callous as it comes and leaving whatever borders were left around them burnt to a crisp, 'Iowa' was the sound of a band who didn't give a solitary fuck in this pitiful world. It doesn't get much better than that. 

How do you follow on from one of the most devilish albums of all time? You try new things, that's what. Three years had passed since 'Iowa' and Slipknot were on a completely different trajectory. The same levels of utter distain were there, but now there were guitar solos, beautiful atmospheres and tender moments. You had 'The Blister Exists' and 'Pulse Of The Maggots' with their neck-snapping brutality, but also both parts of 'Vermillion' which were both gorgeously creepy in their own unique ways. Then who could forget the singalong accessibilty of 'Duality' and pit-bothering brasness of 'Before I Forget'. Rather than sticking to the same speed, Slipknot adapted to their environment and came out the other end smelling like dead roses. 

If it wasn't clear before that Slipknot thought that the world was completely and utterly fucked, 'All Hope Is Gone' hammered the nail in that little bit more. Picking up where 'Vol 3' left off, the band's fourth effort brought back a bit of that early Knot roughness, but also journeyed further into the rabbit hole of melody. Where 'Butcher's Hook' assaults the senses from all angles, 'Snuff' sets every emotion alight. Where 'Psychosocial' rallies the troops with inch perfect percussion, 'Dead Memories' creeps up the spine with vivid imagery. More complex, more emotional, more daunting and more malicious - this is Slipknot at their most slick, but that doesn't mean they are any less savage.

'.5: THE GRAY CHAPTER' (2014)
An album that some thought would never see the light of day. The first record to not feature the original 9 - with the heartbreaking passing of bassist Paul Gray and departure of drummer Joey Jordison - in the time that passed since 'All Hope Is Gone', 'The Gray Chapter' was coursing with heartache and hurt. Still possessing the infectiously corrosive viciousness that the band are renowned for, there were moments of vulnerability unlike anything we had heard before. Though the likes of 'The Negative One' and 'The Devil In I' show off some of the most progressive song structures in Slipknot history, the emotional outpouring of 'Goodbye' and brutal honesty of 'Skeptic' make this one of the more difficult Knot albums for very different reasons. 

Which brings us to the present. Slipknot's sixth studio album 'We Are Not Your Kind' is set for release August 09 through Roadrunner Records (get all the info on that here) - but start hyping now with the first single 'Unsainted' below:

Pick up your special, collectors' edition Slipknot cover of Rock Sound's 250th issue now! There's only 250 of these in existence, and once they're gone, they're gone. The Slipknot cover is exclusively available from SHOP.ROCKSOUND.TV

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