Considering that the last Slipknot album was a bit of a disappointment in my eyes, I was nervous about going into their newest record We Are Not Your Kind. That said, the single that never made it to the album “All Out Life,” as well as one that did titled “Unsainted” were very impressive, so hope was easier to hold onto. To say the least, it’s definitely the most experimental that Corey Taylor and co. have ever gotten, and it’s very much a mood album.
One thing to know off the bat, this is meant to be listened to from start to finish, as all of the songs are interwoven in a way that leaves little room for singled-out titles. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any that hold more value than others. “Nero Forte” is a groovy banger that piles on the hooks. The aforementioned “Unsainted” brings on Iowa vibes with its super abrasive verses and cleaner chorus. In reality, this is the case for a lot of the first half. “Critical Darling” is one of my personal favorites due to it having the beefiest melodies in the chorus backed by chants. The way they utilize the electronic effects here is pretty impressive.
And that’s the other thing; We Are Not Your Kind brings on the “extra” Slipknot members significantly more. After the first half, things get weird. “A Liars Funeral” acts as an intermission with its acoustic intro before breaking out the riffs and screams. The repetition and climbing ambiance is a solid segue into the second half, and the vocals here are so harsh that it borders on death growls. “Spiders” uses high piano notes over sampled beats to spawn a very creepy effect. As we near the end, the final three songs act as an endless and terrifying music box of bells and whistles, if you will. The keys, the effects, the mechanical passages, and the vocals here paint the picture of a grotesque circus that includes clowns and broken rides. Yikes!
Before this came out, Slipknot talked about how it was going to be as dark as Iowa. That’s a stretch, but I will say that it’s the grittiest they’ve been in a while. Additionally, this is a grower. Albums that punch in past the hour mark are gonna be tougher, but in the correct setting, this is a pretty fantastic listen. Not quite up to par with the first three records, but a step up indeed.
We Are Not Your Kind came out on August 9th through Roadrunner Records. As you’d expect, you can find this just about anywhere, and there are plenty of vinyl and CD pressings available.