Friday, July 31, 2009

Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone

4 years had passed since Slipknot's last album Vol3: The Subliminal Verses,with hardly any press release, people had almost given up hope that another Slipknot album was to come. People had started going back to Lordi and GWAR days, where they could get as much blows on the head you could get listening to some brutal music from veiled but very vile musicians! By now they were convinced that Slipknot might have decided to hang up their grotesque mutated masks in their living hall! But no, all hope had still not gone for bang in 2008 lands Slipknot's 4th studio production All Hope Is Gone ! With their latest album Slipknot has once again declare an all out brutal sonic assault on the listeners' ears keeping their infamous wicked mutilated veils on.

Extremely hard to categorize, Slipknot continues to foray deeper into the metal territory much unlike its 1st album where it started off with playing nu-metal tracks. But this is clearly a good sign as soon one begins to notice that the frantic abrasive riffs with Paul Gray's brutal bass assaults' are as good as any mainstream metal band. Insanely heavy and as ugly as as the sickest of sins, All Hope is Gone is stuffed to the gills with gruesome churning riffs maliciously interweaving with bowel churning vocals of wicked intents.

Put simply, All Hope Is Gones 12 songs pursue all the different ways in which life sucks. Instead of delving into specifics, Slipknot, led by frontman Corey Taylor, prefer an all-encompassing lyrical gloom that perhaps feels more universal but can also come across as lazy. The album kicks off in ominous, epic fashion with ".execute." Taylor sounds possessed as he spews apocalyptic rhetoric about the failure of government, religion and the human race. It's creepy, and it takes hold like a silent killer in the dead of night.The real fun begins on "Gematria." It's one of the band's fiercest songs to date. Stretching past the six-minute mark, Jim Root and Mick Thomson's sharp thrash riffs cut through a din of Joey Jordison's propulsive double bass drumming. Jordison's work behind the kit has become even more calculated and violent. Time changes abound, and his drums fuel this rollercoaster.
You may have already heard the first single from the album, “Psychosocial,” which is at it's best during the intro with it's chugging guitars and pinch harmonics. While the track does have radio appeal, there are tracks on All Hope Is Gone that do take the band’s sound to a much more aggressive level.Of course the other heavy tracks declare all-out war on the world. "This Cold Black," "Wherein Lies Continue" and "Vendetta" are diverse, snaky and unpredictable sonic powder kegs primed to blow. Each one showcases different facets of Slipknot's aural psychosis. Beginning with some polyrhythmic riff-and-drum bludgeoning, "Butcher's Hook" stands out. It highlights the band's mastery of the loud-soft switch. Another song to do that is the first single "Psychosocial"—which becomes a bouncy and brutal romp. The title track, and album closer, "All Hope Is Gone" functions as Slipknot's 2008 mission statement. From the black metal breakdowns to Root and Thomson's fret-burning solos, it's pure metal mastery.
"Sulfur" simmers with a Satanically catchy chorus with Taylor oscillating like a guillotine between a guttural, piercing growl and gorgeously hypnotic melodies. "Dead Memories" brandishes all of Slipknot's best elements. One of the album's creepiest moments comes in the middle of that song. The guitar riffs break into a clean acoustic melody seamlessly in true Zeppelin style. Taylor's voice takes over, and it's eerily powerful.
Slipknot still surprises on the slower fare. Much like "Prosthetics," "Gently," "Purity" and "Danger – Keep Away," "Gehenna" takes the listener into the heart of darkness—the heart of Iowa. It's a long, slow burner that employs a pained, ethereal chorus a la Alice In Chains. The song traverses an entire spectrum of emotions, and it sees all nine members venturing into the dark. The album's one acoustic track, "Snuff" is especially poignant. The song spins a tale of love lost that anyone whose experienced relationship woes can relate to. As the acoustic rhythms resound, Taylor's vivid lyrics resonate.
Given the fact that so many of the tracks on the album are filled with menacing guitars and vocal growls, you might expect Slipknot to have a little venom in their lyrics. While All Hope Is Gone does features lyrics you do follow that line of thinking, you’ll also find that the band focuses it's anger on not just abstract ideas. The title track points it's finger at the Bush administration with lyrics like, “Fifty seconds, a hundred murders; The Bill of Rights is a bill of sale; What will you do when the war is over? What will you do when your systems fail?” But this is more than just a political album, and apparently Taylor stated in an interview that All Hope Is Gone was a good avenue for “bitching about what’s wrong in life.”
Clearly at the end of the album you would have realised one thing for sure- expect the unexpected.Given the fact that Slipknot’s 4th album marked a few different milestones , it’s perhaps not shocking that the end result would mark a musical change in direction as well. They take things to the next level in terms of both aggression and balladry. It’s definitely a trip to hear Slipknot go from the melodic, laid-back “Snuff” to double bass extravaganza that is “All Hope Is Gone.” The band certainly explored various extremes on the new album, and they deserve credit for not maintaining the status quo.And by the time the album ends the listeners were firm into believing all hopes had not gone with Slipknot's lattest fare.

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