The End, So Far
Released: September 30, 2022
The masters of masked mayhem, Slipknot, are back with some fresh material – a new record named The End, So Far.
When a band like Slipknot drops a record – people should slow down, stop, and pay attention. To smell the roses, so to speak. Without a doubt, in the rapidly approaching two decades since Slipknot smashed their way into the metal scene, Slipknot have turned things on its head. Forever changing the genre. At their inception, the raw energy and pure controlled chaos that they brought hadn’t been done before – at least not on that level.
From their smash-hit self-titled debut album back in 1999, these masked madmen from Iowa have steadily grown despite every pundit saying they wouldn’t or couldn’t last. That their self-destructive nature would cause them to implode from within. Yet, here we are. Nearly twenty years on, and Slipknot are bigger than they have ever been. Three years on since 2019’s We Are Not Your Kind dropped – and album that saw the band try new things, Slipknot are again evolving their sound.
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The first track, Adderall is going to give a sinking feeling of dread at the pit of the stomach’s of long-time fans. It is a ballad, featuring a softly singing Corey Taylor that thankfully isn’t an ode to what is to follow. The follow two tracks, The Dying Song (Time To Sing) and The Chapeltown Rag, are throwbacks to the Iowa album. harsh and brutal, with very little melody to them. On Yen, a track that was released a few months back, we again see Taylor showcasing his vocal range. Changing up the pace with a slower, more accessibly number.
With Hivemind, the tempo flips back to the stylings of the second and third tracks – to the aggression found on Iowa. Medicine For The Dead is a strange track, that feels like a film score piece that would play over a transitional scene where the main character is going through a turbulent self-exploration scene. I’m still not sure if I like or loathe this song, despite numerous listening sessions. That feeling follows into Acidic too. The second half of the record starts to tread some odd waters, while retaining a lot of the feeling we’ve come to expect from the band.
The turntables are back for some scratching from mister Sid Wilson on Heirloom, which again is an odd track down the rabbit hole. On H377, Slipknot return to the brutality, with Taylor spitting venomous tongue twisters at rapid fire intervals. The result is one of the better songs on the record. It’s placement is strange, I suppose serving to disrupt the adventurous direction of the rest of the second half of the album, a sound that returns with De Sade.
The final two pieces on The End, So Far are the records slower moments, easing out of what is a bizarre collection of music for Slipknot. Ending off with the aptly titled Finale, a morose piano driven exit piece that finds Taylor back to showing off his vocal range. Solemn and twisted lyrically, that feels more like a Stone Sour track than something off a Slipknot record. Haunted chanting and massive choral hooks perhaps being the thing that makes it fit the record.
Unlike the last two or so records, The End, So Far lacks the big potential hit track, like a Killpop, Psychosocial, Before I Forget, The Devil In I – you get the point. Instead, Slipknot saw fit to bash the shit of our eardrums, and release something extremely aggressive and viscous. Sort of a throw back to reinvent sort of attitude. It still has those trademark hooks and solos, the filthy choruses – everything here is very Slipknot. Albeit it a bare bones, stripped down and no nonsense version in the first half, and an exploratory path for the latter tracks.
Yet, there are nuances here; a lot of clean singing and moments that feel almost orchestral. Just different avenues for Slipknot. Almost as it the band felt their new material was drifting into strange territory, and felt compelled to write some ripping older style jams to make up for it.
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Regardless of all the changes or exploration – this is still a Slipknot album. And a mighty fine one. The End, So Far might not be the the strongest record the group have penned so far, but it fits in with their cannon and should be well received by fans of the band. The key elements that make the band who they are remain, which some tweaks to the formula. Evolution isn’t always a bad thing – sometimes it’s a chance to grow so that things don’t grow stagnant. Otherwise, you’ll be AC/DC your whole career – good records, but always painfully similar.
Copies of the Slipknot’s slamming new record, The End, So Far can be secured at this location. However, there is no physical media available yet – only digital. Which sucks. A lot.
For Fans Of: Vended, Lamb Of God, Pantera
02. The Dying Song (Time To Sing)
03. The Chapeltown Rag
07. Medicine For The Dead
11. De Sade