Slipknot – Solway Firth

Slipknot teased us and teased us that they were going to drop a succession of insane new tracks before We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner Records) made its debut August 9th. While ‘Unsainted’ featured straight out brutality with nary a moment of let up except for the sugary chorus, ‘Solway Firth’ is another animal altogether.

The track begins with a low-key, menacing intro which sees vocalist Corey Taylor affect a slight lilt in his voice. With Solway Firth being the natural geographic divider being the natural land divider between The United Kingdom and Scotland, it’s not a total surprise to hear a hint of Gaelic flavor in his voice, also owing to part of his ancestry. Once the track proper jumps off, it’s sheer bedlam.

When Slipknot said they were bringing the brutality back for We Are Not Your Kind, they were not kidding. ‘Unsainted’, was exceptionally heavy, catchy, and compelling. With a few dynamic shifts, ‘Solway Firth’ has a deeper flair for the dramatic, but no less pummeling. Writing a great metal song is not just about putting motifs and evil themes together, it is about writing parts that flow without break and don’t feel awkward or forced. Chugging riffs and thumping bass lines give the song a full-bodied 1990s metal flavor. The track is impeccably mixed too, with all the many instruments clicking together instead of overlapping in a sonic swamp. Listen for the delicate ear-candy in the keyboards towards the end of the track that sounds like child’s toy piano or music box. 

With the massive grooves of Slipknot’s classic debut, but the swelling melodies and crushing blastbeat bukkake of Iowa or Vol 3.:(The Subliminal Verses), the band has created another beast of a track. We can’t wait to hear the rest.

8 / 10

KEITH CHACHKES