Welp, the wait is over. We finally got a sample of Slipknot album number six and the sound of it is good so far. It turns out ‘All Out Life, surprise released last Halloween is not on the new album, but what a good advertisement that track is when it says the album title over and over in it. The band has been promising brutal new music in their interviews, so we finally get to be the judge of that. Every band says their new album is their best. Slipknot, no a stranger to bravado and backing up, but they have been careful to steer clear of such a prediction. 2016’s .5: The Grey Chapter (Roadrunner Records) was phenomenal, so surely the pressure to perform is there.
‘Unsainted’ has a religious tone (anti-religious in fact) and the song begins with some tension building guitar notes, and what sounds like a choir of children, sopranos and basses ready to get all pastoral and all Handel’s Messiah on your ass. Good imagery. Corey Taylor joins in with the “whoooahs” too, building a familiar flavor for Knot fans, who know the band love to bring the drama with a good intro part. From there the song grows into a pretty typical brutal drums and guitars in the verse type of song, not too dissimilar from the best of their back catalog of singles. The track has a fairly simple a-b-a-c-a-b format, with a cool mosh-part beatdown part in the middle with vocals over it. The hella catchy chorus really chews all the remaining scenery, complete with the chorale singers returning. At 4:20, the track feels like it’s over very soon, so there isn’t time to root around and chill. They get to the point and get outta town quick.
The song definitely has the classic Slipknot vibe, the bells, and whistles. Buzzsaw guitars? Check. Tribal drumming and sick blastsbeat fills? Check. Corey wrecking his larynx on the mic? Yep! DJ Sid scratchin’ and Clown smacking that trash can with his trusty? You get the idea. The song definitely winds up right in line with ‘Wait And Bleed’, ‘Duality’, ‘Sulfer’, ‘Psychosocial.’ These guys have been around for over twenty years, so they know how to write a song in their style. It all feels so familiar, as in familiar on purpose.
It’s hard to tell from one song just how the rest of the album will turn out. But you did a pretty good job if your new song pays tribute to all your own past hits. It’s safe, but it works a charm with fans. The chorus is very hooky and radio-friendly, but I wouldn’t say it’s Stone Sour poppy sounding. The video is also sick as hell and with Slipknot you really need the entire package: the sound and the visual to complete the tableau. It’s pretty heavy, and again, the hooks will stay with you after the song is over. ‘Unsainted’ is a good preview of what’s to come, but I’m hoping the meat of the album is a little more substantial.
7 / 10