Slipknot return for another blast of the extreme on The End, So Far…the closing of a chapter and the beginning of a new one?
Release Date: 30th September 2022
Label: Roadrunner Records
Format: CD / Vinyl / Digital / Cassette
The End, So Far is Slipknot’s seventh full-length album and shows the band in irresistible form once again.
When The End, So Far opens up you are met with typical Slipknot glitching but when the music breaks it is clean and has more than a heavy slice of 70’s AOR to it with the harmonies and piano lines in play. Slipknot have hit the ballad button before but Adderall is a complete departure and will divide opinion, for sure. Division of opinion is something that Slipknot have always been adept at and something the band thrives on.
One thing that won’t divide opinion is the following tracks that have all been released as singles; The Dying Song (Time To Sing), Chapeltown Rag and Yen have all been well received and are in the classic vein of Slipknot tracks. Chapeltown Rag has the drum and bass undertones that adorned the earliest of Slipknot releases and The Dying Song has Corey Taylor’s irresistible and unique vocal delivery firing on all cylinders as well as killer bass and trademark vinyl scratches. Yen has Taylor in sinister mode backed by equally dark and brooding riffs and plenty of cutting lyrics.
Hivemind has a psychedelic opening before bludgeoning guitars and drums flail in chaos with plenty of groove. Slipknot’s ability to write festival worthy choruses has grown immeasurably over the years. Hivemind will have crowds screaming back at Corey Taylor’s every request. Warranty takes no prisoners in the thrashy guitar opening. The double kick of Weinberg’s drum will leave your spine in all kinds of elongated shapes.
Tempos slow during Medicine For The Dead but the unmistakable guitar tones of messrs Root and Thomson propel the song. Whilst the tempo might be slower, the density of the music is not lost. It is a different kind of heavy. Acidic follows suit with Venturella’s bass taking centre stage. Lead guitar work also zips around the mix giving more texture and colour and an already rich sound. Again, psychedelia comes out of the mix as the song rolls towards a calming climax.
Heirloom destroys all kinds of calm. More scratches that almost sound like lyrics in their own right spin and the rhythm is again one of chest-beating grandeur. Corey Taylor’s vocal chops have never been in question. If anything, he hasn’t shown them as much as should have done on Slipknot records over the years; saving his more clean singing style for Stone Sour. Heirloom, and many other tracks on The End, So Far allow for more of Taylor’s versatility to show without compromising his venomous style. Like Acidic, lead guitar solos wow and make for a truly thrilling listen.
H377 will have fans of earlier Slipknot grinning from ear to ear and wanting to take their baseball bats to metal barrels. The song rips and has a dissonance that only Slipknot bring to the table. An array of time changes, cascading guitars and Taylor screaming make for another riveting aural assault. De Sade points towards the French nobleman Marquis de Sade. By this point in the record, every facet of the Slipknot collective is in complete autonomy. Musically devastating, rhythmically ecstatic and oh so aesthetically pleasing. Finale closes the album and has more than a tinge of symphonic metal in its DNA. Exultant choirs and epic, towering music close out an album that grows in its intent as it moves forward.
From the slightly obtuse start to the glory of the latter part of The End, So Far, Slipknot proves once again that they are one on their own. They do what they want, how they want, when they want…and people follow. Lyrically, fans will unfurl the deeper meanings to the songs, but know this, this is a Slipknot record that shows that this band is just as important to metal as they were 25 years ago.
Watch the video for Yen below, directed as ever by M. Shawn Crahan: