After spending the last four years in side projects, on tour, suing Burger King, on hiatus and atypically exploding (or imploding, depending on your outlook) in to bona fide rock stardom, the costumed collective known as SLIPKNOT have regrouped and re-energized for what is arguably the most important album of their career. I say that for a couple of reasons. First, when members of a band take this much time and creative headspace away from their main outlet, the chances of them regaining that initial chemistry are greatly reduced. Secondly, and this applies strictly to SLIPKNOT, when the gears of the promotional machine behind the group are churning so hard that even the new masks they've donned for this album are a more hyped and heavily guarded secret than the pre-premier image of the city-smashing monster from "Cloverfield", they had damn well better be sure they aren't wasting our time.
After giving "All Hope Is Gone" several listens and approaching the album from different viewpoints (fan, critic, someone who stopped giving a shit three years ago, etc.) I feel fairly confident in telling you that time hasn't been wasted and SLIPKNOT has gained more steam in their collective absence than they have lost. Yes, haters, "All Hope Is Gone" is a pretty solid goddamned album; for the most part. The almost-two-minute, noisy and rant-filled intro, ".execute" would have been a great way to build into the thrashy, groove-laden and death-tinged "Gematria (The Killing Name)" had it actually climaxed into the album's proper opener instead of cutting off and forcing the song to rebuild its own intensity. Although, once the tune gets going, it quickly introduces itself as one of SLIPKNOT's heaviest to date. "Sulfur" and "Psychosocial" are two more tracks that see the nine-headed beast doing what they do best. By bringing together the metallic intensity of the self-titled disc and the darkened, yet tuneful vibe of "Iowa" in a way that manages to avoid too many comparisons to commercially viable, yet somewhat phoned-in "Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses)".
So far, we've got a pretty exciting album on our hands. The opening third of "All Hope Is Gone" proves this to be an poorly named album from where the first generation of "Maggots" who could use these moments as a reconnecting point with the band might stand. Depending on your personal stance, the sonic shift taken on "Dead Memories", "Vendetta" and "Snuff" shows SLIPKNOT's diversity to be either their saving grace, or their misfortune. Sure, they're well-written and melodious songs that rank high on the accessibility scale, but they lack the white hot fire that allows the rest of the disc to burn our asses. All in all, these three would almost sound more at home on a STONE SOUR record. Displaying more of the darkness and experimentation (by SLIPKNOT standards) of the "Iowa" days are "Gehenna", which could have been a downright rightful motherfucker were it not for the overuse of Corey Taylor's higher-register vocal and formulaic approach, and the tastefully bludgeoning "Wherein Lies Continue". Toss in the borderline mall-metal, but still very tolerable "Butcher's Hook" and "This Cold Black" and you've still got an above-average taste of mainstream metal with jagged shards of the underground tossed in randomly. But wait, there's still the closing title track, and this is why "All Hope Is Gone" was worth the wait. Hyperactive and breakneck guitars, pulsating double bass, weird little bits of noise from the supporting cast and acidic gobs of vocal venom… yeah, this is what we needed from SLIPKNOT.
So to answer a few of the $64,000 questions surrounding "All Hope Is Gone"; no, this isn't as shockingly bombastic as the debut; no, it isn't as malevolent or demented as "Iowa"; and no, it isn't as dishearteningly friendly to the masses as "Vol. 3". It's a little bit of all of those things and then some, but ultimately it's another chapter in the story that is SLIPKNOT. While it may not be as jaw-dropping or revolutionary as some might have hoped, it's by no a bad release.
- Ryan Ogle
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COMMENT | 'Mediocre album' posted by : baalslayer28
10/6/2008 2:06:25 AM
Some good moments, others we've heard before.
COMMENT | 'Good review.' posted by : Squeeky
10/6/2008 3:10:02 AM
Average album. Some decent songs, some pretty boring ones. Its experimental, not as much as Vol 3, but it is experimental. The Stone Sour elements are even more prevalent, but then again this is definately closer to their first 2 album then to Vol 3.
Butchers Hook is a terrible experiment, but the title track, Psycosocial, Gematria, Dead Memories and This Cold black work very well.
So yeah, decent but not amazing. 6/10
COMMENT | NULL posted by : CraigD
10/6/2008 3:32:49 AM
Very average album. 6/10.
COMMENT | NULL posted by : M84
10/6/2008 3:48:34 AM
Psychosocial is definitely the best single they've ever released.
COMMENT | NULL posted by : AWAL
10/6/2008 5:29:18 AM
While this is still a pretty solid album it is still somehow missing something..
could be better, particularly if the 'stone souresque' parts (all of them) were replaced with something more reminiscent of what slipknot used to be.
COMMENT | 'I''m not a big Slipknot fan' posted by : MODULATOR
10/6/2008 5:31:37 AM
but this is definitley their best album so far!
COMMENT | NULL posted by : harriet!
10/6/2008 6:23:54 AM
great review, spot on actually.
However, since we been fed up with stories how fucking hostile (no pun intended) and heavy this release would be, im deeply disappointed. Was hoping for somewhat Iowa-stuff.
COMMENT | 'Solid 9' posted by : mastronaut
10/6/2008 6:30:11 AM
Great CD! I like the whole thing, growth is good, Slipknot>Metallica
COMMENT | 'I''m loving it' posted by : colonel2jays
10/6/2008 6:34:40 AM
...but I loved Vol 3 even more. This one just doesn't have the consistency and, sadly, the Stone Sour influence is far too apparent on the more melodic tracks.
I gave it an 8, purely because I wanna go back again and again and listen to it. I may lose my job due to playing this too loud out of my office, and I'll have no regrets may that be the case.
It'll be awhile yet before the joy of screaming "America . . . WHAT IF GOD DOESN'T CARE!!!" becomes boring.
COMMENT | NULL posted by : MarcusSeven
10/6/2008 8:14:47 AM
It's definitely a great progression for the band. The song I found was most Stone Sour-ish was "Sulfur", especially in the solo. The heavy tracks are great and "Snuff", "Gehenna" and "Dead Memories" are so mellow, it's awesome.
COMMENT | NULL posted by : thenumberofthebeef
10/6/2008 8:26:51 AM
Nu-metal should get a 1...I don't care how they dress it up...they are still a trendy nu-metal band.
COMMENT | 'Are You Serious?' posted by : jbenecasa
10/6/2008 9:12:45 AM
all i see is bullshit. 6 outta ten? 7? this is SLIPKNOT people!!! this album is fantastic in so many ways!!You want heavy? listen to sulfur, that song will make you wanna punch someone in the neck!!! You want sweet and heartfelt? Listen to snuff and it will make even the hardest motherfucker cry. This album has everything anyone could want.Granted its lightyears away from what we know to be traditional slipknot, but every band has to grow and change their sound at some point. I mean, do you really think that when slayer went to write Chrsit Illusion, or while they are writing their newest album, that they wanted to re-create Reign In Blood? HELL NO!!! So all of you quit being critical and listen to the album from a musical point of view and not as a fan of slipknot.
First review I have read on here that I have agreed with completely. Well put, well analyzed.
Oi! Snuff does not make me want to cry and Sulfur is not THAT heavy. I like Slipknot a lot but I did not get the intensity that I was looking for. Its a good record, but not a 100% solid and insane Slipknot record. Corey got a little crazy with the control and wanting to soften the approach and it slows the album down. I was expecting the more experimental approach like Vol. 3 had (I honestly wanted part 2 of that) and I at least expected them to keep it weird and haunting. I think they tried too hard to make it what Corey wanted to do as opposed to just making whatever the hell worked for them, whether it was good or not. In all cases it turned out good. This time around Corey went with politics and his opinion instead of just attacking things that really matter. Ask Jim Root, he isn't happy with it either. Say what you will about Rick Rubin, but to his credit, he got Vol. 3 where it needed to be and it was the most important record of their career in my mind.
So I guess I agree 99%.
COMMENT | '...' posted by : HIValicious
10/6/2008 10:34:29 AM
Best review on this site? Haha. They need to fix the vocals up and not get Slipknot confused for Stone Sour when they choose how they sound. Otherwise, decent album, I'll still return to the self titled release when I need the Slipknot fix.
COMMENT | '...' posted by : The Plague
10/6/2008 10:47:21 AM
Great fucking album, slipknot rules!!!!!
COMMENT | NULL posted by : KnotEngaged
10/6/2008 11:03:15 AM
deserves a 7 but ill give it a 10 to off set the bitches who will give it a 1 just because its slipknot
COMMENT | '...' posted by : MrMoustache
10/6/2008 12:49:56 PM
3/10 1 point for "Gematria", 1 point for the first half of "All Hope is Gone", and 1 point for the chorus of "Psychosocial". And that's being damn generous. How this band has fallen. I wish Stone Sour had never reformed and fucked up Slipknot.
didnt expect to see that lame term in a album reveiw.
First still the best but this one still rocks, and sure the fuck aint "mall metal"
COMMENT | NULL posted by : drago494
10/6/2008 11:36:03 PM
10/10 for me. I loved this album. It had everything I was looking for after listening to Vol 3. People who gave it a 1 just because it's Slipknot are just stupid. Listen to the album with an open mind, if you still think it deserves a 1, then give it a 1.
Album of the year in my opinion, along with Death Magnetic.
COMMENT | 'The Outlaw Torn' posted by : colonel2jays
10/7/2008 12:27:50 AM
"...I at least expected them to keep it weird and haunting"
You took the fucking words out of my mouth dude!
By no means would I ever expect one of my favourite bands to repeat themselves or stagnate or whatever, but that really evil and dark vibe that pervades the more melodic and/or experimental stuff on Vol. 3 was a very ripe vein for them to mine for new ideas, both musically and lyrically. An example is the stalker theme in Vermilion (I & II). Creepy as all fuck! Dead Memories, on the other hand, seems a bit half-arsed by comparison.
Still happy to spin AHIG at any opportunity, regardless...
COMMENT | NULL posted by : originfan
10/7/2008 4:27:55 AM
10x better than Vol. 3. Vol. 3 was lame. Overall I enjoyed All Hope Is Gone. It's no ANTITHESIS!
COMMENT | NULL posted by : Shakezulah
10/7/2008 2:31:16 PM
I've always been a big Slipknot fan. This is honestly my favorite album of theirs to date. Who gives a shit if it's not a carbon copy of Iowa? Bands change, and this change was definately for the better. There are no Stone Sour-ish songs on this album. Both bands have different writing styles. The reasons I like Stone Sour are not the same reasons I like Slipknot, and that was very evident to me when I first listened to this album. Yes, they both have melodic and mellower songs, but that doesn't mean they sound alike.
The only song I don't really care for is Gehenna. It reminds me too much of Korn, except for the awesome solo in it. My favorite song is probably Sulfur. Snuff is also a very beautiful song, and arguably one of the band's best. As a music fan, I give this album an 8.5. As a Slipknot fan, I give it a 9. But considering all the ignorant elitist asswipes who don't know shit about music that plauge this website, I'm rating it a 10.
COMMENT | '...' posted by : MrMoustache
10/7/2008 3:11:50 PM
"There are no Stone Sour-ish songs on this album."
Other than the four or five Stone Sour-ish songs, that is.
I found Vendetta and especially Butcher's Hook to be the most interresting songs.. I love the vocal harmonies in both..
But when they grind(etc) like in the title track, it just dosen't seem sincere.. Like they're trying too hard to be heavy..
This being said, I'm not a big fan of Stone Sour and the "rock'n'rool"-flavoured songs on this album should have been saved for a Stone Sour record
COMMENT | 'average' posted by : metal_as_fook
10/11/2008 11:31:14 AM
the albums good,its not great.psychosocial has to be the most boring repititive song in history.the drumming is a bit too showy offy overall,too much blastbeats at random intervals and double bass that seems to just be there because it can be.
COMMENT | 'A Welcome Change of Pace' posted by : ruinedbyreason
10/12/2008 7:29:28 PM
Good review, one I'd have to agree with, I think Mark Morton from Lamb of God put it best - fans always want a band to do what they did one album before.
To all the Slipknot fans out there, I don't see how you can expect a band to do the same thing over and over again. The fact is the band members are all between 35-40, not kids anymore so of course the music is going to mature and change.
To all the haters, no one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to listen to the album. Why bother listening if all you're going to do is bash it?
Yes there are many heavier bands out there - the fact is Slipknot is only being who they are - and honestly don't write music to please anyone but themselves.
Your bashing and blasting of the album isn't going to change a damn thing or mean anything to the band members. Quite frankly you're wasting your strength typing.
I gave the album a 10 - only because it is the sign of a band moving beyond the box into which metal bands are placed.
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