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Slipknot have come a long way since their debut twenty years ago, achieving worldwide recognition and success. They have endured loss, controversy, and changes in line-up — maturing along the way. It’s been 5 years since 5: The Gray Chapter, one of their best works. I didn’t know what to expect with We Are Not Your Kind. The previous album was great, but I just felt it was missing something.
In the half-decade since the last album, the band have had a lot of time to figure out their musical direction. They spent it well, because every member of the group shines and shows their strengths on this album. The production on We Are Not Your Kind isn’t as polished as the last record and it’s better for it.
This is, without doubt, Slipknot’s most ambitious album musically — and it is a masterpiece. It contains all the elements that make Slipknot great, while pushing the boundaries of their sound. The anger that I felt was missing on the last outing is back and, lyrically, it’s their most personal album to date. I can’t remember the last time I felt so many emotions listening to an album. We Are Not Your Kind is an emotional experience and the band’s songwriting is at its peak here.
There are 14 tracks here, 15 if you include the Japanese bonus track — non-album single ‘All Out Life‘. Honestly, I think this makes for a better closer than the creepy, atmospheric heaviness that is ‘Soloway Firth‘.
The album can only be described as a triumph. It’s the perfect blend of all the components that make Slipknot one of the best bands in the world. It has everything — dark ambience, industrial percussion, and an ideal mix of ferocious screaming and singing. It also has some of the best drums I’ve heard in a long time, tight musicianship, a unique layer of sounds, and a piano line on the track ‘Spiders‘ befitting iconic horror films of the past.
It’s hard to explain this album, I couldn’t have predicted it turning out the way it has. ‘My Pain‘ — arguably the album’s most personal track — is a mix of haunting, ambient sounds and electronic percussion. I can only describe it as a Slipknot lullaby.
This is Slipknot as you know them and it is Slipknot as you’ve never heard them before. The album starts strong and ends even stronger. It contains some of the their heaviest, most heart-breaking, and all-round best moments, with lyrical content we can all relate to on a personal level. The band may not look human in their masks and stage attire, but underneath the costumes are humans like you and I.
We Are Not Your Kind is Slipknot’s best work — a beautiful, chaotic experience.