We Are Not Your Kind Album Review

Bianca Barretto, Editor-In-Chief & Features Editor

After a painstaking five year wait, Iowa based Nu-Metal band, Slipknot, returned to the scene with the release of their album, “We Are Not Your Kind” (WANYK) in early August. Prior to the album’s release, fans had anticipated the band’s return with a new record, creating some speculation surrounding the album’s integrity in being able to stay true to Slipknot’s discography over the past 20 years. With the controversy surrounding the experimental sound of WANYK’s preceding album, “.5: The Gray Chapter” (2014) as a memorial to late former bassist, Paul Gray, and the recent departure of percussionist, Chris Fehn, fans grew skeptical that the new record wouldn’t fulfill their expectations. But once the band had dropped the new album’s two lead singles Unsainted and Solway Firth, fans quickly opened up to the band’s seemingly new sound and would be enthralled with emotions upon WANYK’s release.

Having waited for this album for five entire years, I was beyond excited to hear that we would have our hands on a brand new Slipknot record. By the time it was the night of its release, I had already listened to the two new singles to absolute death, and was anticipating an entirely new side of Slipknot. But after listening through the album for the very first time, I was super underwhelmed with what I was hearing, and ultimately found a few things to pick at. Initially, the biggest itch I had with WANYK was that it didn’t seem as heavy as I wanted it to be. The album was completely riddled with a couple experimental tracks and interludes that, at the time, made no sense.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan of Slipknot’s approach to metal and how they began to integrate more melodic notes from Corey Taylor’s vocal range, and I’m definitely not opposed to change, but the weirdly placed instrumentals between songs and the overall lack of energy at first glance slowed down the momentum of the album and made it feel super dragged out, especially listening to the album from start to finish.

I’m definitely a fan of albums that provide a vast selection of songs within their genre while still retaining the cohesive sound of the album itself, and Slipknot executes that extremely well on a handful of songs from WANYK, but some just completely fall short. Tracks from the album like Death Because of Death, the interlude in the beginning of Orphan, and the one and a half minute interludes in the beginning AND end of My Pain seem incredibly unnecessary and slow down the album so much that listening to it in full almost feels like a chore. Instead of marrying songs on the album that have polarizing sounds with one another, some breaks in the album ruin the overall flow and mood the record tries to develop the further you listen to it.

Although I didn’t have a great experience listening to WANYK for the first time, in fact, I was a little disappointed that this was the album I waited five years for, but the more I listened to it, the more it began to grow on me.The best part about this album is that it serves as the perfect homage to the band’s musical journey throughout the years. In tracks like Nero Forte, Orphan, Red Flag, and Solway Firth, you can hear the immense influence from the band’s first two albums “Slipknot” (1999) and “Iowa” (2001, which are bound to be crowd pleasers for the old and nostalgic fans. But the album also offers tracks like Birth Of The Cruel, Unsainted, and Liar’s Funeral, that plays into the more “melodic” shift in Slipknot’s recent music, a musical change that was foreseeable since the band’s integration of smoother vocals and guitar riffs in their 2008 album, “All Hope Is Gone.” And if you are looking for songs that are completely out of the box for a band like Slipknot, then you can definitely look forward to tracks like Spiders and My Pain, which, although tend to be slower songs, bring the atmosphere of the album to life despite being the more experimental and controversial tracks of the entire album.

Although I didn’t have the best experience listening to the album first hand as a long-time fan of Slipknot’s work, “We Are Not Your Kind” brings something completely new to the metal genre. Instead of creating an album that sells out to the mainstream music industry and panders to a softer audience, Slipknot created a universe in their recent album that resonates with those familiar with metal music and those who are just getting into the genre. We get a perfect marriage between Slipknot’s music that epitomizes “Nu-Metal” to the core but also music that completely challenges the status quo of the metal genre (and is honestly bound to shift what it means to be a metal artist). Anyone can jump into this album and find something beautiful or impressive about the new sound, and Whether or not you’re a fan of heavier music or Slipknot themselves, there is a track on “We Are Not Your Kind” that may just surprise you. So sit back, and enjoy the ride. Long live the Knot!