All Hope is Gone

Written by: CR on 01/09/2008 15:01:19

It's been a very long time since I last listened to anything from Slipknot. If you exclude "Before I Forget", which was included in Guitar Hero 3, I have to go back to my rebellious teenage years some 7-8 years back. With that in mind I expected "All Hope is Gone" to be yet another attempt to make money of those "pesky" teenagers who feel that life is just too harsh and unfair. In all fairness that isn't the best way to start reviewing an album, so I ended up spending a lot of time trying not to give Slipknot a disadvantage on that account.

The first time I heard the album in it's entirety, my initial verdict wasn't very positive. It's very clear that you're listening to a Slipknot record. Lots of heavy riffs, double bass drumming and Corey Taylor's characteristic vocals. Maybe it was because of this that my original conclusion deferred quite a bit from the final result. Things have changed. A lot of the nu-metal elements have been replaced with much thrashier riffs, and from time to time your mind will wander off to names like Slayer and Trivium when looking for similarities with other bands. Solos are a welcome addition to the recipe for this album, and you will even find poly-rhythms from time to time, which is a big score in my book.

Admittedly this is a really good album. It succeeds brilliantly when the band explores new areas, but unfortunately the song "Snuff" is so bad it needs to be singled out. It simply should not have been written. Luckily there's more of the good than the bad, and except for "Snuff", none of the ugly. Despite of this I don't think "All Hope is Gone" will ever make its way to my CD rack simply because of how it would look with a Slipknot album along side my other CDs. Sure, some will say this is a cheap shot at the band but no matter how Slipknot change their sound and music, they can't escape that the train of thought will undeniably make a stop at prejudiceville. I simply cannot get that it takes nine people to make this music, and in the end that makes it hard to take the music seriously, even if you don't take into account their somewhat silly stage appearance.

So what does this add up to? First of all, it changed my point of view on Slipknot. I expected this review to take approximately two hours to write, including the time it took to hear the album from start to finish. I ended up spending most of Friday through Monday with Slipknot in my ears, and I would be lying if I said it wasn't a record I'd put on voluntarily from time to time. It's a good album and shouldn't be dismissed because of what it says on the tin. If you are a Slipknot fan, this is a must have, and if not, at least give it a try. You might end up liking it - I know I did.

Download: Butcher’s Hook, Gematria (The Killing Name)
For the fans of: KoЯn, Coal Chamber
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 25.08.2008

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